Nov 15, 2010

Posted by in Question | 27 Comments

Question – How Do You Read a Book You Are Really Not Enjoying?

When I love the book that I’m reading, I read every detail but I read it quickly.  I want to know what’s going to happen next.  I want to know the “why” behind what’s happening.  I want to know how the story will all tie in together at the end.  I want to get to that *sigh* I feel after reading those two words that make me a little sad but that bring me to a blissful place at the same time:  the end.

When I don’t so much love a book, I tend to read it even faster because I’m skimming.  I kind of get lost sometimes while doing this, but I’m just not interested in going back to uncover the little detail that will answer to my confusion.  And I usually skip the love scenes too.  *Gasp* I know.  If I just can’t get into the characters, why would reading about them doing the nasty make me like them even more?  And, that’s a whole section I can skip without worrying about missing some vital information (most of the time).

As for Did Not Finish reads.  Well, I’ve yet to DNF a book.  I’ve skimmed and skipped, but I’ve never disliked something enough to render it DNF.  I really don’t know how bad a book will have to be before I give up on it.  And all that leads me to my question:

How do you read a book that you are really not enjoying? and How bad does a book need to be for you to render it DNF?

  1. I definitely skim if I find a book to be “meh” but still want to see what happens at the end.

  2. I DNF. There are too many good books out there to stick with one that is a stinker.

  3. I skim if I want to know what happens to the characters, I DNF if I don’t care. I have too many books in my TBR to force myself to keep reading.

  4. If I have an ARC of requested read for review then I stick with it. It’s hard, basically reading becomes somewhat of a chore but only that way I can write a constructive review.

    If I have a book from my own TBR pile I’m very easy, if the book doesn’t hold my attention for whatever reason, I put it back for another day and pick a new book. Like many, I have too many(possibly) great books to get to 😀

  5. Katie – And hope that the ending doesn’t suck too badly. I’m like you. 🙂

    Mandi – You’re right about there being so much more to read. Why waste your time?

    Patti – Very well put. If you don’t care, DNF. I like that.

    Leontine – I guess you do have somewhat of an obligation if it’s an ARC. That’s a good point. 🙂

  6. I think this is a hard question. Generally I persevere and read it and try not to skim read too much of it because I’ve forked out my money for it.

    If it’s part of a series that I enjoy, I’ll read it and force myself to read everything because sometimes you do get an odd one that doesn’t measure up and sometimes after halfway they can get better and if I plan to read the one after that I get lost and confused if they link and I skim read.

    But I have just had my very first DNF which made me uncofortable because the book had good review and I had read a previous book by the author and liked it just really really couldn’t get into it at all!

  7. I sure struggled this week and skimmed like crazy! And I did not even skim fast cos I was bored. But to be DFN, well then it has to be rotten or there is just nothing that keeps my interest

  8. Ally – I hadn’t thought about a book in a series that you follow. I guess you couldn’t DNF that one because it may mean you’d be completely lost in the next book. Good point. 🙂

    blodeuedd – Bored is never good.

  9. I keep reading because I keep thinking… this has got to get better.

    I usually buy only books that have gotten good reviews from blogs that I follow. For the most part, this has worked out for me. I can only think of one book that I DNF and it was a freebie. It was obvious why it was free.

  10. The only time I can’t finish a book is if the author’s voice and I dont mesh. (this has happened twice to me) I give it 2 or 3 chapters and I’m still like “you sound stupid” then I stop.

    If an author has given me a book to review I push through, and skim when need be. (i try not to skim too much though b/c then you’re not really getting the whole experience are you?)

  11. Most of the time when I don’t like a book, I try to keep reading in the hopes that it will improve the more I read. Most of the time it doesn’t and I just wind up more and more disappointed, but I feel compelled to try. That being said, I’ve not been able to finish a few, and like everyone else has said, it was because I just didn’t care and couldn’t bring myself to be involved with the characters. It’s hard for me to admit defeat though;)

  12. Why are you reading a book you don’t like? If the book can’t hold my interest then I have 100 others just waiting to grab my attention. Depending on the author and story – I may (and have) gone back and finished up books. With so many good books and so little time to read, I don’t waste any time I don’t have by reading a book that can’t hold my attention.

