On Acquired Taste (Lessons Learned from Book Lending)
Some months ago I had lent my copy of “Thinking: Fast and Slow” to a friend, persuading him to read it because it had influenced my thought very much (as in “Black Swan”-, “Antifragile”-, and “The War of Art”-level) making it perhaps one of my top 10 most life-influencing non-fiction books of all time.
That’s why I was disappointed to learn that after flirting a little with the first few pages, my friend gave up on the book and forgot about taking it up entirely.
How could this be?? I thought. Even others who have read the book agreed that it was excellent, that Kahneman’s thought had radically changed theirs as much as mine.
I eventually got the book back and lent it to another friend. A week has passed and I’m starting to feel that neither he will read it. :(
Because of this, a realization occurred to me. Certain books (like music, I guess) are acquired tastes, desirable only for experienced readers. To the inexperienced, such books are a bore.
I’m reminded by bands such as Tame Impala and Toro y Moi (WTF are you listening to?? I was once asked).
Yet, I feel, when one learns to “transcend” into these acquired tastes, one enters into a whole new dimension of enjoyment.
*Now that I mention it, it seems to me that my favorite, favorite things (books, songs, pieces of art) are “acquired tastes” — i.e. I didn’t like them on the first try. It took some time for me to like them but after awhile it’s like I can’t get enough of them.