Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Signs that what you're reading isn't very good...

I've been doing book reviews lately, so I spend a lot of time reading. I love it. It's a great escape from reality and a way to decompress when I'm stressed.

When I'm reading a good book, I look forward to the next time I can pick it up. I will rush through my daily obligations just to make sure I have time in my day to read. I have to be creative to find time to read because I have little children at home.

The best time, when the kids are sleeping. Nap time is a great part of my day. I've also found myself reading while standing at the stove waiting for a pot of water to boil, soup to simmer, or even waiting for the oven to heat up. That is a great indicator that I am loving what I'm reading at the moment. These are the books I look forward to, the ones I read in record time. I crave them.

Unfortunately, to every good thing there is a not so good thing. There are books out that aren't as great as some of their counterparts. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because it's been taking me longer and longer to get through some of the books I'm reviewing. I've noticed a pattern, and I thought I'd share it with you.

You know what you're reading isn't very good when:
  • It takes you a couple of weeks to read what normally only takes two to three days.
  • You start to skim paragraphs.
  • You find multiple grammar and spelling errors on one page.
  • You actually start hating the MC rather than rooting for him/her.
  • You feel your eyes roll in disbelief multiple times at the dialogue that you're reading.
  • You think, "You've made your point already," and you have to fight the urge to throw the book at your feet in frustration.
  • You basically want to do anything else before you read.
  • You find yourself thinking, "Just push through it so I can get to the next book."
  • You flip ahead a few pages just to see if something good will happen at all.
  • You stop reading to look up online reviews of the book to see if it's worth finishing.
  • You've read an entire page, but have no idea what you just read.
I'm sure everyone reading this could add to the list as well. Thankfully, I don't come across a book like this very often. I enjoy most of what I read, even if I don't love everything. And most books have at least one redeeming quality to them, I just hate having to push through to find it. It's the books that you walk away from wishing you had never read that you have to watch out for.

Now, there are definitely exceptions to this. For example, I read a book a few weeks ago that took me three times as long as it normally would, but it wasn't because I wasn't enjoying it. It was because the subject matter was so intense my heart could only handle small spurts of it at a time. The book was so well written that it painted this picture of heartbreak, that as a mother, I couldn't handle. In fact, when I finished the book I had to pull my two sleeping children into bed with me so I knew they were close and I could protect them.

I will always be a reader because I love it. I just hope that as I continue to venture into this wonderful world of writing that I will write books that people enjoy reading, not ones they feel they have to push through.

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