Author Topic: What makes you stop reading a book?  (Read 9778 times)

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AfleetAlex

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #120 on: April 10, 2014, 03:25:01 PM »
I'm with those of you who cited animal violence and overly depressing stories as reasons to quit reading. The world is depressing enough! (Then again I love murder mysteries, so there's that!)

Another one that gets me to stop reading is a senseless death, especially of a well-liked character. I tend to take it kind of personally.  ;D  I can't think of when this last happened in a book off the top of my head though.

Do NOT pick up A Song of Fire and Ice, the book series that is the source material for the show Game of Thrones.  I swear the author just adds each newly introduced character name to a hat and then pulls one at random to kill off every couple of pages!

Good idea! I'm sticking with the TV show and I'm far enough behind that I happily get spoiled on who dies so I can be prepared!  ;D
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

magicdomino

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #121 on: April 10, 2014, 04:32:09 PM »
It may be best to regard A Song of Fire and Ice/Games of Thrones as a variation of a Shakespearian tragedy:  by the end of the play, all the main characters will be dead.  It's just a matter of who kills whom.  Not that I have any idea of what will be in the last two books, but it keeps me from getting too attached to anyone.   :P

EllenS

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #122 on: April 10, 2014, 04:51:58 PM »
I'm with you on the unlikeable characters. I love Alexander McCall-Smith and liked the first couple of Dalhousie books, but the one I just picked up I hated her before the end of the first chapter. Arrogant, superior, and zero boundaries. None. I think I must have changed in the last few years, because she never seemed like that to me before.

Bad things done to children. Can't deal.

Inner monologue of insane/psychotic characters. Don't want to know. I can deal with a book that has a serial killer, but I do not want to spend the evening inside his/her head.

CharlieBraun

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #123 on: April 10, 2014, 04:59:32 PM »
I started reading a semi-best seller and the first four pages were all the protagonist. musing about comparisons in the jazz scene, throwing about names of musicians as though they were incredibly common currency and that with an air of "if you don't know of whom I speak, please do not absorb any oxygen in this rarefied space."  (And the topic of the book was not jazz.) 

I finally thought, you know, I'm not Woody Allen and for that, I'm grateful.  And I left it on the plane.

"We ate the pies."

cabbageweevil

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #124 on: April 13, 2014, 11:03:38 AM »
Fluffy "plots" with no real conflict.

Boy meets girl. They immediately fall in love - no hurdles to overcome. One of them is usually an orphan, or from an abusive family. The other usually has a large, doting family, consisting of loving parents, siblings, and numerous first cousins. All of whom are ensconced in their own happy relationships. The Big Loving Family accepts the Orphan Partner with open arms. Pages are devoted to the characters' pleasant and fun interactions with each other.

Boy and girl get married in an incredibly romantic and touching wedding ceremony. They find out they are expecting their first child. Cue tears of joy from everyone. The baby is born. More pages are devoted to the main characters' awe and happiness over being parents. The story then ends with the couple expecting baby number two (or three, or four, if it's a particularly long story).

I find those "plots" incredibly boring and unrealistic, and quickly switch off.

My brother and I are both keen readers, but with very different tastes, especially where fiction is concerned.  His such tastes are in the main, a good deal more highbrow than mine.  We have an ongoing jesting / teasing scene about this matter: including taking it as guaranteed that more than 90% of the time, any fiction work or author which I like and recommend, he will not like, and vice versa.  He accuses me of being a "wet nelly", wanting fiction works to be (overall, not necessarily just re love / rel*tionships) as characterised in LifeOnPluto's post.  I retaliate by opining that fiction-wise, he is addicted to "misery-porn"...

Dr. F.

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #125 on: April 13, 2014, 05:01:19 PM »
It may be best to regard A Song of Fire and Ice/Games of Thrones as a variation of a Shakespearian tragedy:  by the end of the play, all the main characters will be dead.  It's just a matter of who kills whom.  Not that I have any idea of what will be in the last two books, but it keeps me from getting too attached to anyone.   :P

I can't remember if it was here on EHell or elsewhere where I originally saw this joke; "George R. R. Martin and J. J. Abrams walk into a bar...."

"And?"

"And everyone you love dies."

poundcake

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #126 on: April 13, 2014, 09:12:31 PM »
Sequels or prequels that completely bungle basic information, and not because it's a different character's perspective or memory or something. This needed to be a drinking game with VC Andrews.

MommyPenguin

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #127 on: April 13, 2014, 09:21:37 PM »
Fluffy "plots" with no real conflict.

Boy meets girl. They immediately fall in love - no hurdles to overcome. One of them is usually an orphan, or from an abusive family. The other usually has a large, doting family, consisting of loving parents, siblings, and numerous first cousins. All of whom are ensconced in their own happy relationships. The Big Loving Family accepts the Orphan Partner with open arms. Pages are devoted to the characters' pleasant and fun interactions with each other.

Boy and girl get married in an incredibly romantic and touching wedding ceremony. They find out they are expecting their first child. Cue tears of joy from everyone. The baby is born. More pages are devoted to the main characters' awe and happiness over being parents. The story then ends with the couple expecting baby number two (or three, or four, if it's a particularly long story).

I find those "plots" incredibly boring and unrealistic, and quickly switch off.

I agree so much with this I barely made it through your post  ;)

I have a friend who is trying to be an author.  She's really serious about it, which is great.  She writes hours every day, something like 10,000 words a day.  She edits and edits, and markets herself heavily at conferences.  She just recently got an agent, which is great.

But she was definitely guilty of this in the one book I read of hers.  She seems to set up conflict that happened in the past, and then the current book is all about getting past that previous conflict... but no new conflict actually happens over the course of the book.  It might be a feel-good novel, but I'm not sure it's going to sell, you know?

