The rule of the three

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We live in a world currently dominated by new media releases, everyday, all the time. Wherever I look there’s always a new TV show, a new movie, a new book — and for me, most recently —, a new anime or a new manga. All of them are great, all of them the kind you wouldn’t like to miss, because… well, just because.

It is humanly impossible to keep up with everything newly released so I don’t even try. But for those released media that do call my attention, I try to be very selective. That’s why I’ve come up with a personal principle, a rule: I call it the rule of the three. And to be clear, that’s a practice I’ve developed after having seen it (or read about it, or listened to it, I just can’t recall it) or a close version of it, so I’m not claiming originality, far from it.

The rule is very simple: I take a book, and read three chapters into it. I take a TV show and watch three episodes of it. After that, I decide whether I’m hooked or not. Has it been interesting or compelling so far? if I answer yes, then me and myself have a deal, and I keep reading the whole story, or watching the whole TV show season.

With movies, it’s honestly harder for me to apply the rule of the three, mostly because 3 minutes into a movie plot there usually isn’t any guarantee so much will have been perceived about the plot. So I might double, or triple the time — even round it to ten whole minutes depending on the circumstance. But the idea remains: have a feel of the general idea, the overall plot and weight the worthiness of my while. Easy.

To be honest I may also occasionally read one or two additional chapters of a book or watch a couple more episodes — also to grab the story and its potential value.

Believe me when I tell you: my rule of the three has been with me for quite some years now, and it has spared me from spending — wasting — precious, limited time. This way I could redirect my time and enjoy the best content possible among the endless possibilities.

One response to “The rule of the three”

  1. miljko Avatar


    1. Welcome back!
    2. Yes, absolutely. I always did this for shows, but I’ve started doing it for books as well and yes, some are just not worth the effort.

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