Author Topic: What makes you stop reading a book?  (Read 11540 times)

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ArztWolf

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What makes you stop reading a book?
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:35:16 PM »
Since we already have a "reading pet peeves" thread for things that just annoy you in a book, how about a thread for things that make you completely STOP reading a book?

For me its:
1. Too much angst
2. Love triangles that take over the plot in a non romance book.
3. Forced scrabble
4. Mary Sue/Larry Stu overdose

So what are yours?

TootsNYC

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Re: What makes you put a stop reading a book?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 12:36:52 PM »
5. Boring! Yesterday I started a mystery book and didn't make it past the first chapter.  I could see the plot coming a mile away (widowed cop's teenage daughter becomes the next victim of a serial killer), and all the characters, exchanges, etc., were so formulaic.


readingchick

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 12:41:35 PM »
If the subject matter is over my head, I'll stop reading. I remember when my book club had to discuss The Crash of 1929 by Galbraith (I think I got the title right; mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa if I didn't). I tried to read it. I honestly did. The subject matter just didn't float my boat.

Another book I had to stop reading was Twilight. I just couldn't get into it.

JenJay

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 12:51:14 PM »
When I realize I'm glancing at the bottom of my kindle to see what percentage of the book is finished and thinking "Ugh! I'm nowhere near finished." That's when I'll go online, read a spoiler about the ending, and call it good. Life is too short to waste time slogging through a meh book!

(I should add, this usually happens because the plot hasn't progressed in ages, every character is annoying, or the whole story is so boring I just don't care anymore.)

TootsNYC

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 12:52:14 PM »
When I realize I'm glancing at the bottom of my kindle to see what percentage of the book is finished and thinking "Ugh! I'm nowhere near finished." That's when I'll go online, read a spoiler about the ending, and call it good. Life is too short to waste time slogging through a meh book!

This is one thing I don't like about the Kindle. It's harder to flip through and read little chunks here and there to speed the whole process up.

JenJay

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 12:53:43 PM »
When I realize I'm glancing at the bottom of my kindle to see what percentage of the book is finished and thinking "Ugh! I'm nowhere near finished." That's when I'll go online, read a spoiler about the ending, and call it good. Life is too short to waste time slogging through a meh book!

This is one thing I don't like about the Kindle. It's harder to flip through and read little chunks here and there to speed the whole process up.

True. I usually just hit the button 4 or 5 times and skim. Still talking about that? Keep going...

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 12:54:10 PM »
When I realize I'm glancing at the bottom of my kindle to see what percentage of the book is finished and thinking "Ugh! I'm nowhere near finished." That's when I'll go online, read a spoiler about the ending, and call it good. Life is too short to waste time slogging through a meh book!

(I should add, this usually happens because the plot hasn't progressed in ages, every character is annoying, or the whole story is so boring I just don't care anymore.)

Agreed!  Sometimes I don't even care enough to look up the spoiler. 

Harriet Jones

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 12:56:55 PM »
Writing style -- overly wordy/flowery prose is a huge turnoff.  I've put down quite a few fantasy-type novels after reading just a couple of pages because reading them feels like the literary version of slogging through mud.

barkingmad

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 01:00:11 PM »
Bad writing, bad editing, glaring factual errors, lack of research and just plain lousy writing.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 01:10:25 PM »
Nonfiction writing: glaring errors of fact.  I started reading a true crime book written from the viewpoint of one of the survivors.  But the survivor had died back in the 1960's, but he had spent an hour telling his son what had happened, and that was the main source of the research for the book.  But for a man who spent only an hour talking, he crammed a ton of detail.  There were explicit details: what he ate the first night he arrived at the farm (murder site), what he was thinking and feeling, and on and on and on.

That loud snapping was the sound of my credulity giving way.  No way.  Either the son made it up, or the writer made it up, but this narrative has been embellished.  And if you made this up, where else did you stretch the truth?
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Firecat

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 01:24:42 PM »
Unbelievable stupidity on the part of one or more characters. I tried to read Game of Thrones, I really did. Twice. And then I got to the part where one character goes to another (who is Character A's worst enemy in the world, and Character B has already been shown to be totally ruthless) and says, essentially "Oh, hi, Worst Enemy who hates me and my entire family. I've found out this devastating thing about you. And I'm not going to tell anyone else. I'm going to trust that you're going to meekly run off into exile and never bother me again."

