What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh? | Alexia's Books and Such...: What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh?

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh?

What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh? Keep reading or put it down and move on?

What do you do when a book is just... meh? You don't hate it, but you don't love it either. But, and this is a big but, there's just something about it that keeps you reading. 

Whether you want to find out if it lives up to its promise or you've become invested in the characters or for some other reason, you're just not ready to put it on the DNF pile just yet. How do you handle this?

Read a book not that long ago that fell into the Meh category. The writing wasn't bad , the premise was intriguing, and the characters were fully developed, but there was just something about it that didn't click with me and I had to struggle to finish the book. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the story that I could put my finger on, we were just incompatible. 

Why did I keep reading? Partly because it wasn't bad enough to add to the DNF pile, partly because I wanted to see how everything turned out. But it took me weeks to read instead of the usual day or two. 

To be honest, I thought about putting it down and starting another book, with the intention of coming back to Mr. Meh later. But I know me. If I put a book down, odds are that I'm not going to pick it up again no matter what promises I make.

Curious how others handle this type of read. So please tell me, how do you handle Meh books?

30 comments:

  1. For me, it depends on why I originally picked it up and how many books are currently in a pile, waiting to be read. If a friend recommended a book to me, or if the book has built up a lot of buzz and a big fan base, I'll generally struggle through it. But if I just picked it up on a whim and I have a stack of (hopefully better) books waiting to be read, I'll abandon it.

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    1. I'm usually better at putting down books that aren't working for me, but there was just something about this one that kept me reading. It was in that weird middle ground of not bad, but not good either.

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  2. I really hate giving up on a book but I'm beginning to realize how silly it is to keep pursuing a book I'm not enjoying. Also I've been thinking how interesting it is that we book bloggers sometimes think of we don't finish a book every couple of days we're failing or the book must suck. I'm realizing sometimes books just take more time and may be worth it in then end. Not that my opinion helped. Sorry.

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    1. It's actually easier for me to send a book to DNF Purgatory if I hate it, but it's the Meh books I'm having trouble with. My new strategy is to read another book at the same time, hoping that the good reading karma will rub off on the Meh title! Yeah, I'm weird.... ;)

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  3. Interesting question. I've had books like this, but I guess I tend to read more than one novel at the same time, so I just go back and forth. The Meh book might take longer to read, but I still have some quicker (better) books to get through too.

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    1. I'm trying this strategy, so fingers crossed it will help me get through the Mehs!

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  4. I usually give up a book, unless it's a classic, if I'm not fully engaged by 100 pages. After that, I've figured I've given it enough time. However, there are some books that I will keep reading, but I don't know why. It's weird.

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    1. It's a weird situation. I've had books I've loved and books I've hated, but the Mehs are starting to get to me!

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  5. If I get to the point where I'm asking why am I reading this or am finding things to do other than reading...I quit. Maybe not a full DNF but a 'try at a later date'. I've got too many review books on my list to spend extra days on a meh one that's taking me longer to read than normal.

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    1. I have too many books in my TBR pile too and know I should probably set it aside, but I also know that once I do, I'll never pick it up again. Going to try being a reading polygamist with the Meh books and hope that helps!

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  6. I probably shouldn't say this, but I'd put it down. There are so many great stories out there and so little time to read them all. Don't hate me. :-(

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. You're right! There are so many good books out there! The Meh books aren't bad, they just aren't good either. Weird situation for me all around.

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  7. Pretty much as you do. I push through hoping I'll be rewarded in the end, but I wasn't in a recent case. Still, I have a hard time DNF'ing books anyway and it really has to push a button for me to do so anymore.

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    1. I'm getting better with the DNF choices, but the Meh books are harder for some reason. Guess I keep hoping they'll get better! This one didn't. :(

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  8. As a seasoned blogger/reviewer I have done two things..expanded the genres and authors I read AND learned to DNF. If I am not in it by 100 pages..I ditch it arc or not. I usually let the author/publisher or whoever gave it to me know why and write a short why I DNF'd on Goodreads

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    1. I'm getting better with not finishing books, but some fall into this weird middle ground where I'm not loving the story, but not hating it either. Need to stop forcing myself to keep reading, but it's harder than expected.

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  9. Too stubborn - or is it I just live in hope that the book will get better? No matter whether a book is meh or downright awful I feel compelled to see it through to the end.

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    1. Maybe being too stubborn is my problem too? Hope springs eternal, right? ;)

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  10. It's funny that you mention this, I was struggling with this last month. I can normally read a book in a few days, even if I'm busy, but it took me a month to get through this audiobook and I had those same feelings. I finally ended up finishing it and to be hones I wish I had DNF'd it because it got weird at the end and I ended up not even giving it an "ok."

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    1. Every now and again a Meh book will be worth the read, but doesn't happen often enough to suffer through boring reads. Guess I need to get tougher and stop reading anything that doesn't wow me!

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  11. If I finish them, I rarely review them, b/c "MEH" pretty much sums it up, but since I've started BR, I'm often reading more than one book at a time, so if I put in down in favor of something else . . . it sits on my currently-reading bookshelf on Goodreads until I take off months later ;)

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    1. After investing all that time reading it, I'm surprised you don't review it. I know that if I put a book to the side that I'll never pick it up again, but maybe if I read more than one book at a time that will help me get through the Mehs?

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  12. I usually keep reading and finish the book. It's not that it's a bad book, like you said. But it just wasn't tickling my fancy. Others would love it but...not me. So I go on and do a review based on technical stuff instead of feelings.

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    1. Exactly! It's not a bad book, just doesn't tickle my fancy! I usually say it isn't my cup of tea, but like tickle my fancy better so will have to remember that phrase. Thanks Melissa!

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  13. I read them anyway, sadly. I am kind of the worst at DNFing, so yeah, I usually just keep going. This is why I have read WAY too many "meh" books. But I just feel too bad not finishing, especially if it isn't awful.
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. I'm getting better with not finishing bad books, but the meh ones still leave me unsure. :(

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  14. I'll usually do what you do and just keep reading - I have to know what happens. I very occasionally DNF - but it's very occasionally. Guess there's no real cure for this!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I think you're right...there's no cure for the mehs! Fingers crossed the rest of the year will have nothing but awesome reads for us so we don't have to worry about it!

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  15. I few years ago I fell bad if I didn't finish a book, but now I don't waste my time in books that aren't working for me.

    In these cases of meh books, I just stop reading them for a while and give them a second chance later. If it doesn't work for me then, it's not for me.

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    1. I need to come up with some kind of method because I know that once I put a book down, I'll never pick it up again! :(

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