(S)He Who Disagrees With A Book

What makes one not to prefer a book? Picking up a book is an act of curiosity, or out of necessity, or whatever reason, probably to fill the time? We hope to understand what the author put down; but the book isn’t always that great.

Some of you just hate books, whatever the reason. Others are more critical to book contents, tending to criticize while they read. Other more are less critical, or delayed critical (like one self), whom tries to understand what the author said first, then later if we feel not right, criticize it. No right or wrong, just different approaches. And these wide variety of approaches means, there will always be 1 or 2 star(s) (out of 5, on Goodreads) for every book. If you found a book that don’t have such, one’d like to believe that, it’s more probably those 1 or 2 star comments got blocked than you’d wrote a really good book, because the latter is far less probable, given the imperfection of humans whom wrote the book. Also, it might be unpopular, so no one read it, and those that read it are your friends, and you may threaten them to not be friends if they give less than 3 stars or something, that’s also a possibility.

One possibility is previous books read. Some people reading the book find its information surprising, because they’ve never read something on the topic before. Others whom read “too much” topic on the subject found it vomiting. Still others found the book’s content not fitting what they believe, discard it as useless. Authors writing a book usually have “one big idea”, and a huge percentage of books written by the same author, nonfiction, one can equate it to that “one big idea”, so reading one book is enough, while subsequent ones probably is a repeat of the original, with or without additional details. Unless the author changed his/her mind and write a book to criticize his/her own previous book.

You’d wish you don’t bring your emotions into reading books? Actually, no. Emotions are what contracts one signed with the book, to continue reading. Yet, the emotional burden means, when you encounter something so distinct from what you believe, or something that you don’t feel like that’s what you need, at least at this point in your life, or that you believe what the author speaks of is nonsense (with facts backing it up or not), they’re what stopping you from continuing reading. E.g. there was a book that one wished it was on friendship years ago; alas, it’s on Christianity, and one isn’t Christian, nor one wish to be a Christian, so it reaches a point where one couldn’t continue reading anymore. There would be similar readers out there that does so.

Then, you might read the comments by 1 or 2 star(s) before starting a book. Don’t. You’re imposing other people’s emotions on yourself, a.k.a. putting others in your shoes. How do you know you’d feel like them if you never started the book? Therefore, comments are best read when you finished the book, to see what criticizes it, to allow you to change your mind, and remind yourself that the author is just a human like you, imperfect, and that (s)he only have a piece of puzzle to what’s written. You can learn more, then, from other people’s comments, and search for the truth, or at least, get closer to a broader point of view.

So, Why People in the Distant Past Don’t Criticize?

How do we know they don’t criticize? They probably do.

The past 500 years-ish, the advent of international travels allows the exchange of information worldwide. Also, faster land travels between villages, tribes, etc. also allows the exchange of information. We could make an assumption, that most, if not all, people of the same tribe holds a point of view, or an information; and if they never meet another tribe, how do they criticize their information? “Criticize” isn’t even in their minds, they just learn. It’s only when contrasting information aggregates that we can “criticize” something.

Therefore, with so many information out there, we can’t be sure that our ideas are original anymore. Probably someone had thought it before. And about writing books, one had a hypotheses that many books are just a compilation of existing informations found by our ancestors. Author first gather information tribe to tribe, make a summary of it, then expand the summary to become a book. Similarly today, you start researching on a topic about what other people already put on paper, then you bring them together, and it forms a book.

Where are the new books, you’d say? New is a relative word. In fact, we consider something “new” only because we’ve never encounter it before. How can you be sure the information isn’t taken from our ancestors? If they are, how can they be new? Someone probably had an eureka moment before you, most of the time. No fret. Really, the only thing one can consider new are those frontiers in scientific researches; other information most probably are old.


  • How many percentage of author wrote on one big idea across multiple books is unknown to me. You’d need research more. An example is “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. Legendary big idea; but subsequent book “Digital Minimalism” isn’t that interesting anymore. An example of split topic are books by Adam Grant: where his books is actually his research topics/categories that’re not totally distinct, but distinct enough for me to consider them separate ideas.

  • In other words, each tribe holds a piece of the puzzle to a complete picture.

Subscribe to Wabinab
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.