Reading

Tips for Pushing Through a “Meh” Book

September 21, 2018

Have you ever been reading a book and thinking, “I’m not really feeling this book,” like I have? Over the years I’ve come up with a few different tips that have helped me push through the less appealing books.

Listen to it as an audiobook instead of sitting down to read. 

Having someone reading something to you can make it easier to get through.

Set up a specific number of pages before putting it in the Did Not Finish pile*

My personal number is 50 pages. Too little and you haven’t really gotten into the book, too much more and I try to convince myself that I’ve gotten too far to just give up.

Here’s a good example – the book Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. The first fifty pages of Twilight maybe some of the worst 50 pages of the entire series (unpopular opinion, maybe?), and because of that I originally put the book down. When a year later I grabbed it again, I didn’t finish reading until I had read the entire series.

Put the book down and pick up later (today, next week, in a few years). 

Much as with my experience in Twilight, I’ve found that your mentality and stage of life can affect the book-reading experience just as much as the actual words on a page. 

I’ve heard that Catcher in the Rye is best suited for teenage boys (around 13) and then for when you get older because it is a completely different reading experience. This probably isn’t science, but it does help me understand why I didn’t love it the first time I tried to give it a shot.

Block out a time period (say, 1 hour) where you’re going to get down to business.

I can often find myself getting up from my chair after one short chapter because of the natural stopping point, but a time deadline can help me push through. Most times when I employ this technique, I end up reading for much longer than an hour.

Be okay with giving up, if needed.

A book you don’t love isn’t worth your time, even if people say that you just have to read it. You don’t*.

*a note to me from high school – this is not an excuse to stop reading the books for assigned reading.


Do you have any helpful tips for getting through a book you’re not loving? Let me know in the comments below!

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