Don’t Read Bad Stories

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Some people say it’s good to read bad stories because they show you what not to do if you’re a writer, and they also help you appreciate the art of storytelling and how hard it is to write a good story. Being the obsessively avid reader I am, I’ve read tons of great stories, as well as a fair share of horrible stories.

When I was younger, I always heard that you should finish a book, no matter how bad it was, but all that led to were countless nights of boredom and torture. I regret it all.

Nowadays, if I feel like I’d rather run my eyes through a cheese grater than finish a story, I’ll put it down immediately. Why spend time doing something that makes you unhappy when you could read a book that brings you joy instead?

There have been numerous times when I’ve read the first three pages of a book, and decided it would benefit my health to just put the bloody thing down. Anything from terrible dialect to an onslaught of needless descriptions can really put a strain on the attention span.

Of course, you could say there is no such thing as a bad novel, and that perceived quality is subject to personal preferences. In any case, if you don’t like a novel, why continue reading? Unless it’s a classroom assignment or a manual on how to escape your jail cell, why put yourself through needless torture?

I read a novel a few months ago and the beginning never caught my attention. Nothing remotely interesting happened; There were only descriptions and the inner thoughts of the protagonist, but I carried on reading anyway. My eyelids constantly flirted with sleep while scanning the bland pages.

I eventually got so bored that I flipped through the book so I could find even one word of spoken dialogue. And you know what? It turned out that not a single line of dialogue appeared until page 33. If you think I closed that book right then and there, then *ding ding ding* you’re 100% correct.

I view reading as a sacred activity that should be enjoyed. So the point I’m trying to make is this: Why waste your time reading a book you don’t enjoy, when you could otherwise be intrigued, humored, and entertained elsewhere?

Anyway, I’ve rambled for far too long. So enough about me, what about you? What are your thoughts on bad stories? Do you feel it’s better to flee at the first sign of danger, or persevere until the very end?

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Read Bad Stories

  1. I agree with you…why keep reading something boring when there are so many other books that have much more promise to keep you entertained, or even to make you think! I’ll give it a good try, even skip to the middle or later, just to see if it gets better. If not, I go to the next one in my ‘to be read pile’…:)

    • Hi, thank you for the insightful comment. I had to learn the lesson the hard way, that it wasn’t necessary to always finish what you start. It’s saved me tons of sleepless nights and moments of boredom for sure.

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