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In an ideal world, we would only read books that we love. But sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plan.
Maybe you’re a student reading a book for school or you’re trying to learn something for work. Or maybe you picked up a book based on recommendations, but after a few chapters you just can’t seem to get into it.
Maybe the writing is dry and uninteresting, or the characters are unlikeable.
Whatever the reason, sometimes we find ourselves struggling to finish books that we started out looking forward to.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair! Here are some tips for how to get through a book you hate.
- How to Get Through a Book You Hate
- Should You Finish a Book You Don't Like?
- How Do You Read a Book You Don't Want to Read?
- Tips for Getting Through a Boring Book
- How Do You Get Through a Hard Book?
- What if the Book isn’t the Problem?
- 8 Reasons to DNF a Book
- Reading Journals
- Reading Journals
How to Get Through a Book You Hate
1. Skim Ahead
When you’re struggling to finish a book, it can be tempting to just give up and put it down. But before you do that, try skimming the next few chapters. This will help you get a general idea of what happens in the book, and it might make it easier to push through to the end.
2. Take Breaks
If you’re really struggling, don’t be afraid to take breaks. Put the book down for a day or two, and come back to it when you’re feeling fresh. You might find that taking a break helps you appreciate the book more. Forcing yourself to read when you’re not in the mood will only make the experience more frustrating.
3. Check Online Reviews
Maybe the book starts slowly and you need to persist with it before it gets better. It’s worth checking online reviews to see if other people had the same experience. Sometimes it helps to know that you’re not alone in struggling with a book.
4. Look for the Good
Even the worst book has some redeeming qualities. Maybe there’s one character you like, or a scene that made you laugh. Focusing on the positive can help you get through the tough parts.
5. Find a Reading Buddy
Sometimes, it helps to have someone to discuss the book with. Find a friend or family member who is also reading the book, and see if they’re having any luck getting through it. You might be able to help each other out!
6. Read in Short Bursts
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, try reading the book in short bursts. Take five or ten minutes to read, and then take a break. This can help make the task feel less daunting, and you might find that you make better progress than if you tried to push through for hours at a time.
7. Try Listening to the Audiobook Version
If you’re really struggling to get through a book, try listening to the audiobook instead. This can be a great way to enjoy a story, and it might help you appreciate the book more. If you’re struggling to concentrate try listening to the book as you do other things like housework or drawing. An audiobook can help you get through a book faster without feeling like you’re wading through pages of text.
Should You Finish a Book You Don’t Like?
You shouldn’t feel you have to finish a book you hate. Unless you’re being paid to read it and write a review, or it’s required for school, there’s no real reason to torture yourself.
If you’re reading for pleasure, then you should feel free to put a book down if you’re not enjoying it. Life is too short to spend reading books that we don’t like. There are so many great books out there, so why waste your time struggling with one that isn’t worth it?
Maybe after a break, you’ll come back to it with fresh eyes and be able to get through it after all.
How Do You Read a Book You Don’t Want to Read?
When it comes to reading a book you don’t want to read, it’s helpful to remember that you’re doing it for a reason – whether it’s to gain knowledge for a class or to improve your understanding of a certain topic. Focusing on the end goal can help make the process more bearable, especially when you feel like giving up.
If you don’t have a motivating reason for reading the book, then it’s probably not worth your time. In this case, it might be best to just put it down and move on to something else.
If you’re struggling to finish a book, writing about it in a reading journal can help you get to the root cause of your dislike and better understand your reading preferences in the process.
Tips for Getting Through a Boring Book
One of the best ways is to try reading it in short bursts. For example, read for five minutes and then put the book down. The next day, read for another five minutes and continue in this way until you finish the book.
Another way is to skim or skip over sections that are slow or boring. If you’re reading a novel and find yourself getting impatient, try skipping ahead to later chapters to get a better sense of the story’s flow. You can always go back and fill in the details later on.
And finally, try not to stress out about finishing the book. There’s no shame in putting a boring book down and picking it up again later on when you have more patience. Just remember that the goal is to enjoy reading, not to finish every book you start.
Check out our reading journals available in a range of formats to suit your preferences. Tracking your reading and journalling about books read is a great way to get more from your reading and remember the plot of books read.
Reading Journal Book
Printable Book Log
Digital Reading Log
How Do You Get Through a Hard Book?
Start by trying to identify why the book is difficult for you. Is it the subject matter? The writing style? The dense language? Once you know what makes the book tough for you, it’ll be easier to find a way to get through it. Here are a few ideas:
- Take breaks often, especially if you’re struggling with focus. It’s okay to put the book down for a little while and come back to it later. Just try not to get too discouraged!
- See if there’s a summary or overview of the book online that you can read before diving in. Having some context can make understanding the details much easier.
- Try reading with a friend or fellow bookworm and discuss as you go. Not only will this help you stay engaged, but you might also be able to offer each other helpful insights.
What if the Book isn’t the Problem?
If none of the above tips have helped, maybe its time to look a little deeper. If you really want to read the book but its just not working you might be experiencing a reading block. Check out our post for 15 tips to overcome a reading block here.
We hope these tips will help you get through that book you’re struggling with. Struggling with a difficult book is not a reflection on your intelligence or abilities. Sometimes, we just don’t click with certain books.
Remember, it’s okay to take breaks and to skim or skip over sections that are difficult for you. And most importantly, don’t stress out about finishing a book – there’s no shame in putting a boring book down!
8 Reasons to DNF a Book
DNF in reading stands for “did not finish”. There’s no shame in giving up on a book if you’re not enjoying it. We cover 8 reasons to give up on a book and what to look for in reviews to decide if you should DNF a book.