The question almost every reader has asked themselves. Should I carry on reading this book or is it time to throw it in the dnf (did not finish) pile? If you’re even asking yourself this question then clearly there’s something about the book that you’re not too pleased with. But sometimes dull books become more interesting…other times they don’t. So how do we decide when to abandon a book? The following are some pretty decent reasons to do so, though everyone will have their own set of ideas.
- The main character is unbearable
If you are really not getting along with the main character and they are driving you nuts, are you likely to find the rest of the novel enjoyable? I can only think of a few books where this has been the case. For this to work, the book would have to be largely plot-driven to distract from the unlikable characterisation. This is not to say that an unlikable character cannot change by the end of the book, but that this often does not happen.
2. The plot development is incredibly slow
What’s annoying about a book is when it is filled with so much irrelevant content that the reader loses interest in the story. The book turns into a page-filler rather than having meaningful content that adds to the characters or to the story. A good book will make you want to read more and give out small clues here and there, or have continuous development rather than a giant ramble and a hurried ending. I’ve seen so many books with rambling pages but great endings. It’s almost as if the end of the book is the highlight rather than the entire work of fiction. If that were the case, we could skip straight to the end.
3. It continually uses God’s name in vain
Let me clarify. If an author writes about a character who clearly has issues and that character uses God’s name in vain, it’s in bad taste but the character is clearly not meant to be a role model. I disagree with the author’s use of foul language but I can see how it may fit the character they are trying to portray. What I absolutely abhor is when authors casually use God’s or Jesus’ name as a cuss word from a character who is clearly meant to be liked, or even worse, a role model. It is disrespectful and it is not OK, but we are not responsible for the words authors choose to use. If you are finding yourself continuously pausing and having to skip over these phrases many times, it is not going to be an enjoyable read. As readers we are paying authors for their work and have great influence over what is acceptable and what isn’t. Use your own judgement wisely.
4. It promotes bad behaviour
Books which promote cheating and debauchery, or try to make you feel sorry for the whining cheat who wants more excitement in their life. It really depends on what kind of content you’re looking for. And sure, some people would like that. But if you’re not into that, then don’t force yourself to read it if it makes you uncomfortable.
5. You’re over halfway in and you’re completely and utterly bored
If you’ve read 1/2-3/4 of the book and it’s a struggle, stop struggling! You’re unlikely to find it worth it if you finish the book at this point. Maybe it’s just not for you. it doesn’t matter how many people are raving about it. Everyone has different tastes and you’re unlikely to like every book that has great reviews.