  13. Usually if I am not into a book I put it aside. In most cases I give it the benefit of the doubt and chalk my disinterest up to not being in the mood for that book at that time. Which is usually the case. Most times I will go back to it when I am in the mood for it and usually enjoy it. I read a wide variety of genres and I am very much a mood person when it comes to my entertainment so that works for me. It’s funny though, if I absolutely hate it I will either continue reading it waiting for it to redeem itself or I will give it up and label it DNF. This rarely happens but there are instances.

  14. Melissa – “It has got to get better”. I think that’s common thinking. I mean, can a book be bad all the way though? lol

    Jess – “You sound stupid” LMAO!

    Jenny – It is hard to admit defeat! I feel guilty when I don’t like something so I understand you. 🙂

    Judi – Don’t waste your time. Good advice for sure!

    Vanessa – Put the book aside and try it again at some later date. That’s another good piece of advice that I had not thought of. 🙂

  15. I have only DNFd one book and it was mostly because I had a horrific case of ADD while reading it. I truly could not pay attention and the more time I was forcing myself to read it the more anxious I grew about other books I was dying to read that were most likely better. Just one. And I still have it saved to the page I left off because I felt really guilty leaving it and will probably go back to it one day 🙂

  16. I’ve never not finished a book! I agree that I may not pay as much attention as I should…LOL. I’m actually reading a whole series (well 3 books) and I haven’t really cared for any of them…I just want to know what happens!!

  17. Spaz – Readers ADD. That’s funny. 🙂

    Sharon – I get a little bitchy if I read a few books in a row that I’m not into. But you do want to know what’s next, even if you don’t mesh well with the authors voice.

  18. I also do what you do in skimming and skipping the love scenes in books that seem to drag just to get to the end. However, I have had some DNF. I will start a book and it’s really not holding my attention. Then another book comes out that I really want to read. I stop reading the first one so that I can get to one I’ve been waiting on and never go back to the first one. By default, it becomes a DNF. I never can make myself go back and finish it.

  19. I thought of one other thing. It matters whether I have read and liked the author before. If I’m trying the author for the first time and it is dragging, then I am more likely to stop and go to something else I want to read. If I have enjoyed the author in the past, then I am more apt to push on and finish it.

  20. Jill – That’s a really good point about the new author. If you know what the author is capable of, you’re more likely to stick with it. Very nice! 🙂

  21. Hello Julie,

    First to answer your questions I DNF a book if I do not like it. I agree with Mandi that I just have too many other books out there that I really want to read to waste my time with a book I do not really enjoy.

    My second part is that I have been wanting to start my own “Book Review” blog, which I did in May with one book and now have added two more books. But I really like how you have create this site (not that I want to copy everything you are doing) but I love how it is like a real website and not just another blog…how did you do that??!! Also how did you learn to write such good reviews? Mine really aren’t that great…I guess I’m just looking for a little advice from a fellow reader/reviewer. 🙂 I added my e-mail above but incase you don’t see that it is ( please e-mail me if you would like and if you have the time. 🙂

  22. I DNF the book. I used to struggle through it but there so many books to read. I move on.

  23. I usually read even slower if I do not like it. I read most books in about a day but if I don’t like them it will take me a couple weeks. I rarely DNF them. I figure they will get better. I have DNF a couple though.

  24. FV- You’ve matured! lol

    Jeniffer – Wow, you’re DNF must have been really really bad…

  25. It’s really rare that I have not finished a book. But if I am more than a quarter of the way through and really struggling, then I will set it down, read something else and try again. If I just can’t move forward on it then I’ll give it up.
    Like you if I am really not enjoying it but it has some merit I skim, unless its a review book in which case I am more careful. Oddly enough it doesn’t mean I finish it any quicker because I get distracted by other things much easier.

  26. shelleyrae – Skim skim skim! Woot! (by the way, I LOVE your avatar!)

  27. Great question and answer! It takes me longer to read a book that I don’t enjoy. Sometimes I’ll switch back and forth between a good book and a not so good book. I rarely read two books at once. So I know it’s not for me when… DNF is extremely rare for me. I have the nasty habit of feeling like I always need to finish what I start.

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