It used to be that I would finish a book, no matter how painful. I’d watch a movie to its ending or forge ahead with seasons of TV shows that I once loved but now was uncertain about. I saw things through. I labored until the end, not because I wanted to, but because I felt like I had to.
One of the podcasts that I listen to every Friday is NPR’s Pop Culture Hour. They’ve introduced me to some interesting new things, like Sylvan Esso (I’m seeing them at the Majestic in September thanks to NPR’s heads up!)
H.S.K.T (my personal favorite)
So, when one of the podcasters (is that a word?) started talking about Garth Nix and his book Sabriel I was intrigued by the name and the general summary of the book. Chick warrior on a hero’s journey to find her father. Cool, right? Plus, she had a cool name. Sabriel. I may or may not have posed the name as a future girl baby Turner to Kris.
I read a little bit of the book and stopped reading it. It wasn’t my cup of tea. The plot advanced and the world was built but there was no inner monologue of the character, no reflection on what she was doing. The emotion was missing. The action was there, but the character was some sort of machine going through the motions. I added finishing the book to my to-do list. I would read it anyway. After all, I went to the trouble of remembering the title, requesting it from the library, and I was even 50 pages in to the 270 pages.
I made it to page 100 and I gave up.
I flipped the switch, though. I loved the TV show Dexter, as I’m sure a lot of people did. However, it’s no secret the last few seasons became a joke. Kris watched the last season and invited me to join him. I watched a couple of episodes, but ultimately gave it up. I had made it through 7 seasons to give up on the last season. After watching bad plots and comical twists unfold, I had enough.
When is it okay to walk away? I’m encouraging myself, especially in the consumption of pop culture, to be more willing to stop wasting time. There is plenty of good, consumable pop culture that I want to read/watch/listen to. Time is so short. Read what you want, not what you think you should. If it isn’t making your pulse beat a little faster, you have the right to walk away. Watching a TV series to its finale when it lost its place three seasons ago is pointless. You spend hours waiting for the good five minutes. And you can’t get that time back. And you could’ve been listening to Sylvan Esso during that time.