[DISCUSSION] Challenging or Entertaining – Which Ones Should You Be Reading?

When I choose a book to read, that decision is not based solely on whether I want to read something that would inspire thought-provoking questions or not. I simply choose according to my mood.

Sometimes I want the book to take me places, show me lovely things, make me feel like a million bucks. On those particular days, I don’t want it to fucking bombard me with existential questions. I just want to escape. And at these times, novels, for me, are just a means to an end.

On the others, however, I am not content with just reading some fluffy tale of JACK – the rabbit and FLUFFY- the squirrel who had adventures in the Tree Land and in the end everything was happy-happy.

NOPE

Today, I want a glimpse of the ugly side of humanity. I want to read about everything that I didn’t know before. I want the castle of my beliefs blown to rubble with bombs of truth and in their place, I want new ideas planted. I want to know about all the horrors that went down in the history of the world and how they were faced. I want to know about people, their shortcomings – the dirty side of humanity – ALL OF IT.

I want to know it all.

These are the two basic moods which I, as a reader, identify with and which dominate the choices I make while deciding what to read.

It all comes down to what you find rewarding on what day. (But that’s not to say that a book can’t be both challenging and entertaining at the same time)

When I decide to read something that can potentially be described as ”challenging’‘, I don’t take it up because my mind goes –

”Okay, so I’d like to be a pretentious ass clown today and would like everyone around me to feel like failures so let me just get my swag on open this bad boy real quick.”

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NO.

I read it because I WANT  to. Because I think it’d be a rewarding, eye-opening, and mind-boggling experience.
It is as simple as that.

It’s just good ol’ curiosity.

And I think you only ever read something if the plot, or something about the author – this that or the other – sparks curiosity in you. Otherwise no matter what, you won’t even TOUCH the damn thing! And even if you DID, it won’t be as insightful because you will not go through with it BECAUSE you didn’t WANT to read it in the first place.
Because you didn’t think that the rewards of completing it would justify the act of reading the beast itself. 

We don’t read just for the satisfaction of having read a difficult book so we can boast about it, we read it to get something out of it. 

And the books aren’t challenging ME. I am challenging THEM to change my mind, to make my ideas conform to theirs. They might succeed and I’ll become their slave ❤ or I might remain unconvinced.

Either way, it’s not just about reading a complex work, it’s also about how that particular work of fiction gets it’s the point across and if the labor of going page-by-page through a ”challenging” novel for 500+ hours is, FOR YOU, worth the satisfaction and expansion of mind you will experience afterward. (But hey, you read enough of those seemingly complex books and soon they will become your leisure read instead! )

If, on any particular day, the answer to these questions is YES, I go and grab that baby. If, however, I am not feeling up to it though, I read my Katie Fforde and call it a day.

So, in the end, what I’d like to say is this –

Reading is SUCH a diverse hobby, with a number of different ways to go about it. It’s not for anyone else to decide what kind of novels YOU should read. If you feel like going towards the Classics section, then, by all means, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! But if you feel intimidated and just want to stick with your copy of Harry Potter and The Hobbit (LIKE I FREQUENTLY DO ;)) that’s okay too.

And anyway who the fuck said that the simple ones cannot be challenging enough anyway? Some of the most memorable pieces of fiction I have read have been deceptively minimal. (Think Mister Pip)

So, don’t think it has to be one or the other. IT CAN BE BOTH. Or it can be EITHER ONE. You decide. ❤

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I have still just scratched the surface with this one. What do you think? Do you agree with me? What are your thoughts on it?

16 thoughts on “[DISCUSSION] Challenging or Entertaining – Which Ones Should You Be Reading?

    1. Yeah, I totally agree! ❤ ❤ ❤ If I want to delve deeper into the works of a particular age, classic author, it’s going to be a hell of a challenge. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s a good thing to classify books in just two categories either, you know. I mean, they CAN be both, can’t they?

