Life Over Books,  Mystery, Thriller+Suspense

An Evening with a Boring Book

It was 4 pm and the heat of the afternoon sun had magically transformed into a gentle yet, cool breeze. The kids had been packed off for the weekend to a friend’s place, which meant a couple of golden hours, all to myself. Sitting in my verandah with a book in hand, and a cup of coffee, it seemed to be the best way to enjoy the bonus time, reading and watching the setting sun go down. But, I was in for one big disappointment.

I sat reading “The Obsession by Nora Roberts”. And boy, my patience was surely tested.

The Obsession in brief

The book narrates the story of Naomi Bowes. At 12 years of age, she follows her father one night into the woods, to discover that he is a serial killer. Naomi ends up saving a young woman from his clutches and also plays witness, sending her father to jail for life. Despite her good deed, the trauma of having seen it all begins to haunt her. The world just doesn’t seem to let her rest in peace either. Her story becomes a slice of meat for the media and the tag of being a monster’s daughter stays for long. From moving homes to changing her surname Naomi does it all. She grows up into a fine lady, an aspiring photographer in the making and, moves far away to Sunrise Cove. However nearly twenty years after the incident, yet again a serial killer is back. A stalker he seems to be, collecting victims until he tries to get to her.

The book begins on a good suspense mode. However as it progresses, the plot fails to thicken, and begins to fall downhill. Unevenly scattered facts fail to hold the suspense within. There are needless descriptions and characters that don’t seem to fit into the wide frame of things.  Not only does this slow the pace, but they also make the final suspense element fall flat. In fact, the ending was way too predictable, sans any twists. I can seldom call this a suspense novel.

I was bored to the core, yet I continued reading it till the end (ok I did skip a whole lot of pages in between)

Confession time

It isn’t uncommon to encounter books with endless narrations; descriptions beyond ones comprehension, poorly dealt with plots and badly edited content. Such books could be quite an agony and can bore you to the core, forcing you to abandon them midway. Despite a part of me wanting to abandon this book somewhere midway, I decided to continue with it. Now why would I do that?

I am a completist of a sort, when it comes to books. There has been many an occasion when I have pushed myself to finish even the most mind-numbing books, albeit with pages being skipped. This is primarily because, having invested money on a book, I find it wasteful to toss it over, without giving it a chance to prove itself completely. There is always the hope that the book may turn out just fine as it makes its way towards the end.

Lessons from my evening with a boring book

  1. A boring book is a relative term. For, what appeals to one may not appeal to another. Which also means every book in this world will have a reader somewhere!
  2. A boring book in hand could spoil the mood of the evening. I had to lay my hands on the stock of red wine at home to digest the boredom created by The Obsession.
  3. A boring book is a perfect way to look engrossed, yet let your mind wander away. While reading The Obsession my attention constantly kept wavering off, and I dreamt of interesting things.
  4. The whole experience of reading could be considered as enjoyable only if you are engrossed in it.

What do you do when a book doesn’t emotionally or intellectually stimulate you? 

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28 Comments

  • mammaspeaks

    I loved the red wine part, Ramya! With a wine in hand, even the most boring book should seem OK 😉 And I agree with you over skipping pages of a boring book, I admit having done with Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, as the description became too lengthy to read and appreciate.

  • Rita

    I actually struggle to finish books, especially non-fiction ones. I get really into it at first, but about 60-70% into the book I start feeling like “ok, I get the concept…” and then I struggle to keep going.

  • Tadpoles And Mud Puddles

    I love a good book. I usually stop reading if I get too bored. I have a bunch of half read books. It’s definitely wasteful but I also helps me come up with other ideas that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t started the book in the first place. Good for you to actually finish it, even if you skip a few pages. 🙂

  • thevintagegypsygirl

    I loved the part about being bored to the core- I just had to laugh! Ah, but to steal a few hours away and sit on the verandah with a cup of coffee in hand and a good book watching the sunset is simply divine!

  • Sarah

    I am guilty of quitting and getting myself a new book to read if the current one isn’t keeping my attention. I will try to continue next time though with your tips.

