Each week my buddy Alexis Fecteau and I have a movie night and over the years we must have watched over 100 movies together, of all different genres. Alexis and I are also avid readers and I really enjoy discussing books we have read together. Alexis and I have been locked in a debate recently about whether or not you should put a book down or stop watching a movie if you don’t enjoy it. My feeling is that you absolutely should, he of course disagrees. Here is exactly why I think that you should cut and run if you have given a movie or a book enough time to breathe, and you just aren’t enjoying it.
The biggest reason why I think that you shouldn’t carry on is that there just aren’t enough reasons to continue reading through a book or watching a movie that you just don’t enjoy. Even if there is some massive plot twist at the end, do you really want to suffer just to see this bait and switch? The answer fo me is not at all and whilst many think that there is some kind of twisted nobility in continuing, for me the bravest decision that you can make is to stop, and move on to something else.
We only live once and I always try to make sure that I maximize as many minutes in my life as I possibly can. With this in mind, I don’t want to waste my time on something that I am not enjoying, especially when I can use that time to watch another movie or read another book which I am much more confident that I am going to enjoy. This is another big reason why I’ll happily leave what I’m doing and try something else if I’m not having fun or if I find a book or a movie to be a struggle.
A lot of reasons why people persevere even when they are not enjoying what they are doing is because a friend or a critic has given a glowing review of a certain book or movie, and people don’t want to go against the grain and say that they couldn’t get to the end. For me this is nonsense and even reviews should always be taken with a pinch of salt because everyone has different tastes and opinions. In fact some of my favorite movies have terrible scores on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, indicating just how far apart people’s opinions can be. Simply because someone has recommended something doesn’t make it good, and this is why it is pointless ploughing on with a movie or book, even if someone has recommended it.
The next time that you are reading or watching, don’t feel duty bound to finish the piece, give it enough time and if you just don’t like it, leave it alone and move on with your life.