Recently, I’ve been trying to frantically catch up with my Goodreads reading challenge for 2016 (along with school and work and midterms starting in three days). I was behind schedule, but now I’m at 95 out of 100, which is on track, according to Goodreads. Some of the books I’ve been grabbing have been good, but one, What Light by Jay Asher, was so not my cup of tea that I had to DNF (did not finish) around page 150. Some of my friends asked me why I don’t finish books just because I don’t really like them. In this case, it was slightly because I want to finish my challenge, but I’m also a firm believer that you shouldn’t keep reading a book that’s making you miserable. It’s not fun.
“Life is too short to read books you don’t like.” That’s probably one of my favorite quotes, because I know some people who are against stopping books when they’re not done with them. I’ve tried to finish some books that I hated, for some reason. Maybe I wanted to write a review on it, or feel the satisfaction of finishing a book. But to me, that’s not the point of reading. I read because it’s my favorite thing to do, because it allows me to escape from the real world, because I love the world and characters that an author has created. I read for pleasure, even though sometimes books hurt me more than I would like. So when I come across a book that I don’t like, I don’t force myself to keep reading it when I know there’s a chance it could put me in another slump or make me unhappy and bored. I’d rather put down the boring books with forced plot and no character development and pick up an old favorite or something new that I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks. Since I’ve lost some reading time because of other life obligations, like school (junior year!) and work (making money!) and trying to get enough sleep, I’d rather spend my precious reading time in free moments or late at night reading something I enjoy.
So when I read a book and realize that the main character is at the right level of rude and annoying that they’re not going to have any development throughout the story or that the love interest is the opposite of interesting or that I just honestly cannot stand the plot, I just put the book down. I return it to the library, or offer to swap it with a friend, because it’s just not worth it to dread reading. It should be something you enjoy, otherwise, why are you doing it? (unless it’s required reading for school. you gotta do that.)
(if you keep reading books you don’t like or DNF like me, let me know why!)