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I Threw A Book Across The Room

March 9, 2014
I tried throwing that book on the right, but I pulled a muscle. (image via Wikimedia)

I tried throwing that book on the right, but I pulled a muscle. (image via Wikimedia)

Last night I threw a book across the room.  Actually, I threw two books across the room.  I didn’t dislike the books.  I just wanted to see what it was like to throw a book across the room.  I had never done it before.  There are lot of things I’ve never done before (and I probably won’t get to do a lot of stuff that I’d like to do), but I figured I could at least throw a book across the room.

The only reason I thought of throwing a book across the room is because a couple commenters on Dysfunctional Literacy have said they’ve done it when they didn’t like the books they were reading. It seems strange to throw a book across the room just because you don’t like it.  If I don’t like a book, I just give it to somebody I don’t care for.  But maybe that’s wrong, so I decided to try throwing a book across the room.

The first book I threw across the room was a thin paperback copy of World War Z by Max Brooks.  I read it a few months ago.  It was okay.  That’s my book review, it was okay.  My book reviews have gotten lazy recently, but at least I finished reading the book, which I don’t do often anymore.  There’s no resale value in a paperback copy of World War Z, so it was a good copy to throw.  The problem was that I have a ceiling fan in the room so I couldn’t put my full arm strength into my throw, and I throw like a girl, and the pages spread out when I threw the book, so the book didn’t go quite as far as I had hoped.  I was aiming for an ottoman on the other side of the room, but it didn’t quite get there.  It fell to the floor and scared my dog, who really wasn’t close enough to be scared.  Maybe I should get a new dog, but I’m not going to throw my dog across the room.

The second book I threw was a hardback copy of The Columbia History of the World.  I bought it decades ago when I was trying to pass myself off as an intellectual.  Every once in a while, I would read a section, especially when a long historical fiction novel became popular.  For example, every time Colleen McCullough wrote a new Rome book, I’d read about Rome in The Columbia History of the World and save a lot of time.

I haven’t read The Columbia History of the World in years, and it’s still in pretty good shape, so I knew it could take a good throw.  I really had to be careful with the ceiling fan this time.  The Columbia History of the World could take out the ceiling fan, even with one of my girlie throws.  This heavier book led to a more accurate throw, and I actually hit the ottoman, but The Columbia History of the World bounced/rolled off and hit the floor.  This time the dog barked, and my wife asked (yelled) from upstairs what was going on.  I told her I was throwing books across the room, and she told me (nicely) to stop.

I’d kind of like to throw an unabridged copy of The Oxford Dictionary or even an unabridged Merriam-Webster, but I’d need two hands to throw it, and I’d probably hurt myself.  Still, it would be entertaining.  Since I don’t have my own copy, I’d have to use the library’s, and I’d probably get kicked out of the library for throwing an unabridged dictionary.  The library would rather have a homeless guy talking to himself than a guy who throws unabridged dictionaries.  The library would rather have guys who watch porn on library computers than a guy who throws an unabridged dictionary.  It’s a safety issue.  Nobody has ever been hurt by guys who watch porn on public library computers.  The noise of an unabridged dictionary hitting the floor is probably pretty loud too.  Librarians don’t like loud noises.

Now that I read (or read samples of) a lot of books on my phone, it’s really not a good idea to throw a book across the room.  The paperback copy of World War Z that I threw across the room was less than 10 bucks.  My phone cost a bit more than that.  I’ve been tempted to throw my phone across the room a couple times, but never because of the book that I’m reading on it.

Now I don’t throw books across the room anymore.  But at least I’ve done it.  The next time I feel disappointed in a book, I will NOT throw it across the room.  Some people talk about throwing something at the television when they get mad at it.  Maybe I’ll try that next.  But if I throw anything at my television set, it won’t be a book.

39 Comments
  1. When I read a book I don’t like, I just donate it or return it to the local library!

    • Yeah, if I don’t like a book that I checked out from the library, I make sure NOT to give it to somebody whom I don’t care for because then I’d end up paying for the book. I also would not throw a book I checked out from the library, even if it is already in bad shape.

  2. Have you thought about a shotput?

    • I said I wasn’t going to throw any more books. If I try a shotput, am I going back on my word?

      • No. you are a man of your word. A gentleman and a scholar. Well, maybe not a scholar. Scholars don’t usually throw books. Well, maybe not a gentleman either….

  3. I usually just delete books from my Kindle when I don’t like them. I am definitely not going to throw my Kindle. I might buy an app that would show a video of a book being thrown across the room whenever I delete a book from my Kindle, if it was only 99 cents or so.

    • Ha ha! That’s a great idea! Maybe the app could give us several choices on how to get rid of the book: throwing it into something, ripping it up, burning it (in a non-censorish way), dropping it from a tall building onto the author’s head. This app has lots of potential.

    • Im completely for this! I delete from the kindle as well and wont throw mine either, its 3 years old and just got its first.scratch 😦

  4. I don’t think I could even lift some of those unabridged dictionaries. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a book across the room, but I’ve wanted to. Like James Joyce’s Ulysses, although I read that on my laptop, so it wasn’t an option.

    • That’s the thing about the unabridged dictionary. It’s the challenge of throwing it that intrigues me, not the desire. I respect the unabridged dictionary. I even respect Ulysses, but I’m not going to read it. I won’t even pretend that I’ve read it.

