the trouble with “meh” reads

“Meh” reads, aka 2-3 star reads on my personal Goodreads scale, are the actual WORST. I feel like I’ve read quite a few of them this year. They’re just books that I don’t feel one way or the other about, or found boring, or just weren’t that memorable. I find “meh” books so frustrating, and here are some of the reasons why:

  • I don’t know what to rate them on Goodreads. I don’t really do reviews that often, and don’t put ratings in them when I do, so Goodreads is the only place I actually rate books with stars. If I didn’t like a book, it’s obviously automatically one or two stars, and if I did, it can be 3-5 stars. But a book that was boring or unmemorable, or that was just “meh”? What do I rate that??
  • I can’t find anything to say about it. When I’m reading a “meh” book and someone asks me how my book is, or I’m talking to someone about it, I’m always at a loss for words. Even if I don’t like a book, I can find something to say because I actually FEEL something about it. But if I have no feelings about it, what really IS there to say?
  • It’s not even entertaining. Even reading a bad book can be entertaining because you’re so invested in how much you hate it. With a “meh” book, there’s nothing to get invested in or be compelled by. Sometimes I just finish the book because even though I don’t LIKE it, I’m still curious to see how much worse it can get.
  • I feel like I can’t DNF it. With a book that’s genuinely terrible, I feel like I can justify not finishing it. I always feel bad not finishing a book because I put the effort into reading it, but if it’s really bad, then it’s a little easier for me to not finish it and put it aside. If it’s “meh,” I can’t think of a good reason not to finish it, so I end up sticking with it even if it takes me forever to read because I’m not enjoying it or invested enough.
  • It’s wasted reading time. And, since I don’t usually DNF a “meh” book, it’s time wasted reading that I could’ve used on a better book. In reality I need to get better at abandoning books I don’t like, but I keep feeling weird anxiety whenever I think about not finishing a book? I never used to feel that way, but I always feel anxious now when I start considering whether to finish a book or not, like it’s too big of a decision. But, if I made the effort to read better books, I’d probably read more memorable books I enjoyed.


How do you handle “meh” books? Do you have trouble DNFing books, too?

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  1. I have trouble DFNing books normally i just kind of struggle through. If its a horrible book then I kind of think wow what a waste of X amount of hours why did I do that? But with a meh book I am always like was it a waste? Did I enjoy any of it? :/

    1. It’s so tough to DNF books! It’s always especially confusing with meh books, as you pointed out, because it’s not always clear if it really was a waste to read them or not. I’d almost rather straight up dislike something, then I could actually DNF it with minimal guilt!

    1. Oh, same. I actually just DNFed A Court of Frost and Starlight because it was so boring to me, even though I love the rest of the series, but since it was a novella I figured it would be okayish. I still feel bad about DNFing meh books though :/

  2. Ugh these kind of reads are the worst kinds, the in-betweens when you’re just feeling like it’s not that terrible so you can DNF it, yet it’s not that great and you kind of want to give it up at some point… I hate when that happens :/ I also feel like I can’t DNF a book, I maybe have too much hope, but I keep on hoping that it will get better by the end of it, so I stick with it hahaha. It’s a lot of time lost though and it is frustrating, at times. I know I need to get better at DNF’ing as well, you’re not alone in that for sure. I wish I could help more :/

    1. I need some kind of method to DNFing, I think. Like, if a book has or doesn’t have xyz, I can DNF without guilt. I also tend to not DNF meh books because I always think either it could get better or “it’s not that bad” even though I end up rating some of them a 2/5 just for forgettableness.

  3. You bring up many excellent points! I hate ‘meh’ books because I don’t really feel strongly enough about them, so they are just like … not memorable and uneventful. I won’t think about them much (unlike with loved and hated books) and my Review is likely to be short. It can be quite frustrating reading many ‘meh’ books in a row, because it decreases my overall reading motivation.

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