Thoughts: On 3-Star-Books

I am currently reading six books; five of those I don’t think I will give more than three stars. This fact got me thinking about 3-star-books and why I struggle with them.

I am currently reading:


None of these books are bad books. In fact they all have some parts that are absolutely brilliant and parts that are anything but:

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has vivid language and a brilliant way of describing the world but is beyond slow-moving with a plot I am not sure can even be called that. Authority has Jeff VanderMeer’s brilliant command of language and the intriguing setting that I adored in the first book but features a main character that is a bit of a charisma vacuum. Autumn has poignant descriptions and captures many of my complicated feelings about the UK but its disjointed natures makes it difficult for me to care about its protagonists. By Light We Know Our Names has some absolutely heartbreaking stories with the fantastical elements being brilliantly integrated but the stories feel repetitive and depressing for depressings sake. Under the Pendulum Sun has a genius premise and just nails the atmosphere it is going for but its ambling plot and a very very unfortunate twist (that grossed me out so bad) keep me from fully enjyoing it.

These middling kind of books are usually the ones that take me the longest to read them. Sometimes, when I absolutely dislike a book, I more or less race to finish it just to be done with it, or I just abandon it completely. But those books that do not really elicit any strong reactions have the tendency to wreck my reading flow. Especially if I have started too many books already, as I have this time, and have forbidden myself from starting any new books until I have finished the ones I am already reading. Which leads to me not reading. Which annoys me to no end.

What about you? Do you sometimes struggle with the okay-ish books or do you struggle with the ones you dislike more?

12 thoughts on “Thoughts: On 3-Star-Books

  1. (First of all, I kind of love that you’re reading 6 books because I do that all the time and I feel like we are in the minority with this habit??) Also, I’m in total agreement, the 3 star books are usually the ones that take me the longest. When I really dislike something, I almost find some kind of pleasure out of hate-reading it?? Also I really enjoy writing negative reviews, so the prospect of getting to do that keeps me going… There’s essentially no payoff for sticking with the ‘meh’ books. Of course, I do anyway, because I’m really stubborn about not DNFing, but, it’s definitely not fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am always glad when I find othere people who read too many books at once! I struggle especially when the books are objectively not bad but just not really clicking for me. Sometimes I give three stars to books I enjoyed but that are super flawed…
      But quite often my reviews for my 3-star-books I end up really liking (once they are written that is).

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  2. I do the same thing when I’m not loving a book. It kind of prevents me from picking up another one, while at the same time I don’t feel like reading another one so I just don’t read anything and then I end up in a book slump.

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  3. I completely agree with you. 3-stars books make me feel as if reading has become a chore and it is a terrible feeling. I prefer books that have annoyed me to the point of giving them up because they have actually made me FEEL something. But with 3-stars reads, indifference takes over and it’s really difficult to write a review, let alone explain to others why I felt this way…

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    1. I quite like writing the reviews for the books I have such difficult reaction to. I have so many things to say when I can see both the good and the bad. But I struggle finishing them. Actually I think quite a few of the books I put on hold (because I am eternally optimistic I will still finish them at some point) are really okay-ish books that I couldn’t connect to.

      Liked by 1 person

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