Opinion: Quit or power through? The bad book dilemma.

When you’re 50 pages in and hating every syllable what’s a bibliophile to do? Do you keep reading, hoping that some new wisdom will penetrate your cranium? Or do you quit and accept that it’s just not meant to be?

 I like to think I’m not a quitter. I try to give authors and their books a chance, after all that’s all we want as writers (aside from JK Rowling level fame.)

Most of the time I manage to get through, but I have met with some books I had to give up on.

Ullysses by James Joice, read half way, still have no idea what it’s about, but I think someone has a bath.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville, read the spark notes, blagged the exam, continue to refer to myself as Captain Ahab.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, I know. I feel bad, but a little bit not. 

I read one article earlier this week that advocated powering through books you hate like a sadist. The argument was that it made you a better critic and would help you to establish a stronger understanding of your own values. Then I watched a vblog about how it’s okay to toss them aside. We’ll never read all of the books in the world so what makes reading some more important than others.

I’d love to hear what you do? Is it so many pages then you put the book down. Or do you drag your brain kicking and screaming til the end? Do you punish yourself for giving up and promise you’ll try again another day?

What books have you given up on? (I may read them for you. In exchange for you telling me which silks Mrs Bennett went for in the end.)

Let me know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Opinion: Quit or power through? The bad book dilemma.

  1. If it’s driving me crazy to the point where I just can’t handle it, I put it aside. I pick it up twice after that, and if I still can’t do it, then life is too short!!
    Love the “I think someone had a bath” comment!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคฃ


    1. Haha, yes! I normally try twice then it goes on a nice extended holiday to the charity shop. I do always feel a little bit guilty though if I give up, what’s that all about?! Someone is definitely going to come along and tell me Ulysses is a masterpiece. I’m not buying it one bit! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m one of those who tries to trudge on even if I am not enjoying a book in hoping it would turn the opposite direction but I am starting to understand that forcing ourselves simply takes away the enjoyment of reading that book. So, yeah if we are not liking it even a bit, I think dnf is the way to go.


  3. Firstly, thank you for following my blog!

    Secondly on the subject at hand I am split either way with bad books, sometimes you can power through and it picks up later on and suddenly your gripped. Or it can be trite and boring all the way through and you’ve continued to waste your time.

    The tactic I use is to speed reading at a really quick pace getting the basic jist of the plot, then giving up if it still doesn’t pick up.

    Great post

    All the best


    1. Hi James! No problem ๐Ÿ˜. Speed reading is a good shout, I’d worry about ruining it for myself, but actually there’s nothing to lose if it’s not good to begin with! I try to read some books, if I can’t get into them I put it aside for five years then try again ๐Ÿ˜‚ it’s not a very effective method!

      Liked by 1 person

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