Expectations. Are they a good thing?


The other day, I started rambling on Instagram about expectations and how they affect us and our reading (in this case) experience and I thought I could talk in more depth in a blog post than in an Instagram caption. Let's be honest, it’s easier to write on a laptop keyboard than on the phone's one.

The thought I started on that caption was about how tricky expectations can be. We set our minds around certain expectations that might be or might not be founded and if the book doesn't comply with them, we get annoyed, we can even get mad and we are overall disappointed. We blame the book. We claim that is the book's fault for not keeping to our expectations. We say: I had such high expectations for this book and it has failed me. 

But is it really the book's fault? Isn't it us who prejudged it? Before reading it we decide that the book is this or that. And when it's not, it's its fault or its author, not ours.

I'm not saying that it's completely our fault either. Not always anyways. Sometimes the marketing behind it is misleading, sometimes it's sold in a way that invites us to think something about the story that it's not what it really is. Sometimes you see it all around the book community and everyone raves about it and how great it is. It creates so much hype that, when you get to read it and your opinion differs, you get disappointed.

That's why some people decide to know nothing about certain books or even choose to have low expectations about them so it surprises them when the book turns out to be better than they had expected. This again is also tricky, since it can also provoke a lower enjoyment of our reading experience.

The key, then? In my opinion is to keep your expectations as balanced as possible and always, always have an open mind. And what if it disappoints you anyway? Well, don't get mad about it. It's not your fault, it's not the book's fault. It's not even such a big deal. You don't like it? So what? There's plenty of other books out there to read and enjoy. Also, life would be very boring if we all liked the same things. There's a Spanish saying that goes like this: en la variedad está el gusto, which means that it's in diversity (in all its aspects) that we find the excitement of new and different things so life doesn't get monotonous and is able to evolve.

So, what do you guys think? Are expectations a good thing? I don't think they are a bad thing per se but they definitely are something we must be aware of and careful about how we deal with them. 

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