Reader’s Block

“The must read book of the summer!”

“A great beach read!”

“You won’t be able to put it down!”

Nearly every book cover or magazine that offers book suggestions is full of quotes expressing nearly the same sentiments.

Unfortunately, one person’s idea of the “Best Book of the Decade!” may be the next person’s snooze-ville.  And, my pocketbook and reading time have been wasted on more than one of these flowery descriptions that actually turned out to be a real stinker.

I’m an avid reader….and that’s putting it lightly.  I always carry a book with me wherever I go.  You never know when you’ll get 5 minutes to get a few pages read.  In addition to always being in the middle of a book, I like to have my next read lined up and waiting in the wings.

The book store is my home away from home.  I could wander for hours, getting lost in the aisles and sucked into those tantalizing descriptions and intriguing covers.  (Yes, I judge books by their covers.  So do you, admit it.)

When iBooks and the Kindle store came along, at first, it felt like Christmas everyday.  You mean to tell me I can search book titles and peruse summaries at all hours of the day, never needing to leave the comfort of my home?  Finish a book at 10:30 pm, instantly download the next.  Take 12 books with me at all times.  Am I dreaming?

With all the conveniences, I have found one major flaw.  I much more frequently find myself enthusiastically starting a new read to be disappointed by a bad purchase a few chapters in.

You see, when I’m in the book store, I take certain, um, liberties with the books I’m about to buy.  Ok fine, I start reading them, sometimes a decent number of pages into them to see if they are really worth the price tag.  The title might be catchy and the cover interesting, but if it doesn’t grab my interest in the first chapter, chances are, it will not make it to the check out.

I have yet to master this with my downloads.  I know, I know, you can download samples of many online versions to try out the books before you actually purchase them, but I keep forgetting that step.  It’s like, since I don’t have to hand over actual money for each book, I just hit download without thinking, then find myself repeatedly disappointed.

I’m currently stuck in a terrible drought of one bad, sucky download after another.  My problem is, since I’ve actually paid good money for the book, I have a hard time throwing it to the side when hate it.  Right now, I’m 85 pages into a “Must Read of the Summer”, recommended on numerous reading lists and websites and……I can’t stand this book!  With every sentence, every paragraph, every page, I argue with myself.


Why are you still trying to read this crappy book?

Because I paid for it!

You’re wasting time you could be reading something you actually enjoy!

But all those reviews said it was so riveting.

Oh, here we go with the reviews again.  Stop, it’s terrible.

I’ll give it one more chapter.  Then, if it’s not any better, I’ll quit.

No you won’t.


Help!  I’m officially stuck in bad book hell.




  1. haha!! I used to do that with the Oprah Book Club! If I saw one of those books I automatically picked it up (okay it was from the library so I didn’t pay money for them). If I didn’t like it I thought there must be something wrong with me. If Oprah likes it, I should like it too right? Anyway, I would suffer through many, many chapters. I finally gave in one day and came to the realization that I didn’t have to like a book just because it’s on Oprah’s list. I realize this is different than your book hell but certainly a book hell of my own!

  2. I have two rules. 1) download the sample first. It only takes a couple of bad books to help get you in this habit. 2) if I can’t get into a book after 50 or so pages, I just stop. There are too many great books out there.

    I’ve also found that interspersing some indie authors with my favorite well published authors works well. I’m reading Red Clay and Roses now. It is very good. But I just finished Orphan Train and Sihpromatum which were both outstanding. The Iron Locket was very good.

    Good luck finding good books.

  3. I was actually giggling when I was reading this…thank you *smiles*

    I have found that before I buy a book on my Kindle…I sneak and go to the bookstore and touch it and look at the cover and all that nod nods.

    Weird book buying fact from me – I cannot get myself to buy a book that is the size of a romance novel paper back. If it is not the larger sized book (about 10″ tall by 6″ wide roughly) … I don’t even consider it. OMG talk about going beyond judging a book by its cover!

  4. I totally feel your pain! In fact, I LOVE to read but haven’t for quite awhile because of something I downloaded onto my reader and absolutely HATE. I feel so guilty for paying for it and not reading it. But I can’t read anything until I finish it. Self-imposed rules SUCK!

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