Among bibliophiles, ‘boring’ sounds like a dirty word.
It sounds silly at first, but it’s true: how many times have we read books because friends or family swore up and down that it will “change our lives?” Or read a book because a teacher or mentor told us it was important? And when you approach a book as a reading fanatic, that adds a whole new level of complexity.
Even with all of this, here’s the fact of the matter: it is totally okay to think a book is boring. Even if it’s a classic in all ways that matter. Even if it’s required reading material.
Despite all this, for various reasons, you might have to get through a boring book. Buckle up, grit your teeth, whatever you need to do – here are a few tips to get through it.
1. Set Small Goals
Your options are basically endless with this simple, but broad advice. Get to page 51 in half an hour. If you can muscle through ten more pages, you can go get dessert. Setting miniature checkpoints like this makes your brain stop thinking (and dreading) the rest of the book, especially in long-winded books that seem like they will never end. (Moby Dick, I’m looking at you.) Get up and stretch after your goal, or throw a bigger fanfare. Just make sure you get some reward at the end. It makes setting goals so much easier for the rest of the book.
2. Find Someone To Suffer With You
It sounds horrible, but this will be especially easier if the reading is for school. Sometimes it’s easier to get through a book if someone is reading the same book along with you: I have gotten through many classes by making fun of characters or a plot line, or silently checking what page that person is on and making sure I’m past that point, due to my competitive streak. Just make sure this person won’t sidetrack you. You don’t want to get even more behind, or be stuck reading the same boring line over and over.
3. Read During The Day
Reading a boring book while curled up in bed is a recipe to fall asleep. Even if you’re somewhere where sleep won’t come easily, chances are your body is still winding down from the rest of the day. First thing in the morning isn’t a good idea either, when you’re still waking up. In the middle of the day (maybe after a cup of coffee or a latte) is a fantastic time to read something boring. For an added bonus, sit outside in the sun. It’ll keep you awake for far longer.
4. Watch The Movie Version, If Available
Movies are generally a letdown for book lovers. They cut stuff out, the actors butcher the story, they change the plot, whatever. However, they’re generally pretty useful for boring books. Movies will get you the general idea of the plot and characters in a couple of hours or less, which is much less time than reading a book. (Especially a boring one.) Don’t use it as a substitute for reading the book itself, but if you know what’s happening as you read, it generally goes by faster.
5. Eliminate Distractions
Facebook, your phone, Twitter, web surfing, Netflix… you know where I’m going with this. Find a way to get rid of them. Sometimes this takes a change of environment – like going to the library – or maybe you need to completely shut down your phone and disable your internet. When boredom arrives, most people will do anything to escape it. Grit your teeth and get it done. Facebook will be there when it’s over.
What do you do to get through a boring book? Tell us below!
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Featured image via Oh Gizmo!