Newsletter 1

Arguing With Myself About Finishing Books I Don’t Like

Eileen Gonzalez

Contributing Editor

Eileen's primary literary love is comic books, but she’s always on the lookout for her next literary adventure no matter what form it takes. She has a Bachelor's in media studies, a Master's in digital communication, a smattering of published short stories, and a seriously cute dog. Follow her on Bluesky.

Eileen Gonzalez lives, writes and geeks out over comic books in Connecticut. Her favorite things to write are magical realism and articles deconstructing various isms and phobias in older texts. When she is not writing, she is probably fending off allegedly playful attacks from her Maltese, AJ. Twitter: @Eileen2theStars.

So stop reading it. No one’s twisting your arm. You can put this book down and go read something you’ll actually enjoy literally any time you want.

Well, yeah, but… I mean, I’ve already gotten this far. Might as well keep going. Besides, maybe it will improve. Let me read a little more and see what happens… Aw, man, not that trope. I hate that trope!

Seriously, why are you still reading this? There are at least a dozen other books much more suited to your taste just sitting right there. Life’s too short to spend reading something you don’t like. Get rid of this one and move on already!

No, I can’t do that. Think about all the time I’ve already spent on reading this! Wouldn’t it be an even bigger waste of time to quit now without even finding out how it ends? Look, let’s just finish this as quick as possible.

Well, there we go. I finally finished it. How do I feel? Accomplished? Proud? Not really. I barely even feel relief at this point. The last half of the book wasn’t something to enjoy; it was something to power through, like a tough school assignment that’s due in too short a time. Just another task to check off before moving down to the next item on the list.

Reading shouldn’t be like this. Why do I keep doing this? I really don’t know. Maybe, as a writer myself, I just want tips on what not to do? Maybe I love stories so much that I can’t bear to disrespect even the mediocre ones by not seeing them through to their inevitably dissatisfying conclusions? I haven’t figure it out yet, but I know I’ll have plenty of time to think about it the next time I’m slogging through a book I’m too stubborn to put down.