AngelicGamer

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #128 on: April 13, 2014, 10:18:32 PM »
It may be best to regard A Song of Fire and Ice/Games of Thrones as a variation of a Shakespearian tragedy:  by the end of the play, all the main characters will be dead.  It's just a matter of who kills whom.  Not that I have any idea of what will be in the last two books, but it keeps me from getting too attached to anyone.   :P

I can't remember if it was here on EHell or elsewhere where I originally saw this joke; "George R. R. Martin and J. J. Abrams walk into a bar...."

"And?"

"And everyone you love dies."

I've seen that meme, but with Joss Whedon, George RR Martin, and Steven Moffat.  ;D  I'm trying to think of who J.J. Abrams has killed off recently that I really like and can only think of Star Trek Into Darkness and Person of Interest.

My pet peeve, that I recently discovered, is that someone has to change X (usually looks) in order to get Y to notice him/her.  I'd rather that Y change in realizing just how shallow he/she is, which does happen but only after X has changed. 




"Life's tough, huh?  And then you die." ~ Buck, the Magnificent Seven.

PastryGoddess

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #129 on: April 13, 2014, 11:21:03 PM »
Sequels or prequels that completely bungle basic information, and not because it's a different character's perspective or memory or something. This needed to be a drinking game with VC Andrews.

You will die...

ammyd

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #130 on: April 14, 2014, 01:16:09 AM »
Unexplained angst is one of the big ones for me. For instance a couple is talking and person A says something and then out of nowhere with no explanation person B just loses it. They spend days/weeks/months apart to come back together in the end. Except they never really explain why person B flipped. It's just swept under the rug likely with no apology.

greencat

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #131 on: April 14, 2014, 01:59:43 AM »
It may be best to regard A Song of Fire and Ice/Games of Thrones as a variation of a Shakespearian tragedy:  by the end of the play, all the main characters will be dead.  It's just a matter of who kills whom.  Not that I have any idea of what will be in the last two books, but it keeps me from getting too attached to anyone.   :P

I can't remember if it was here on EHell or elsewhere where I originally saw this joke; "George R. R. Martin and J. J. Abrams walk into a bar...."

"And?"

"And everyone you love dies."

I've seen that meme, but with Joss Whedon, George RR Martin, and Steven Moffat.  ;D  I'm trying to think of who J.J. Abrams has killed off recently that I really like and can only think of Star Trek Into Darkness and Person of Interest.

My pet peeve, that I recently discovered, is that someone has to change X (usually looks) in order to get Y to notice him/her.  I'd rather that Y change in realizing just how shallow he/she is, which does happen but only after X has changed.

Although I don't typically read novels where the romance is central to the plot, one of the few times I was watching a romantic comedy and enjoying it got ruined for exactly that reason.  The movie was all about "be yourself instead of fake, it's more attractive!" and then the male character had to give himself a total (and unrealistic) makeover to attract the female character.

On reflection, however, I have decided that this is actually a more realistic lesson to teach people trying to actually date - sometimes, if you want a certain kind of partner (or even a certain specific person as a partner,) you need to make changes in yourself to get that kind of partner, because without those changes, you aren't an acceptable partner to some people. 

Lynn2000

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #132 on: April 21, 2014, 11:00:01 AM »
Although I don't typically read novels where the romance is central to the plot, one of the few times I was watching a romantic comedy and enjoying it got ruined for exactly that reason.  The movie was all about "be yourself instead of fake, it's more attractive!" and then the male character had to give himself a total (and unrealistic) makeover to attract the female character.

On reflection, however, I have decided that this is actually a more realistic lesson to teach people trying to actually date - sometimes, if you want a certain kind of partner (or even a certain specific person as a partner,) you need to make changes in yourself to get that kind of partner, because without those changes, you aren't an acceptable partner to some people.

Yeah, I do think there's a certain realism to that. Immediately I thought of, immature slacker who doesn't want to grow up, who finally realizes he needs to clean up his act, take responsibility, get a job, etc.. I mean, as long as he isn't hurting anyone else or mooching off them, I guess he can be a happy slacker his whole life if he wants; but probably, the go-getting, up-by-her-bootstraps law student is not really going to be interested in him, you know?

Sometimes falling for someone can inspire one to change for the better, like living healthier or being more responsible. In fact, isn't there a recent romantic movie (or two) with the line, "You make me want to be a better person"? But, it has to be a deep change, and not just an act one is putting on, or it won't last. I feel like most romances (book or movie) that attempt to tackle this subject do so only in a shallow way.
~Lynn2000

Ereine

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #133 on: April 21, 2014, 11:23:38 AM »
I stop reading books too easily. Sometimes I don't enjoy them or the characters or plot are too annoying but often something just comes up or I get busy and abandon the book and never return to. Or I start reading something more interesting.

At the moment I'm struggling to finish a book I can only read a few pages before the heroine gets too annoying. She's pretty stupid and naive, trusts all the wrong people against evidence and is of course completely ignorant of her own feelings (and is a virgin without knowing it, despite being married for ten years). I would much rather read about the secondary couple.

Dawse

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #134 on: April 21, 2014, 01:40:33 PM »
Monumental idiocy kills it for me. Characters who are a bit dim overall aren't so bad but when a main protagonist in a novel makes a move or decision that makes me want to grab them by the scruff of the neck and shake them, it's over. (David Gemmell, I am looking at you and your characters.) Now, sometimes people do make bad decisions in their lives, I can live with that. But when it's such an overwhelmingly poor choice, and it's done in such a way that it's stupendously obviously a set-up for a future plot line, that's it, bye bye book. I put down Sword in the Storm (which I had been really enjoying) about four fifths of the way in for this reason.
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