  5. I liked World War Z very much. You have thrown a book at my heart. I still liked your post though. My heart will mend. Eventually. And as my wife reminds (nicely) not everyone likes the same things as me.

    • I liked World War Z. I finished it; that means that I liked it. It just happened to be the book that was sitting around when I decided to throw a book. Let your heart mend now and worry no more about this.

      • Like the hour that disappeared when I turned my clock ahead this morning my worries have vanished. You are no longer on my list of “People Who Are Gonna Get Their’s.”

  6. lifeofareaderblog permalink

    I have thrown twilight books across the room…more specific “New Moon” it was a terrible experience.

    • Yeah, I agree about the “New Moon” – I didn’t like it ether (well, okay, I hated it), but still I didn’t throw it. First I read it from start to end, but all other times I just skipped the places I don’t like and it was like more than a half of the book.

      • lifeofareaderblog permalink

        I’ve only read it once. I did the same I would go back a read the part where she goes to Italy, but other than that I absolutely hated that book.

      • lifeofareaderblog permalink

        I tried to give it a chance, it took me two weeks to read it. I was so glad to move on to “Eclipse”, which turned out to be my favorite.

  7. Have you given a thought to book burnings? That’s what people used to do when they really didn’t like their books.

    • I don’t want to be that controversial. You can’t burn anything without offending somebody. If I burn a book, that will offend one group of people. If I burn a flag, that will offend somebody else. If I burn a cigarette, I’ll really get in trouble. I just stay away from fire altogether.

  8. Yeah, dude, the book on the right for throwing, it was for shot-put. Or discus.

  9. I really can’t imagine myself throwing a book across the room. Even if I don’t like that book. I just stop reading it and return to the library (if it is from the library).

    • I imagined myself throwing a book across the room a couple times before I actually did it, but I don’t think it’s necessary for you to imagine yourself doing it. I think you can just throw a book and see what it’s like without imagining it first.

  10. almightylewry permalink

    Reblogged this on almightylewry and commented:
    Might have to consider throwing stuff across the room!

  11. I have to confess, I tried throwing a dictionary across the room, back in my days as a university student. Despair and frustration with the glorious German language had gotten the best of me and the violent act against the dictionary did have an uplifting effect – but only for a few seconds, until I remembered how much the stupid thing cost me 🙂

    • Hey, at least you actually threw a dictionary! I never have. Was it unabridged? If you threw an unabridged German dictionary, I would be completely in awe of you.

      • It was 🙂 I must’ve been pretty angry that I was able to actually throw it. But I never repeated the experience, I care too much about my books… even when they are dictionaries.

  12. My friend used to work in the stacks at our university and I went to visit her one day for lunch and found her in a pile of books that had fallen off the shelves. I started to laugh and she started throwing the books at me. Let me tell you agricultural records hurt when they hit you in the shins. BTW no one in the library heard it because nobody goes to the stacks unless they’re working there or up to no good.

    • When I was in college, I heard a lot of stories about what went on in the stacks. Getting hit by a book (or an agricultural record) was the least of our worries.

      • Well it’s definitely not the most exciting stacks story I can tell but I figured since the topic was throwing books it was probably appropriate to stick with that one. 🙂

  13. This post was hysterical

  14. I am not one to throw books across rooms, but if I were I would love to throw World War Z. I don’t know what I did with my copy of TCHOTW, which I bought for the same reason and never read, I probably sold it to Half Price, which probably got me a quarter, which means throwing it across a room would have been more satisfying.

    The next level of throwing things across rooms is not throwing them at the television but throwing the television itself across a room. Or out a window. I’ve never done that, but I once knew a guy who did. He had just returned from a year with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, having brought back a wife who didn’t speak English and was half his age, which maybe factored into things in some way.

    • And I thought I was being adventurous by throwing something AT the television. It never occurred to me to throw the television itself. I don’t think I’m ready for that step yet.

  15. I just finished reading Ender’s Game for the first time. Honestly, I thought it was ok. The first half of the book was much better than the second half, though I have the feeling that the psychological battle I am currently having with the second half of the book will bring me around to respecting and eventually thanking the book that holds a middle-ish rank in my head (for the moment). At least now I can see the movie. I have friends who have said it is worth seeing.

    There are plenty of movies I would love to throw across the room.
    Books have my respect more than their spin-off cousins.
    Hopefully the movie version of Ender’s Game won’t leave me wishing I had a real DVD to chuck at the wall instead of a computer streaming a bad movie against its will.

    That is all.

    -M.M.

    • Throwing a DVD movie would probably damage the DVD more than throwing a book damages the book. I’ve rented lots of DVDs that were damaged. I wonder if former renters threw those DVDs. I might watch Ender’s Game too, but I don’t think I’ll throw it. I liked the book, even the second half, and from what I’ve seen in the previews, the movie at least tries. Sometimes movies don’t seem to try (if that makes sense) or they try too hard.

  16. There have been many sleepless nights and years of insomnia, where I have shut my Bible after prayer and felt so forsaken and enraged by my plight that I have entertained the notion of hurling the Bible against the wall, or better yet–throwing it into the yard. But then I figure I better not anger God, so I always opt against it.

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