That's when I put the book down and walked away. Because, Dude, if you are that stupid, you deserve what's coming, but I don't have to read about it...

There was other stuff, too, but that was the point where I was like "OK, I'm done."

Coralreef

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 01:25:59 PM »
1 -  Endless descriptions.  I'm reading Verne's' 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.  When it gets to the description of the different types of fish, sea plants, and others it gets annoying fast.  I'm close to letting it go and watch the movie.  It will save me from the classification into families, genus, species of each and every critter for pages and pages on end.  Not to mention the dates and histories of every single European sea captain that sailed into the unknown (not to mention the relationships between these explorers and characters that never have anything to do with the story). 

2 - Useless information.  I don't need to know the name of the boyfriend of the waitress who served coffee to a fourth tier character that dies in the third paragraph of chapter 2.

3 - Point of view that shifts around too much.  Change of POV between chapters, yeah, no problem.  Every second sentence?  No...

4 - When the main character is annoying and rude.  The character of the little girl in the Golden Compass comes to mind.  When you're cheering for the side of evil, there is something wrong with the hero.  Main character doesn't have to be perfect, but outright despicable?

5 - When in the middle of a cliff hanger, the main character's magic / incredible knowledge comes up with absolutely no foreshadowing or explanation.  We're on chapter 12 of 17 and you're telling me now!?! 

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PastryGoddess

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2014, 01:31:48 PM »
4 - When the main character is annoying and rude.  The character of the little girl in the Golden Compass comes to mind.  When you're cheering for the side of evil, there is something wrong with the hero.  Main character doesn't have to be perfect, but outright despicable?


Are you talking about the His Dark Materials trilogy, or the book based on the movie?  Cause the movie sucked.  But I love the books

rose red

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2014, 01:36:05 PM »
When I need a dictionary to read; the author is trying to prove how smart they are rather than focus on entertaining the reader (I'm talking about mainstream novels here).

In the same vain, when the author makes up words but is not skillful enough that the reader can keep track/understand. It's no fun to keep flipping to the glossary (The Harry Potter books have made up words, but I understand completely. On the other hand, I couldn't get through three chapters The Black Dagger Brotherhoods books.)

Slartibartfast

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 01:40:36 PM »
The longer I've been a writer, the more I notice craft issues when I'm reading.  There's an author I used to LOVE who was my favoritest author in the whole world - and then I learned more about writing, and I realize she head-hops (changes point of view) ALL OVER THE PLACE.  One sentence will be something only the heroine could know, then the next sentence is the hero's internal thoughts, then the next sentence is how the heroine's cheeks feel warm . . . I can't read her anymore  :-\  I do read a lot of self-published ebooks, mostly from author friends and friends-of-friends who say "my book is free on Amazon today!" - and yeah, there are differences between self-pubbed and small-press-pubbed and traditionally published, in terms of editing and prose quality.  Not universal, of course, but I find myself giving up on a lot more ebooks than I do with paper copies.

My other big bugaboo is consent issues.  I may be on the pickier end of the spectrum when it comes to this, but I absolutely can't stand situations where one character is forced into something nonconsensual and then it's treated like no big deal.  Sometimes this is obvious - rape PTSD shrugged off as something that the hero can cure the heroine of via lots of scrabble - but often it's more subtle.  The hero kissing/groping the heroine even though she's given no outward sign of wanting it, even though we the readers know she does.  One half of a couple unilaterally making decisions for the other half, and it's presented as totally normal or desirable to have in a relationship.  Situations where one partner (usually the heroine) honestly has no ability to walk away from the budding relationship because of external circumstances, so the hero's overtures feel sleazy instead of romantic.  Unfortunately, these issues usually only crop up once I'm halfway into the story  :-\