Reading a Book at the Wrong Time of your Life

reading-at-the-wrong-time

Hello guys!

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the books I read a while ago and how a few months back I went and lowered my rating for most of the books I thought were fantastic and even favorites, and even though the reasons for that are pretty obvious (some problematics, two dimensional characters, insta-love, plot holes and I could go on forever), I started thinking about the ones I originally didn’t like and the specific book that sparked that train of thought in my mind is “L’homme qui voulait Γͺtre heureux” by Laurent Gounelle, which translates to “The man who wanted to be happy”.

That is kind of a philosophical book exploring happiness and following a man who was unhappy and went to a balinese healer to try and make peace with himself and where he is in life. Back to my experience with the book. I felt uneasy whie reading it, didn’t enjoy it, not one bit and didn’t give much thought to that. I didn’t finish it (First DNF of my life) and labelled my reason behind it as boredom but now, reflecting back on it, I know for a fact that that wasn’t it. I’ll tell you the real reason I finally came up with further down the post.

Now that we have a background as to what generated this discussion let’s dive in and see what are some reasons for hating book at some point and feeling not so sure about that further along in life. This post might get is definitely getting quite personal. But I’m okay with that, I feel okay to share these things with you guys.

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I know this may sound harsh but it’s true and I’m not talking age either,some people at 13 are more mature than myself when I was 18. But the thing is, at certain points of our lives, we don’t look past what we know, what we understand and what isn’t too thought provoquing. Some topics go over our heads because they’re too complicated or we’re not educated about it enough.

Here’s a confession: I never read books treating LGBTQIA+ issues because of that, books about immigrant issues, POC (yes even the ones I identify with), racism, and other issues that I think are so fundamental now. I was in my own bubble reading books 100% for the story (not that there is Something wrong with that) not looking beyond to the people it’s including -or not including- the issues it’s discussing… a very narrow bubble to be honest and I’ve never been happier about something in my life than the fact that I have popped it. I can see more now, I KNOW more. Though I have an infinite more to learn, I am so far away from when I was a year ago, I can SEE those possibilities now and I’m so eagerly waiting to dive into all these books I have piled up.

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That was my case with Eleanor & Park. I read it when I had severe body image issues and if you read the book as well you know that Eleanor goes through that as well. She’s too curvy, her hair too curly, she had to many freckles etc. And I truly hated her. Why? I hear you asking, you’re supposed to relate to her struggles and like her but NO. She represented everything I hated about myself, my stomach with too many roles, my thighs that were too thick, my skin that was perhaps too dark. Anyway.

That was around 3 years ago and I reread it a few months ago and I adored Eleanor. She was so quirky, brave and funny. Also beautiful, and that’s what I failed to see before. I could relate with her and found myself nodding and smiling through it because although there’s nothing happy about having 0 confidence, I was happy that it was something that I managed to get through and now what I see in her is a part of my past that although was excrutiatingly hard, I wouldn’t change because it forged me to what I am and what I didn’t know then is that there IS a way our of that vicious circle.

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I don’t know how to explain this one, like really get my thoughts across the way they’re in my mind. Alright. I’m not talking about characters representing sexualties, genders, ethnicities or religions that are different than yours. I’m talking about the character that you were set to relate to because of all these things but somehow you haven’t had enough experiences yet, or yours were different and you just felt cheated. I personally have never experienced this one but I know people who have. Going from not liking a book to deeply appreciating it because NOW you can understand and identify with what’s in it.

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You weren’t warned before so diving into the book you didn’t expect to find that one thing -or several things- that sends you down a spiral of dark thoughts and terrifying corners of your brain but it did. So, naturally, you couldn’t enjoy the book because of that. I only have one trigger which I won’t go into detail about in this post, maybe some other time -probably not, but the thing is that I’ve had it since I was 5, not over it, can’t get over it, will probably never get over it but that’s not our subject here. The point I’m trying to make is that I can’t bare reading a book that contains it, it makes my skin crawl, sends me in a downward spiral and I have a hard time recovering from it.

Funny enough, the first book I read in 2016 (after a huge slump) was triggering and THIS is a common trigger but it wasn’t mentionned ANYWHERE and that is a huge mistake, because books like that should have trigger warnings. It was set on being a favorite until the thing happened and I hated it.

