Author Topic: What makes you stop reading a book?  (Read 11368 times)

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Mikayla

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 01:41:52 PM »
Just for grins, I started making my way through my housemate's romance collection, and apparently I am not a fan.

The last book I gave up on had no plot.  I crashed and burned on page 140 when I realized that I had just read 135 pages of back-and-forth between the male and female who had instant attraction.   There was a lot of plot potential, but if you're halfway through and nothing has happened, it's time to wish them well and get on with your own life!

In a more general sense, I have no tolerance for bad writing or editing.   I also loathe superfluous subplots.


Kariachi

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 01:46:49 PM »
1) Bad grammar and/or formatting. Not even the desperation of a fangirl and crackshipper can get me through bad grammar. I've read stuff with meh grammar, but bad grammar is an automatic no.

2) Braindead characters. If they are well and truly to dumb to live, I don't want to read about them, go away.

3) The plot that never ends. I started one book, I swear to the gods it could have been easily stretched into a trilogy. At least. Once we hit the fourth point where it could have been split off into a small book, and been better for it, I just gave up.

4) Predictability. At least try to surprise me, please. And if you're not going to surprise me, at least make it interesting.

5) Boring. If I can put down the book and not remember a single thing about what I just read, I'm not gonna pick it up. If it isn't interesting enough to keep my attention longer than each individual word, not happening.
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Ms_Cellany

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 01:49:02 PM »
If I don't care what happens next.
Using a chainsaw is as close as we come to having a lightsaber in this life.

Dys

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 01:49:51 PM »
I try not to fling books at the wall when I read them on the ipad, but the main reason I'll quit is as per Dorothy J Heydt "I don't care what happens to these people".
I also can't keep reading if I'm itching to give the protaganist a good slap and tell them to grow a personality. I get that authors want readers to identify with the characters, but bland, limp, spineless, whiney... sorry, sorry...I'm having flashbacks.

I mostly read sci-fi and fantasy, but I have limits with regards to convenient handwaving to skip over plot holes.

If I dont want to stay awake just a bit longer to see what happens, there's a good chance I'm never going to pick it up again.

Dys

Amara

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 01:51:40 PM »
Boredom and/or filthy language.

I have no idea why people laugh loudly at such language used by comedians (what happened to actual funny stuff?), or why it is used so often by so many writers. Is it that we are losing interest in the limitless land of words and prefer to use a mere dozen or so for all situations? If so, count me out.

alkira6

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 01:54:31 PM »
When reading the book is like reading the "begat" section of the Bible. Yes. I'm looking at you Game of Thrones.  Please just introduce people naturally instead of giving a complete genealogy and history.

Having a stupid/self centered character as the her/heroine.  Aside from the horrible, horrible writing, the characters of Edward and Bella in Twilight made me want to cleanse the earth with fire to keep them from reproducing. I actually and to finish reading the whole series even after rejecting them because I was on the book committee for the library and we all had to read the teen lit for levels of appropriateness.

Poor writing in the sense of sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, and compound/complex sentences (see Twilight, 50 shades of gray, so forth).  Please use a 1. Thesaurus, 2. a dictionary 3. and online help site such as the Perdue writing lab.

Lynn2000

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 02:34:28 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

POD to PastryGoddess. I recommend pretending the movie doesn't exist. And I love the book, and I liked that the main character was kind of challenging. However, I can see how that would definitely be a "your mileage may vary" situation as to what flaws one could put up with. Me, I really dislike the trope of "great at her challenging job, but stinks in her love life" for women. I usually don't even pick up a book if that's how the summary describes the main character.

I've stopped reading books, like Game of Thrones, Roma, and even Lemony Snicket and Redwall, because of the constant bad things happening to people. I also tried really hard to read Wicked by Gregory Maguire, the Wizard of Oz riff; I just couldn't finish it, it was too grim and abstract and philosophical, really no fun at all.

I've also passed on a couple of books when they got kind of gross--too much mention of bodily fluids or scatological humor, even if it made sense for the group of characters. One was a kids' series that was kind of Addams Family-ish, with pets who were technically dead and decomposing and so forth.

I also don't like books (especially kids' series) where the group is stocked with check-off-the-box "types"--the jock, the brain, the clown, etc.--and they're each a different ethnicity, not because that's interesting or realistic, but because the author wants to hit all the corners of the focus group chart.

Another book I gave up on because it was supposed to be set in 1910 or so, a historical soap opera, but all the characters' attitudes and behaviors felt way too modern. They should have just been modern people in a social circle that liked dressing up in old-timey clothes and riding in horse-drawn carriages.

I also don't like narration that is meandering and overly folksy. I actually have trouble even with classics like Mark Twain in this regard. It feels very smug to me, like you're assuming the audience knows you're so awesome that you don't have to prove yourself to them with a focused story. Maybe actual Mark Twain can get away with that, but few others.

With non-fiction, the topic can be presented in a dull or confusing way, or be pitched over my head, or have too much abstract philosophical stuff (when it's about chemistry or something like that).