      That’s why I believe that it all depends on what your priorities are. For some people, going through a cumbersome read is just not rewarding enough because they don’t believe the long-term benefits of actually completing a tiring and challenging novel are going to be worth it. It's all about mood, motivation and of course, taste. 🙂 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep two lists; Dickens, Cervantes and Twain can go on the night table list, but Proust and Dostoevsky definitively not. Also on the night table list: pure fun reading. And do yourself a favor by not having more than ten books on each list.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I definitely agree with what you said! Most importantly that even the so called “not challenging” books can really shape and change a person. I’ve learnt a lot about the world, about people from Contemporary YA (not ALL Contemporary YA, mind you) and I think it’s an important genre. Also, having characters going through the same problems as you are going through (esp back when I was a teen) felt so validating. I think more “challenging” books are great too, I love reading classics and I’ve been trying more literary fiction and non-fiction, but like you said, only if you want to read them. Otherwise, I think, you’ll just end up disliking them. Anyhow, this was an amazing post!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! I mean there is more to reading than just classifying books into challenging and not-so-challenging ones. It all depends on the personal choice of the reader. And, as you said, it’s also dependant on what phase you are going through because just like music, you choose the book depending on what you feel like and what you need on any given day! ❤️❤️

      I AM SO GOAD YOU LIKED THE POST, Veronica!! 😍❤️❤️😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. SAMMEEE! I have nothing against the seemingly challenging ones! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM TOO! 😍 But I also think that just classifying books into two categories and then belittling readers who according to their choices is JUST NOT GOOD!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with you! I believe most of the people who don’t read books just haven’t found the topic or genre that speaks to them. And most of the time this happens because they think reading only counts if it’s the classics. You can’t be a reader unless you’ve read all of them. Like you can’t be a cinema fan if you haven’t seen all the IMDB Top 100. Blergh, I hate that way of thinking.

    Like you said, reading is an escape from real life. And I’m like you. Sometimes I feel like discovering more about the Dyatlov Pass Incident or even science and I’ll read non-fiction. other times I need a trashy romance. As long as reading doesn’t feel like a burden, I’m good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! I mean most often than not when someone is asked whether or not they have read this classic or that one and they they are fool to not have done so, they are discouraged from taking up reading AT ALL! I say, let them start with something that feels familiar and THEN build their way upto the more challenging and seemingly daunting works of fiction. I hate it when people judge others on the kind of books they read!

      Hahaaa!! EXACTLY! Sometimes I want to dive deeeeeep into a topic or a ente, and sometimes I am only looking for a feel-good escape. And I believe that there is nothing wrong with that either!

      Loved your comment! ❤️❤️😍

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it. I hope you get a chance to pick up Jane Eyre, I love that book, I know it’s perhaps a bit wordy for more modern tastes but its just a fantastic story and a great classic.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been wanting to read Jane Eyre for AGES!! And now I have officially put it on my October TBR….maybe, but I ABSOLUTELY ADORE CLASSICS and so, it’s going to be a treat to read it! 😍❤️❤️❤️

      Thank youu, Lynn! I am SOO GLAD YOU LIKED IT! ❤️❤️

      Like

  4. Wonderful post again, Rain!! I love books that challenge me and it’s sort of goes with my personality hahah Then again, books that are entertaining are also fantastic, especially in between challenging books. I think we just have to be one with our emotions to know what we want to read about or not. And you’re right, simple entertaining books can be very challenging too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! I love love looooveeee classics (most people assume them to be challenging soo…) but sometimes it’s soo much fun reading the kind is books that you can just immerse yourself in without any personal reflection that the reading of the former brings. Because some days ALL YOU WANT IS KNOW ABOUT OTHERS’ PROBLEMS SO AS TO FORGET ABOUT YOURSSS!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
      THANK YOUU SOOO MUCH FOR READING! I am so very glad you liked it! ❤️❤️😍😍

      Liked by 1 person

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