Book nerds, we're about to talk about something unimaginable, so you should brace yourselves. I know it's an impossible situation to be in, but when is it OK to give up in the middle of a book you're reading?
Reading is supposed to be a fun and relaxing pastime, but when you find yourself reading a book you don't enjoy or can't get into, your favorite hobby can seem like a chore. There are plenty of times that it's important to push through a difficult or boring book — an academic text that's relevant to your life, a classic you've never read, a book you have to write a paper on — but that doesn't mean you have to finish every book you've ever started. A committed, borderline obsessive reader myself, I always feel guilty when I don't make it to the end of a book, but over the years, I've learned that, much like dating, there are too many fish in the sea — or, in this case, books in the library — to get stuck with one that doesn't make you happy.
It's time to make an assessment: Is whatever you're reading really worth it? Sometimes,the answer is no, and here are 10 signs you should give up on a book in the middle, so you don't waste any more time guilt-reading.
1. You Hate The Main Characters
There's a difference between an unlikable character and one you just can't empathize with. If you're reading a book and you can't understand the protagonist's struggles or point of view, and instead find yourself disliking them more and more with each passing page, it's time to cut the toxic character out of your life and find someone you do like.
2. You Keep Falling Asleep While Reading It
It's true that reading is a great way to help you settle down for bedtime, but if you're reading a book that literally puts you to sleep whenever you read it, maybe it's time to consider your other options. Reading is supposed to be relaxing, but not so relaxing that it knocks you out.
3. You've Read Other Books In The Meantime
The easiest way for me to tell that it's time to give up on a book I'm reading is to count how many other books I've read in the meantime. While I'm the kind of reader who generally is in the middle of more than one book at once, if I've finished two or more before making it halfway through one, than I know I probably won't make it to the end. Clearly, I'm more interested in other things.
4. You Keep Getting Caught Up In The Grammatical Errors
When you start paying more attention to copy editing a book than actually reading it, it's safe to say you're not really into the story itself. Put the pen, highlighter, and book down, and go find something without so many distracting mistakes.
5. You're Only Reading It Because It's Hot Right Now
Not to sound like my mother, but if your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you? Just because a book is getting a lot of buzz and everyone on the train seems to be reading it, doesn't mean you have to. You tried reading it to see what all the fuss was about, but it just didn't do it for you. It's OK, put the book down.
6. You Haven't Laughed Once
... or cried, or gotten angry, or had any emotion for that matter. If you're reading a book that doesn't stir any emotion, good or bad, it's time to walk away and find something that will give you all the feels you deserve.
7. You Already Googled The Ending
Spoilers are addictive, and sometimes it's too tempting not to find out what the big twist is before you actually get to the end of a book. If you're reading something, and you're only invested in the ending to the point you've already looked it up online, forget about it. You know what wanted to know, so now it's time to find a book worth waiting
8. You Keep Eyeballing Your TBR Pile
If you're stuck in the middle of a book you aren't enjoying, why torture yourself until the end and prevent yourself from moving on to something you're really excited about? There are plenty of areas of life you have no control over, but reading doesn't have to be one of them — that is, if you're not in school anymore, at least.
9. Your Daydreams Are More Entertaining
It isn't unusual for your mind to wander while you're reading, but when you start to prefer your daydreams to the book you're reading, it's time to put the book away. After all, books are supposed to be your escape mechanism, not what you're trying to escape from.
10. You're Dreading Bedtime, AKA Reading Time
You're supposed to look forward to the time you spend with your books, so when you start to feel anxious about your downtime, it becomes a pretty clear sign that whatever you're reading should be shelved and left behind you. Reading should be a good feeling, not a bullet on your long list of unpleasurable daily activities.
Images: Laura D'Alessandro/Flickr; Giphy (10)