Categories
book discussions Horror

Resolutions Shmesolutions!

“Each new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.”

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I lie to myself practically every day, so why should those lies be any different than these lies? They certainly don’t deserve their own bullet pointed, color coded, sparkly sticker-d “BETTER ME” list to stare their judgmental stare at me from atop the refrigerator door! How about a big ol’ NOPE to any empty, and unrealistic Resolutions of 2017?!

“Are we really doing this again, SG?”
~ signed, Resolutions Past

I just read an article/post on Buzzfeed that made me think “Here’s a realistic resolution that I can really get behind!” (yes, my inner voice talks like Dr. Seuss.) It IS going to be a difficult promise to keep to myself, though – some quirks run deep, and habits are hard to break. Bear with me on this long & winding road that is my thought process…

“A resolution is usually to avoid an evil,
but in most cases the evil is far more advanced.”

I was looking over my Books of 2016 (on Goodreads), and so many thoughts started going through my mind – “Ooo… I really liked that book, why didn’t I continue with the series?”“OMG – that was on my MUST READ list – WTF?! Why haven’t I read it yet?”“Shit, I promised so and so that I’d read that book s/he really loved…” (or some other version of a “OMG YUS!! I can’t wait to never read that!” promise), and 42 other questions that are tripping over themselves trying to be the first in line for some brain time.

So… In MY case, what is the main reason that so many books get neglected?
I think I waste so much precious reading time because I feel guilty if I stop reading a book as soon as I realize it’s boring AF, and/or I hate it! “I’ll give it a few more pages/chapters.” “Well, I might as well finish it now.”  And, there is also that little FOMO twinge I get right before I shelf/window a book. You know what I mean –“What if it gets really good just after the point where I stop reading?!” Then I usually continue to bore myself, and hate what I’m reading even more.

This year I say “NO MORE!”    My motto for 2017 ~ “Just ‘SHELF IT’!”

2017 Resolution ~ “Actually, no, I didn’t read that.” ::beams, pats self on back::

This year I am going to make a solid effort to put down any book that I’m not invested in by a certain point – TBD on a book by book basis.
I will [try to] not force myself to finish ANY book, under ANY circumstances [if I don’t want to].
I realize that life is too short, and my TBR list is too long to endure the pain of just getting to the back cover.
* You know that I will NOT shelf/window any book just because of this blog post. Every book will have different considerations, I’m sure.  If I’m feelin’ it just because I dig the author’s choice of font – I’m still feelin’ it.  I have no set of hard and fast rules anywhere in my life!!
And there will be certain exemptions, of course. Like I said in the 5 Signs You’re Reading A Bad Book post – Sometimes the actual story may not be the problem. I’ve picked up unfinished books at a different points in my life only to realize how amazing they truly are – I just wasn’t ready for them the first time.


I’m curious about what YOU do in a ‘bad book’ situation!
Check out the 5 SIGNS YOU’RE READING A BAD BOOK post, and answer the poll at the end – You’ve reached the 100 page mark of your new book when you realize that you’re never going to ‘feel it’. What do you do?’

 

Categories
book discussions Horror Reader Polls Shenanigans

5 Signs You’re Reading a Bad Book

Original post written by Will Floyd for Bookstr
Published September 23, 2016

BAD BOOKS.
We try to avoid’em, but we know they’re out there

5 Signs You're Reading a Bad Book

Is there anything worse than a bad book? I mean I know we try to keep things light around here, and write about what we love in books, rather than what we hate, but it can’t be denied that trying to plow through a bad book, whether it’s a school assignment, or just something you’re committed to taking down, a bad book REALLY gets under your skin. Ideally, you wanna approach all art with an open mind, but what happens when you open your mind as wide as it can go, and the book just won’t fit? Well, that’s a tell tale sign that you might be reading a bad book. Here are the 5 ways you know you have a bad book on your hands. 

 

You’ve reached the 100 page mark and it’s not clicking

The 100 page mark is like the 3rd date. If you and your date haven’t shared a special moment by that point, there might be nothing there. The same goes for books. If we’re talking about an average book of say 300+ pages, then we should really be of to the races by the 100th page. If you still feel yourself making a heroic effort to enjoy a single sentence of the thing, then YOU’VE got a bad book.

You haven’t connected with any characters:

The best books have memorable characters of emotional depth. If you aren’t invested in a couple of them by a certain point, or you just plain don’t believe that they are real, then YOU’VE got a bad book.

You aren’t buying the plot

Plot= character interacting with environment. If you aren’t buying that the characters in the book are making realistic decisions, or you have a sense that the author is lazily manipulating plot, then YOU’VE got a bad book.

You don’t like the author’s tone

There’s a human voice behind every book, and if you aren’t liking the cadence that’s coming across, then chances are you’re really going to struggle through 300+ pages of it. Going back to the dating analogy, if you’re really not digging your date, you’ll be at pains to listen to them drone on for hours about something. If you find yourself grimacing at word choice and metaphors, then YOU’VE got a bad book.

You’re rushing to the end

A good reading experience is one where you lose yourself in the language, forget where you are, and become completely entranced by the author’s world. If you’re loving a book, you appreciate every page and every word, and you certainly aren’t begging for it to be over. If you find yourself begging for sweet relief half way through, YOU’VE got a bad book.

You think you could have done better

A well written book says “Sit back, relax. I’ll take if from here. I know what I’m doing”. A reader wants to feel taken care of, and be able to rest assured knowing the author has delivered the product of their best possible efforts.  A poorly written book causes the reader the be highly conscious of themselves and the author.

If you find yourself taking issue with the creative decisions made, and hypothesizing alternative decisions, YOU’ve got a bad book.

I used to force myself to finish every book, but one day I realized that life is too short, and my TBR list is too long to endure the pain of getting to the back cover. Sometimes the actual story may not be the problem though. I’ve picked up unfinished books at a different points in my life only to realize how amazing they truly are – I just wasn’t ready for them the first time.

I’m curious about what other readers do in this situation. What do YOU do?

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