Economist Tyler Cowen talks about the sunk cost fallacy and why continuing to read a bad book is unproductive and a waste of time in the article “Closing the book on a bad read” in the July 24 Washington Times:
“People have this innate view — it comes from friendship and marriage — that commitment is good. Which I agree with,” he says. That view shouldn’t, he says, carry over to inanimate objects.
It’s not that he’s not a voracious reader — he finishes more than a book a day, not including the “partials.” He just wants to make the most of his time.
“We should treat books a little more like we treat TV channels,” he argues. No one has trouble flipping away from a boring series.
Do you have a pile of books on your nightstand that have been lingering for months or years because you can’t seem to bring yourself to finish them? Are your bookshelves filled with books that you plan to get to one day but just can’t muster the energy to slog through them? If so, I vote to abandon the books. Say farewell to the bad to make room for the good.