  • Tara

    Now that is some patience, I can barely read books that I enjoy, let alone to sit and read a book just to complete it. Then again I avoid books, I had to read giant textbooks most of my college days and that was enough for me. It is refreshing to see someone writing an honest review. Thanks for sharing!

  • Vinitha

    I am the same way, Ramya. I can’t abandon a book halfway through reading. If I find it too boring to read I would take a pause, read something else which I love and then come back to the boring book with a fresh mind. But abandoning midway is too much for me to bear. 🙂 I agree, even for a boring book there might be readers somewhere. And maybe, that book was boring because of our perspective. 🙂

  • optimisticauthor10

    I enjoyed your book review. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who will put a book down if it doesn’t grab me. I’ll give it a lot of leeway, but if I’m not captivated within the first 50-100 pages, I’m out. Life is too short. You did a nice job pulling this together both as a review and as insight into your own personality.

  • MichelleH

    Oh, I love Nora Roberts but I think it’s because of the predictability. Here’s the thing – she writes the same story with the same characters and changes settings and names. She’s like my favorite flannel pjs and I can absolutely see why you’d find this book boring. Try “The Dry” by Jane Harper next. She got me back into Crime/Suspense.

  • Vidya Sury

    I used to think that I must finish every book I started reading earlier, but over the last couple of years, have realized that time is too precious to waste on forcing ourselves to do something that does not make us happy. Still, Nora Roberts isn’t a bad author. I am surprised to read your review. I admire you for finishing the book, Ramya

  • Shalzmojo

    Oh my this does sound very painful Ramya and no matter the money spent, the time wasted is more important for me. I geenrally pass on such books to peeps who would be looking to read it; I do add my two bit over abandoning it. Hats off to you for reading it through – a suspense novel with so much meandering can be a very painful read and you seem to have ploughed on!

  • Ravish Mani

    Here’s my takeaway from the post: “I find it wasteful to toss it over, without giving it a chance to prove itself completely.” I completely agree that everyone should get a chance to prove oneself. 🙂

  • SeemaMisra

    A boring book for such a wonderful golden dusk – that’s sad. I’ve liked Nora Robert’s ‘Key’ series and ‘Three Sister Island’ series – this one does not sound like something i’d like. Shes good with the magic, romance, genre.

    Seema Misra – Artist, Writer, Wanderer, and Dreamer.
    A Falling Feather

  • Corinne Rodrigues

    I’m so surprised that the book was no good. I’ve read some of hers and found them really interesting. I’m always afraid when authors start churning out so many books that they will literally lose the plot!
    I leave books unfinished all the time! 😉

  • Anagha Yatin

    You are a positive person with very gentle ways of reprimanding or say labeling something, Ramya. Admire you for this quality.
    Few of the mind numbing books that I ever read out of compulsion belonged to syllabus. I couldnt escape reading till the last dot, for the sakes were high…I would have flunked in the subject!

  • writershilpa

    Hehehe! I have come across some really mind-numbing books. So, I did the same thing. Skip pages…loads of them, till I reach the last two chapters! 😛 the story often gets summed up there, doesn’t it?

  • Shailaja V

    Ha ha you are better than me. If a book bores me, I don’t finish it. Life is too short to waste on a boring book 😉

    That said, I have found that some books I found boring in the past now have some sort of allure for me.Not sure if it’s age or wisdom or lack thereof but I am far more forgiving these days, of people and books, in general.

    Still not going to read this one though 😀 I need some element of joy in my reading and bad plots tend to put me off.

  • Modern Gypsy

    Wow, that’s some commitment … or an excuse to drink some wine? 😉 I tend to toss books if I don’t like them. I just don’t have the patience to plod through boring books anymore!

  • Obsessivemom

    Ha ha ha.. a completist! But I do know what you mean. I hate to leave a book midway. And like you sometimes I wonder too why i would stick it out with a book I don’t like. This one sounds alright, as in the plot sounds interesting enough for a thriller but sometimes the narration lets you down. Hope you pick up a great book next time.

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