What to do about books you can’t get into

You’ve just started a new book, but it isn’t exactly what you hoped it would be. In fact, you can’t get into it at all. What do you do? 

The two options are usually: 1) Hope it gets better, and keep pushing through. 2) Ditch it and move on to something you’ll enjoy more. 

Now, most people would probably go straight to the second option, of just moving on. This certainly has some sense to it, life is short and you should spend it doing things you’ll enjoy. Every second spent reading a book you don’t like, takes away a second of reading a book you would.  

However, I have a different approach to reading. Reading is a challenge, and books are a project. Sometimes they might just be slow to start but reward you with a fantastic ending. Even if these don’t engage you immediately, I would always recommend carrying on. Everything you read will add something to you. Whether that is a greater understanding of literature, a discovery about your reading habits, a new word or phrase learned, or something that gives you an opinion you can talk about later. 

But I’ve got a third option to add. When I was younger, everyone always told me what a good book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was, so I tried it. Every word was painful and I didn’t really understand what was going on. I was too young to fully capture the meaning behind it, but begrudgingly, I got to the end. Now I’m so glad I read it, because when I got old enough to understand the plot, I went back and reread, and really appreciated how intricate the plot is. 

So if you don’t want to ditch it, and you don’t want to carry on reading, I’m suggesting you do the third option, of putting it aside to come back to. Maybe you just can’t relate to it right now, but there’s no guarantee you won’t later. 

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About Author

Leia Butler

Leia Butler

May 2021
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