Some books are centripetal - they suck you in - and some books are centrifugal - they spin you out.
Here is an idea I love that may or may not be true: Some books are centripetal — they suck you in from other books. Some books are centrifugal — they spin you out to other books.
This, by the way, is not an original theory of mine. I first heard it from my friend Matt Thomas, over a decade ago. “Good movies, I find, are centrifugal,” he once tweeted. “That is, they spin you out—to other movies, ideas, art, people.” He’s also tweeted that he finds Facebook centripetal (it sucks you in) and Twitter centrifugal (it spins you out).
Matt suggested to me that there’s a third category of work: the work that doesn’t spin you at all, the work that doesn’t move you in any direction. These books are to be avoided.