Reading Challenge: The Treat, the Challenge and the Bargepole

Posted: April 6, 2014 in Literature
Tags: ,


Would you believe it? My work-related training has actually given me a brilliant idea! Well, whether or not it’s “brilliant” remains to be seen, but it’s inspired me at any rate.

The task was to pick three books (I work in a library by the way) each with a specific criteria. It was designed to help us become less judgemental and to make recommendations that suit the reader’s tastes rather than our own. Technically I only had to list the titles, but you know what? Sod it, I’m gonna try reading all three!

Here’s how to pick ’em:

1. The Treat
This should be a book by an author you already know and love. Try and figure out precisely why their writing makes you tick (this is harder than it sounds!) then imagine all the reasons why another reader might be utterly repulsed by it. Remember that both opinions are equally valid.

2. The Challenge
The “I really should read this” choice. Probably something a wee bit highbrow. This should be a book that you imagine will be a bit more difficult for you than your average read but also a more enriching experience. Give it a go, see how far you get and ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. Be honest with yourself on this one.

3. The Bargepole
This should be a book that, under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot bargepole. Its existence should be an affront to humanity and just looking at the cover should make you cringe. Know what? You’re gonna read it! Because someone took the time to write it, someone published it and (odds are) it’s somebody’s favourite book in the world. With this in mind, try to find at least one redeeming quality. Y’know, while you’re mentally trashing it to bits!

And here are my choices:

1. Treat – Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
2. Challenge – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
3. Bargepole – Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Wish me luck, especially with that third one!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s