Many of us have problems with breakups. We believe the best is yet to come, that things can change, that it won’t be a bad ending after all. Many of us do this with our friends and significant others. But, if you’re anything like me, you also do this with books. No matter how hard you try you just don’t know when to stop reading.
In my entire reading career I have broken up with one book. Yes, one – I’m looking at you Casual Vacancy. I cannot stop reading a book, even if it’s the biggest dumpster fire I have ever read. I ignore the red flags that so glaringly wave themselves in my face, and when I get to the end of the book I’m just as disappointed as I knew I would be three chapters in. It’s something I’m working on and so, in an attempt to also take my own advice, here are 10 signs you need to break up with a book.
1) You Just Don’t Like Them
You just don’t match with certain people. Your personalities are too different. Sometimes there are characters that make you so angry you throw the book across your bed at 3am. They annoy you so much you skip past every piece of their dialogue and secretly hope they die or disappear in the next few chapters. Like toxic people, it’s time to cut toxic characters from our lives.
2) You Keep Correcting Their Mistakes
Your partner may say you’re nagging or controlling, but really you just can’t stop focusing on the things they do that drive you crazy. In a book, it might be bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or glaringly obvious plot holes that have you saying ‘Seriously, how did you miss that?’
Find yourself a book where you don’t notice the mistakes, or if you do, they just don’t bother you so much. You’re so caught up in the characters and the story that the lack of commas doesn’t make you want to yell.
3) You’d Rather Watch Paint Dry
When literally anything else seems more interesting than spending time with the book, it’s time to consider another one. Don’t waste your time with a book that doesn’t hold your attention.
4) They Put You to Sleep (Literally)
Sometimes we fall asleep reading a book because it’s 3am and we just wanted to finish because we couldn’t put it down and other times we fall asleep because it was just so damn boring. When the conversation, or lack thereof, bores you to tears it’s time to let go.
5) There Are Other Fish in the Sea
When you can’t stop staring at your TBR and dreaming about all of the other books just waiting for you to get your hands on them, it’s time to consider donating this one and picking up a new one. It’s okay to say goodbye. Someone else will find that book and love it in ways you never could.
6) It Costs Too Much Money
There’s nothing like buying a book and putting all of your time into reading it for it to be a complete and utter disappointment. It feels like a waste. When a book doesn’t seem worth the effort you’ve put into it find another book that will be.
7) You’re Always Angry
Have you ever thrown a book out of anger? I have (looking at you Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). If a book makes you want to literally chuck it across the room, you might want to consider a book that brings you feelings of peace and happiness.
8) You Don’t Like Their Friends or Family
Sometimes we like the main character, but their friends and family are super controlling or weird or unbearable to be around. If the supporting characters appear lacking, dry, cookie cutter or just plain don’t interest you, it can be hard to get invested in the rest of the story.
9) They Looked Good on the Cover
We’ve all impulsively swiped right on someone that looked good, but turned out to be a total loser. I impulse buy books all the time. It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s shiny, I like it!’ I can’t count the amount of books I have bought because they were shiny. Honestly, I love gilded covers and text. But a pretty cover doesn’t mean there’s a good story inside. The problem is that you swipe right on that guy or girl because you thought they were cute, and you go on that first date and then that second date and suddenly you discover they eat too many Cheetos and they never shower and you want to break up with them but you can’t cause you think they’re going to get better and they’re going to suddenly start using that soap you bought them for Christmas last year and start eating Veggie Thins instead of Cheetos. *DEEP BREATH*
Now you’re stuck and you’re committed to this person and this story that you don’t really like anymore. But if you’d just read the bio before you swiped you would have seen that it said, “I love long walks on the beach, smelling natural, and Cheetos’. Just read the damn bio before you buy.
10) It’s Not You, It’s Me
Sometimes you just don’t like a book, and that’s okay. You can’t quite pinpoint what it is. Maybe it’s the characters. Maybe it’s the plot. Or maybe this book just didn’t come into your life at the right time. You might just need to put it on the shelf and find it again 10 years from now. It’s okay not to like a book and close the cover and leave the story behind. You’re not giving up or quitting, it’s just not the right one for you.
Tag us on Instagram @bibliomavens or comment below and let us know what red flags make you want to break up with a book, what books you’ve broken up with, and which ones you wish you kicked to the curb earlier.