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The book and you just didn’t click because it was telling you things you didn’t WANT to hear. And THIS was me with The Man who wanted to be Happy. The book was talking about how to let go of things -among other ways- to be able to be happy, and I wasn’t ready to hear all those things, I had toxic people in my life that I held onto for dear life, I held grudges as old as the world, I was very unhappy and I KNEW why, I just wasn’t ready to acknowledge them because it meant I had to change a lot of things about myself and my life. And to be honest, I just found comfort in my misery, it was like a friend. I KNEW how to be miserable but had no clue about how to be happy. I might actually re-read this one soon and try and actually stop being a chicken now that I’m at a better place and see what it’s all about.

This might also be a topic that’s taboo to you, an opinion that’s against yours or any other kinds of confrontation that you can think of.

This was a lenghty discussion, huh! And more personal that what I expected but what can ya do? I just follow inspiration wherever it takes me. Also, I just think illustrating my examples with personal experiences makes them more understandable, so yep, that’s what I just did. ENJOY!


That’s it until next time.

Did you ever experience this? Can you relate with any of the points?

What are some other reasons you can think of?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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43 thoughts on “Reading a Book at the Wrong Time of your Life

  1. I think you’re absolutely right about the first point! There have been many classics I was forced to read as a teen and hated, and then re-read them in my twenties and really enjoyed. It also works the other way around – books I rated 5 stars years ago I would probably rate much less if I were to re-read them now. Also, it’s terrible that there wasn’t a trigger warning on the novel you read 😦 I have a specific trigger too and to think of getting smacked in the face with it while reading makes me feel sick. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t re-read classics I read as a teenager but that’s probably something I should do to see if I like them better.
      Yes! It is such a horrible experience, like it’s not even something too specific to me, its something that sets a lot of people off, but well.
      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I pretty much agree with your points. I do wish there are trigger warnings in books. I have fought through depression, and I have dealt with verbal and emotional abuse with an ex and whenever I see that, I go back to that point in my life. I hate that.

    Sometimes when I am reading a book I am enjoying and then someone said, oh no, this book is bad because of many issues and I felt guilty for enjoying it and I want to support them. It made me stop reading said book and put them down and trying my best to read another book that I know isn’t problematic.

    This past year, there are people saying that they want to read that they can see themselves in, I truly do get that. I am a white woman and I am also deaf. It is truly rare for me to get the main character that is deaf and I want to go around and say, “Hey! Deaf character here!” At the same time, you’re getting excited about a deaf character and it was being done the wrong way and you were like “oh no!” It is frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 😊
      There are some that have them but most don’t which I think is insensitive, thougv I try to put them on my reviews if I ever spot something that might be triggering.
      I think that as long as the issue isn’t dealt with in a problematic way it’s fine for people who don’t get triggered by it.
      Yep, that’s the problem with when rep is done is a bad way, it can be as bad if not worse than no rep at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post my twinnie, thank you for writing it. I can relate to a lot of things here, and I agree that sometimes at some point in our lives, we read books that just have a bigger impact on us, and a few years before, well, they probably wouldn’t have. I know this happened to me recently with one book, and I could relate to it way too much so obviously I had to give it 5 stars, I even cried a little bit about it haha. I think if I read that book a few years ago, I still could have enjoyed it, but not as much since it wouldn’t have echoed with my own life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely LOVE & enjoyed reading this post! I have experienced a few of the scenarios you pointed out. I’m currently experiencing this with a book titled Manipulated Lives, the writing is seriously poignant & this IS the reason why I’m struggling. I should’ve waited to be in the right head space but when author sends me a book, I try my best to do the honorable thing & read/review asap. However, December is a really tough month for me emotionally & this is a short story collection about people whose lives have been deeply impacted by manipulators, typically those closest to them. Naturally there’s a lot of sadness & loneliness. At another time, I would have breezed through it…your post def gave me some food for thought & I’ll be more cautious next time πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great discussion, Fadwa 😊! I agree with all of your points and I can most definitely relate to what you talked about with not being mature enough. Thinking about it now, putting myself in the shoes of my younger self, I was so much in a bubble when it came to reading. I was very much set in my ways and wasn’t thinking about the things I do now nor did I have the opinions I have now. So, if I think about a lot of the reads I now adore and want more of I know for a fact that years and years ago I wouldn’t have liked them or even read them. Which makes me sad for my younger self but so glad that I am out of that bubble now. I’ve always been a firm believer that some books come along at perfect times in our lives and impact us so much and now that I think about it I can see that the same can be said for some books not coming around at the best time. Also, I have so been thinking about lowering the ratings on past books I’ve loved because as I’ve reread a few this year I’ve noticed some with a lot of problems. I need to go through my Goodreads shelf soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Melissa 😘
      Yes, that’s exactly how I was too so I’m glad I wasn’t the only one haha.
      It’s never too late to burst the bubble so I don’t dwell much on what my younger self missed out on.
      Yes me too, some books are put in your way right when you need them.
      I did that a few months back but I think I’ll do it again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. what a great post, fadwa! although these things rarely happen to me with books, they do happen to me more with tv shows/movies. i think back to some of the movies i hated when i was younger and think “that was really triggering” or “i just wasn’t ready for it emotionally.” movies i hated like dead poets society and the five people you meet in heaven i think i’d appreciate (if not like) a lot more now that i’ve grown.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I definitely can identify with point four, though I’d hesitate to call my problem area a trigger.

