Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading Books I Hate

Right now I'm reading two books that I hate,

One that I hate so much that I have a little mantra going in my head the whole time I'm reading: "I hate this book, I hate this book..."  Normally, I don't hate books (exception)--I might find them less-than-interesting, but "hate" is a pretty strong word. 

What to do when you hate a book:
  • Stop reading! Different people have different rules of thumb about how long to read a book before they give up on it.  My rule is 50 pages, but I almost never give up on books.  That's probably because I'm pretty picky about what I read.*  I can't stop reading these two because they're both required for class.
  • Break your reading up into small bits of time.  If you choose this option, try to read at least a chapter per sitting, or you will NEVER get through the thing.  Again, I can't use this option because of reading deadlines.
  • Reward yourself.  Promise yourself an equal amount of good reading for each block of time you spend doing this type of reading.
  • Play some good music, loudly.
  • Brew coffee.
  • See below (photo by Andrewc)
By reading these two books at the same time, I have managed to isolate some qualities that will make me hate your writing:
  • Use lots of drawings that don't make sense (on the other hand, this does mean less reading per page).
  • Make random changes in typography for apparently no meaning (see above).
  • Make sure the ideas in one paragraph are completely unrelated to ideas in adjacent paragraphs.
  • Present lots of bold assertions with no evidence.
  • Use terminology that most people aren't familiar with, just for fun.  Make up words.
  • Constantly refer the reader to parts of other chapters, both before and after the chapter she is in.  This will reinforce your lack of organization for her.
  • Write about ideas that others have already written about, only better.  If you have original ideas, hide them well.
I'm afraid to continue.  If these books were fiction, I'd have another whole list, but that's another post.

*except that I'm reading some lists right now, yet another post...


  1. I enjumble your review because, I as said in a previous comment, I believe rhetoric is the ability to see the means of persuasion and every American knows how to articulate a rhetorical kinko.

    Good luck.

  2. Just be glad they weren't from YOUR class.

  3. Some good advice! I particularly like the "take nap with cat" option.

  4. Just getting to this post. . . . I'm laughing out loud because I've been enjoined to read one of these two multiple times by our mutual friend, and I've never quite been able to get through it. I always figured it was because I only had a digital copy (and hadn't yet figured out how to turn pdfs into Kindle files), but you've reminded me of all the other problems as well. Sigh.

  5. To be fair, I did not hate the last third of Qualitative Research.