There Are No Books You HAVE to Read


If a book makes me want to keep reading, it’s the right book.

If a book makes me want to start writing, it’s the right book.

Any other book is not the right book. (Right now.)

Austin Kleon


Most people who say they don’t like reading just haven’t found the right books for them. There’s no book you HAVE to read. There’s no book you have to force yourself to like.

I love the /r/GateKeeping subreddit where users share screenshots of obnoxious gatekeepers. Here’s how they define the term:


Gatekeeping is when someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity.


Here’s a sillier example:


Don’t believe gatekeepers. Especially around books. Who cares if you don’t like the classics? Who cares if you only read books less than 200 pages? Read things that make you want to keep reading.

I like how Kleon’s quote ends with the clarification that any book that doesn’t make him want to read more or write more isn’t the right book (right now). Remember, that people change. You’ll change. Your preferences will change. You’ll grow and evolve and adapt. You don’t have to force yourself to read boring books now. Just read what you want to read. Who knows, maybe after a year of consistently reading you’ll be interested in picking up new, challenging books.

Just read something.

If you’re looking for something new to read, why not pick up my book, In the Altogether? People who don’t normally like reading are reading it and that’s the biggest compliment for me.