I'm certain I'm not the only one who is protective of my reading experience. These are my rules of reading, and they help me maximize my reading opportunities. The name of the rule represents the book (or one of the books) that influenced the rule.
What rules did I miss?
1. The Lost Symbol Rule: Read books that you suspect will be awesome.
Not all books are created equal, and just because the NY Times or your best friend says it's amazing doesn't mean you will think it's amazon too. Min 3.5 Goodreads. Min 4.0 on Amazon. Read the reviews. I want to know what I'm getting into, and a little bit of work before you start can save you a lot of time wasted on stupid books!
2. The Gone Girl Rule: Only read books that will make you feel happy when the cover is closed.
This is personal. I read to be uplifted and feel good, not just to feel. Set your boundaries and don't budge. For me that means PG-13 sex and language. No Zombies (barf). No Romance (double barf). No child abuse (too close to home). No cancer stories (cancer sucks).
3. The Harry Potter Rule: Never start a series until all the books are published.
I hate waiting out a cliffhanger more than anything. Binge reading a series is the only way to go. There are plenty of great books to read while you wait.
4. The Sanderson Rule: Rule 3 doesn't apply to anything written by Brandon Sanderson or anyone else I deem worthy.
This exists mainly because of The Stormlight Archive, but it also applies to anything I want. They are my rules after all.
5. The Mrs. Peregrine Rule: Rule 3 doesn't apply if you read the first in a series without knowing it's the first in a series.
Sometimes I get tricked and read a book that doesn't let on it's part of a series until the very end of the book. When that happens, the integrity of the Sanderson Rule is void and I'm free to read the second book as soon as it comes out.
6. The Earthman Jack Rule: Finish what you start.
If a book has enough good reviews and positive buzz to get past Rule 1, it must be finished to find out what all the hype is about. Sometimes you'll be glad you did, sometimes you won't.
7. The Body Rule: Rule 6 doesn't apply if it's going to break rule 2.
Sometimes you get blindsided. Rule 2 trumps rule 6.
8. The Ender Rule: Never spoil an ending for yourself or someone else.
How could you? That defeats the entire purpose of reading. Unacceptable.
9. The Watership Down Rule: If you love a book, share it.
Reading takes on a whole new purpose and finds an entire new level of satisfaction when you help someone else learn to love reading the way you do.
10. The Choas Walking Rule: Sometimes the rules don't matter.
Keep an open mind. You'll get surprised...over and over and over again.