Five Ways to Survive Read a Bad Book
So you’ve picked up a book that you have to finish. No chucking away for you, my friend! Problem? You hate it and reading it is causing your eyes to bleed. What to do? Where to go? Who to turn to? You are being forced to read it against your will, and you’re pretty sure it violates the Geneva convention at least once for the inhumane treatment of POW’s (i.e. you. since you are both Prisoner and reading the book is like surviving a war only you’re battling not to kill yourself). Well, you can give up on your usual coping crutches which is to fantasize about me in wicked and illicit ways – because I have come up with a system of five methods for making it through any bad book. I’ve read a lot of bad books. A Lot. Necessity and force of will has often seen me through the worst of times. Thus I developed my patent system for surviving the ordeal, and now you can too!
1. Turn it into a drinking game
Almost anything becomes significantly more tolerable when alcohol is involved – reading painful books included. But it’s not socially acceptable to just rip open that bottle of Pinot and get blind, devastatingly drunk when you need to finish a book. Make a game out of it! What’s the most annoying and consistently recurrent thing in the book?
Is it every time the protagonists almost get together but break it off at the last moment? Drink. Annoying catchprhase? Drink. A particular word the author likes to use? Drink. Every time a vowel is used? Drink.
2. Imagine all the characters are in drag and especially unhappy about it
Most of us know that drag is a fantastic, wonderful thing. It’s fun, you look amazing and it lets you unleash your creativity. But not everyone is as awesome as us and it’s likely that in the crux of an important, supposedly dramatic moment of the truly horrible book you’re reading, it would be really funny if a main character needed to adjust their thong. Or try and fix their head gear. Or maybe they’re running from some disaster and: boom! Drag. Immediate fun. Trying running in those heels, you magnificent bastards! Maybe they’re the president giving an address to the nation about aliens and: Boom! Drag. Maybe they’re hardened soldiers firing their guns in a dystopian world and: Boom! Drag. Can the guns fire sparkles? YOU BET YOUR ASS CHEEKS THEY CAN! See a theme here? Everything gets more awesome with drag. You will be doing the book a favour.
3. No matter what the novel is, imagine it’s really a soap opera about humans written by aliens who’ve never met us and has somehow accidentally been published on earth.
Sometimes a book is so droll, lifeless and boring that even drag can’t improve it. But why does the book have to be that way? Why are the characters acting so strangely? In ways that are generally not normal or considered socially acceptable in human society? Why is their speech so stilted and funny? Why does the novel progress in such strange ways? Why is there an abundance of descriptions for common, every day things that a normal human being would not need to have described for them? Well, maybe the book wasn’t written for humans? Maybe the reason why five paragraphs are devoted to describing the protagonist’s hair is because the intended readership has never seen hair!
Ooooh! Could the book have been written for ALIENS!? Now your job is to investigate! What does this book say about that alien culture? What do they wrongly believe about humans? Do they think women can wander the wilderness for months on end without encountering some feminine issues? What is their belief about human mating issues? How have they characterized and portrayed human evilness? What can you glean from their own prejudices and beliefs about our society and how it reflects on them?
4. Create a bingo game for its genre.
So you’re reading a really bad romance, but you just have to make it to the end. You’ve probably read enough that you know what’s probably going to happen. Protagonists forced together against their will by circumstances? Can you say B22? Highlander? Can you say C3? Time travel? pregnancy? Happily ever after? Saved from rape? Heaving bossoms? Congratulations! You have a game to play! How many tropes can you spot?
What about a fantasy book? Dragons? Knights? Girl dressing as a boy? Rape? More rape? (You’re probably reading Game of Thrones). Magic? Enchanted sword? Wizards? The fun goes on! How true to the genre is the book?
5. Start plotting for which poor bastard friends of yours you’re going to force it on.
Sometimes a book is so bad that the only way to survive the pain of reading it, is to simply imagine sharing your pain with as many others as possible. “God, he just kissed her foot – Samantha would hate that! I’ll give this book to her next.” or “Ugh, so much political talk! This would drive John crazy! I must force him to read it and laugh at his misery!”
Plot for each poor, miserable asshole you’re going to afflict this pile of shit on. Imagine their faces as the read the scenes. Then try to stop your maniacal laughter from reverberating too loudly off the walls of your evil Fortress of Doom as you read!
Happy Booking, Dudes!