“Why did you bother finishing that if you hated it?”
I get asked this question quite a lot, and it is a fair one. So why do I read horrible books?
I have many reasons:
I don’t like feeling my time was wasted
This seems contradictory but if I’ve spent a couple of days chipping away at a horrible book, I can’t just leave it. I have put in the time and effort to get this far and now I want to just finish and be done. I hate leaving books unfinished because I feel I still owe them an obligation. (I never claimed to be sane)
I want the right to have my say
I’m a book reviewer! I want to tell people about the books I read and I don’t make a habit of reviewing DNF’s. If I’m halfway through a book and I’ve been rolling my eyes and audibly sighing then I want to tell people about that pain, I want to have a nice whine about boring characters and tedious plot lines, it’s cleansing for me. I also don’t like trashing things unless I have two legs and concrete slab to stand on (which is the main reason why I read Fifty Shades of Grey).
I like writing a bad review every once in a while
When I’m picking new books to read I go straight for the bad reviews, because I feel a bad review will tell you way more than a good one. Good reviews are fantastic because they can talk up the merits of the book, but bad reviews explore people’s frustrations and annoyances. There have been many times when I have bought a book based on a bad review, because I wanted to experience it for myself and I didn’t have a problem with the issue the reviewer had brought up. But when I’ve been frustrated with a book I want to let it out and the adjectives I use in bad reviews are sometimes a lot more fun to throw around and hard hitting than the ones I use in good reviews.
There have been times when I feel I can’t do a fantastic book justice with my review, no matter what I do. But a bad book…well, I’ve never come away from one of those reviews feeling that I didn’t say enough about it.
I actually enjoy reading bad books
Depending on the level of badness sometimes it’s quite enjoyable to read horrible books because it can be quite comical to see some of the devices some authors use to try and give their characters depth or further the story. When that enjoyment morphs into frustration it becomes a drag but there have been times when I’ve been reading and said to myself “this is excruciatingly bad, but I have to see what the author is going to do at the end, how is he possibly going to rectify this situation without using something completely absurd.”
I am mildly OCD
I have a tbr pile of 70 books, this is not including all of the ebooks that I have collected over the last few years. Am I ever going to read them all? Probably not because I keep buying new ones. Will they ever leave that list? Not unless they get read. So when it comes to finishing horrible books and crossing them off that list I feel a small accomplishment.
So there are my reasons for reading bad books. In summary I find it somewhat enjoyable to read train-wreck books and I enjoy writing a bad review on occasion, it gets my brain working.
Do you finish bad books or walk away?