Monday, August 10, 2015

10 Things I Hate About Reading

For the past several weeks, I have been suffering from a bad case of writer's block. As my desire to create has waned, I have consumed my time usually spent blogging or writing with reading. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on in addition to reading with my children. But, I have to admit there are some things that I hate about reading.

1.  I hate when I become obsessed with wondering if the characters are thirsty, tired, or have to go to the bathroom. Is that even normal? I read this one book that was the second book in a series, and I don't think the kids in this book had stopped for one minute from their adventures. The whole time I was reading I kept thinking, 'Man, they must be so thirsty by now.' Or, 'Gosh, don't they have to pee? I've already gone three times since I started reading this evening.'

I honestly cannot keep reading a book if I feel like the characters basic needs are not being met by the author. Maybe I should have kept that one to myself.

2.  I hate it when a book changes so drastically at one point that it feels as though it was written by two different people. I am not sure if the author intends to do this or if they just get tired of writing or if an editor came along and finished up the book. What I am sure is that it bugs me to no end. I recently read Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks with my traveling book club. The final part of that book is so different, it doesn't even feel like it should be a part of the rest of the book. Again, I think I may be weird.

3.  I also read another book with my traveling book club that had a main character that was so polarizing that I found myself yelling at the book in disdain. Luckily, in our traveling book club we write notes in the books and then mail the books to each other. I had several other close friends also commenting in the margins that this character was completely unlikeable. (The book is titled The Basic Eight: A Novel by Daniel Handler in case you want to scream at a self-involved teenager.)

4.  Conversely, I hate reading books about characters that are so predictable that I get bored. I wish I had a nickle every time I read a beginner chapter book with my daughter and had to fight back the yawns. I am yawning now just thinking about yawning.

5.  Barbie books. I hate them. All of them. I know, hate is a strong word. But, a strong word is needed for this whole class of books that make me want to poke my eyes out.  Seriously, it is just one story told exactly 6 different ways that always involves Barbie needing to go on a date with Ken at the end. I *think* I have removed all the Barbie books from our house, but I am fairly certain they breed in the depths of my girls' bedrooms.
6.  And then there are the physical side effects of reading I hate. You know, when your arm or hands start to hur from holding a book for took long? This is usually followed by....

7.   being so tired after staying up all night to read *just a couple* more chapters. I hate how tired I am the next day. 

8.  Miss M and I both agree that we hate it when books have too many characters for the story. I get that some stories need a complicated cast of characters, like Harry Potter. However, have you ever read a children's book that had so many characters your children could not keep up or follow along? This is a common problem with grown-up books I read, but it breaks my heart when I come across this problem in a children's book. 

9. I have also noticed through the years that my children also have a strong aversion to characters created from inanimate objects. Make an animal a character all day long, but take a desk or a door and make it a character- no, just stop. I once read a book that had a character made out of a syringe. My daughter refused to read it with me. I don't blame her. If an inanimate object is to become a character, it better be done well and not totally creep me out. 

10. Finally, I hate it when a book ends and you are so sad because you want to immediately run out and talk to everyone about how amazing the book was to read. You know no one wants to hear your babble on about how you sort of, no really, *miss* the characters and wish you could meet them in real life. Have you ever just wanted to reach into the book and give a character a hug? I have. Am I normal? 


  1. Honestly I hate it when I book is too compelling and I have a hard time putting it down. Then if I give in I have to feel guilty about what I neglected. I really like a book that I can enjoy page for page, not just to "find out what happened."

    1. Isn't that so funny how you can feel guilty about a book being too well written? What an impossible feat for an author to hit that sweet spot to allow the reader to enjoy each page. I completely agree with your comment.

  2. #1 happens to me sometimes. Not every time, but sometimes it really strikes me.

    My biggest problem with reading lately has been kind of the opposite of #7. I want to read more, but I've been on a really early schedule, and unless what I'm sitting down to read is amazing I find that I'll fall asleep. Then it's hard to get through very many books :-)

    1. I suffer from the same problem. I mostly fall asleep in one of my kids' rooms. I desperately crave sleep, and if I stay up reading, I am even more exhausted. But, falling asleep while reading has made me even more selective about my reading choices.

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  4. Really enjoyed this Jenny! Some I could relate to and say, yeah, that's me. If reading keeps me up too late, I'm too tired to write the next day. Others made me laugh (in a good way), like number 1. I know Suzanne and I try to write in meals and sleeping opportunities in our series, but we'll sacrifice some if it just doesn't fit into the action.


I would love to hear your thoughts.

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