    I do not deal well with 9/11 imagery, so one SF book went from mildly disappointing to “Hell No!”, very suddenly, near the end. (I don’t actually expect people to warn for 9/11, but it’s usually more obvious when it will be invoked in some way.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post for this topic Fadwa. I must admit I’ve never really thought about things from this angle before. Whether the reason I didn’t connect to a certain book or a certain character was because of something more than the writing you know? But now you’ve mentioned it I feel I should go through the books I’ve read so far and see if any of them possibly meet this criteria, maybe I marked them low because I wasn’t in the right place to read them.
    It’s something more to think about when you are choosing what book to read next though isn’t it? I’ve never really taken it into consideration before but then again I am a mood reader so I guess if I’m not in the mood to read something that could just be my minds way of telling me it’s the wrong time in my life to read it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Damn girl, that one paragraph towards the end just hits me. I’ve been that way for soooo long, just comforted in the fact that I was miserable. That because I was scared of being happy since I’d never had the chance to experience it, I would rather continue to be miserable. I’ve been in therapy for about a year now and I’m getting better but that just really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing ❀️
    Also, I rarely change ratings after I read, I only do so when I reread, even though I might think my opinion has changed, I tend to wait and reread to make sure I’m not lying to myself haha

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  10. OMGGG I never thought about this but I could totally relate, especially with the first reason. A couple years ago, I felt so uncomfortable reading books dealing with mental illness and disability. I don’t know, it was probably because I was uncomfortable with people with illness in general. I used to not know how to act around them and it affected my reading experience. But through the years of adulting (+4 years of studying psychology) I learned to understand that people with illness are just people. Now I’m actively seeking out those books because they teach me to empathize. I also had a hard time with book that confronts me or like, challenge my belief but now, I’m pretty much open to anything so that’s progress πŸ˜› this is such a great post Fadwa, so thought provoking ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome! It was actually a very random thought of mine that sparked this post idea haha.
      Oh yes, me too! To be honest, anything I didn’t understand was uncomfortable for me to read including MI. Same, especially as a Muslim (I know you can relate haha) anything that challenged me was a no but now I really don’t care, I even seek books like that.
      Yay thank you ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I LOVE this post. I agree with you. I gave up many books temporarily because I felt like I wasn’t ready for them. There are some books that I loved when I read them the first time but now when I look back to it, I fail to understand what made me like them.
    Great post. I really enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post, Fadwa! I don’t think this has ever happened to me – I mostly put books on hold because I’m a lazy procrastinator πŸ˜… – but I definitely believe this is a thing that happens! I especially feel like the triggering and confronting reasons are ones that could potentially apply to me. It’s one of the reasons why I keep putting off finishing The Bell Jar and why, even though I really want to, haven’t reread Thirteen Reasons Why. I actually love the idea of putting a book down because it’s not the right time, but then coming back to it and it having such an impact on you. I feel this all the time with bands. I’ll rediscover music at exactly the right moment.

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  15. This is such an interesting post Fadwa! I can’t remember if there’s a book that I wasn’t mature enough to read, but I do know that I’m glad that I didn’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower back when the movie came out like I wanted to (I just never got around to it) because I was just not mature enough yet. I probably also would’ve identified too much (which is one of the reasons why I love it so much but back then it would’ve been too confrontational). I seriously adore this post it’s so well-written and not something I ever really thought about!

    Like

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