The Stages Of Reading A Lousy Book

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As readers, we have all read a really dull and bad book in our time. That one book that we could not stand, we didn’t finish, and continue to scowl at the cover when we pass it in the book store. Everyone goes through the same stages while reading the book, no matter what the story is. Here are the seven stages of reading a bad book!

  1. Starting –
    We all start a book with the best intention. If you start a novel thinking that you won’t like it, then why are you starting it? So the first stage with anything is starting it. Everyone always goes in with hope that this will be the life changing novel they’ve been eagerly awaiting. Well that usually goes down hill quickly…
  2. Realisation –
    Then comes the realisation that you don’t actually like the novel. If that’s 10 pages in or 50, the realisation comes quite quickly that you’re not mixing with the characters well, or the writing is great, or just that damn trope you’re absolutely sick of is mentioned way too much for it to be considered literature anymore.
  3. The hope it will get better & trying again –
    There is always then the hope that the book will get bettter, ‘it’s just a rough start‘ you say to yourself. Or ‘maybe i’m just not connecting with the characters yet‘. Either way, you decide that giving it a go might be the best option, you might find your new favourite book!
  4. You realise that trying again doesn’t make it better –
    You still hate the book, so why have you bothered to pick it up again? It didn’t magically change when you put it down, sadly they never do. We all make this mistake of thinking going in to it with a clear head is a better option. It’s still the same sucky book!
  5. You get angry with the book –
    This stage is inevitable. There is always a moment where a flick switches while reading an awful book that you just suddenly turn angry! Your body itches while reading it and you cannot focus on the words anymore. This usually results in slamming it shut.
  6. Put it down with a bookmark still in –
    This is always in hope that one day you will return to the story. You never ever do, lets face it. You probably have a pile of these books with bits of paper in, waiting to be picked up again when you’re in a different mind set. I know i have about 15 of them. Let’s look on the bright side and try again in a few months!
  7. Take the bookmark out and put it in the charity bag –
    A few months past, and you realise they’re destined for someone elses shelves. Everyone puts these books in the charity bag because you cannot simply imagine putting your friends, family and loved ones through what you just went through. You cannot introduce them to the horror you had the displeasure of reading.

I definitely have been through this complete process while reading a dull book, or a book i just could not get in to. There have been a few books i’ve read while blogging that i just couldn’t make it through. There’s nothing more frustrating than reading a bad book when you think you’ll love it.

What books have you gone through this process with?

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3 thoughts on “The Stages Of Reading A Lousy Book

  1. I’ve been there. For me it was ‘After Me Comes The Flood’ by Sarah Perry. I was expecting something sinister and mysterious like the blurb described, but I just ended up confused and disappointed. I really couldn’t get into it, but I guess it’s not my kind of book. Have you read it?


      1. Oh no, I’m sorry if I put you off! I will admit that I do like some of the characters and the writing’s good, but I still felt disappointed by the overall story itself. Don’t let me put you off reading it though. Maybe I completely missed the point it tried to make.


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