Read a book that you hate.
The messages and ideas that have most deeply changed my outlook on life have been from books that I hated. Some ended up being books that I now like. Others, I still loathe and have been expunged from my library.
However, I have yet to regret reading a book that I hated.
For the sake of not prompting people with a negative bias towards material they haven’t read, I don’t want to mention any books offhand. That being said, there have been times in my life where I wanted to throw a book I was reading across the room. Tear out the pages. Write ‘IDIOT! LIAR!’ in big red pensrokes across a paragraph. Somehow holler at the author through time and space, or into a grave. Just because of how diametrically opposed the author’s view of the world was from mine.
Sometimes they have been fiction books, sometimes philosophy. But no matter how wrongly I was rubbed, I’ve always come away with something. Some nugget of inter-personal connection between my mind and the Text. Some kind of ‘aha’ moment. A fact or detail about life that I appreciated. Something human.
Schopenhauer said that bad literature was like poison. Robbing people of their reason and infecting their minds. I think that’s a bit extreme. I’m not suggesting people walk through the romance novel kiosk of a gas station with an open wallet. Absorbing contrary opinions is healthy. It works against the slow drift into confirmation bias and loosens up your mind, albeit a bit painfully.
Getting through a book that you hate can change you for the better.