When I was in graduate school I experimented with reading a lot of novels I chose at random off the shelf of the public library, novels by people I’d never heard of and which, as far as I knew, had never enjoyed any particular acclaim. I thought maybe there were things I could learn about the construction of novels that I couldn’t get from really successful examples. Maybe you can better see the device that joins the pieces when they’re not joined exactly square, so to speak. So I read these books in order to figure out what was wrong with them.
Anyway, what I learned was that most randomly chosen novels aren’t very good. What’s worse, the typical not-very-good novel doesn’t really have anything wrong with it. Its problem is an absence of things that are interesting — interesting sentences, interesting sounds, interesting ideas, interesting people. And “Don’t be uninteresting” is not a very helpful piece of advice. So I guess I’m just recording the fact that this experiment was a failure. In case you were thinking of trying this, I recommend reading good novels instead.