I try to finish the book I'm reading--I don't usually read more than one book at a time. But sometimes I look over at the book and think about reading it, and then I'm like, "You know, I should probably go clean the toilet." Or basically anything other than read the book. That's when I think, maybe I should just give up on this one.
~Lynn2000

guihong

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 02:34:50 PM »
1. Violence towards animals (1984 was an exception)
2. Too violent
3. Factual errors (but I watch Reign::))
4. Lots of dialog when I can't figure out who is speaking or to whom (Lord Jim, where it seemed half the book was set in Jim's thoughts and angst)
5. Long pages of description (I finished Moby wingadingdingy, but a great deal of the book is about whaling.  Moby doesn't even show up until the last 1/4 of it)
6. Long pages of the author's pontifications (example: War and Peace.  I "finished" it, but admit to skipping most of Tolstoy's opinions and sticking to the action)
7. If the plot seems to take forever to get going (almost any Thomas Hardy novel)



MyFamily

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2014, 02:36:38 PM »
Bad stero-typing - there was a cozy mystery series that I was borderline about - the heroine is a New York Jew who moves to Nashville; the last book in that series that I tried to read, I couldn't do it - it was trying way too hard to make the protagonist sound like what someone outside of New York would expect a New York Jew to sound like, and instead just came across as incredibly offensive.  Another novel (different author) had a lesbian character who couldn't say anything nice about any males.  Yes, there are women who hate all men, but it was clear that the reason she hates all men is because she was a lesbian

False or mistaken facts printed in fiction books.  One was where someone ate some cake, had what appeared to be an allergic reaction and died - the 'pretends to be a real detective' said something like it couldn't have been a real allergic reaction because there were no peanuts in the cake - ignoring of course, that people can be deathly allergic to the eggs, milk, and fruit that was used to make the cake (that one got a letter from me sent to the author, who said something about how she was only saying that to help the story along, of course she knows about allergies - sorry, I'm glad you think it helped the story along, but you look like an idiot and I think your character isn't that smart either).  Or when they identify a real school or museum but put it in the wrong city.  Just bugs me and shows that you don't care enough about your work to do even a smidgen of research.


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

Piratelvr1121

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 02:45:43 PM »
For nonfiction books: Reading like a textbook, or just being incredibly dry with no emotion whatsoever.  It makes it really difficult for me to slog through it. 

For fiction? Mary Sue/Larry Stu, though I don't encounter the latter quite as much.  I remember when I was reading the Twilight books, I was working in an office and another girl was reading the same book I was (New Moon) and threw the book across the room about the same time (not in the office, at home, we learned this by discussing it in the office) but for different reasons.

Her reason? She was mad at Edward for leaving Bella the way he did. Me? I was fed up with the whole relationship. Though maybe that doesn't count. I did pick it up and keep going but only cause I was promised it got better.  ::)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

jaxsue

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »
What makes me stop reading a book? If it's badly edited (looking at you, self-publishers!) to the point that I have trouble finding a sentence that isn't riddled with errors. Also, if the book's set in a historical time period, but the hero/heroine is not racist/sexist/whatever-ist at all, and holds completely modern POV's.  ::) I can suspend my disbelief, but only so much.

rose red

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2014, 02:51:34 PM »
I put the book down when the characters prove to be unpleasant. When violent is mistaken for "strong." I read a book where the "heroine" (even Bella would think she's a total Mary Sue) slapped the hero and the reader is suppose to think she's strong and sassy. All it did was make me think the guy is an idiot for not charging her for assault. Also when a character is mean and hateful and has contempt for other characters who are nice, but we are suppose to think that character is "strong" and "kick-butt" and the nice character is wimpy and weak.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 02:59:30 PM by rose red »

Allyson

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2014, 03:01:59 PM »
When it is so incredibly predictable that I can call the plot twists chapters ahead, and when they try to convince the reader that no really, this is shocking and a surprise. Heroine is pulled between two men, one of whom is nice and normal and the other is growly (supernatural in some way if it's paranormal) and jerkish, constantly telling her she wants him. If the book was written in the last 5 years she'll go with the second guy undoubtedly.

Along the same lines, trying so hard it's laughable. It seems now that every single male romantic interest in a paranormal book has to do that growly "MINE, never will another man touch you" thing, which is supposed to be romantic, but unfortunately I have now seen so very many times that it's just funny/ridiculous to me.

Library Dragon

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2014, 03:25:57 PM »
Quote
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?

I was just thinking this during my lunch time read.  I'm currently reading "The Serpent's Tale" by Ariana Franklin.  Oh my!  The lead character is so obnoxious.  She has so many axes to grind I don't know how she has time to solve crime let alone practice medicine. 

I adore Flavia de Luce.  She's spunky, quirky, and takes crazy dangers, even for the 1950s.  (I understand the lack of concern for a child biking all over the countryside. I grew up in a come home when the street lights come on philosophy.)  But, she's looking at the world through the eyes of a pre-adolescent girl, not a well educated adult. 

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Two Ravens

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2014, 04:03:40 PM »
For me, it's the casual use of violence. If the hero/heroine feels that punching someone in the face is a perfectly acceptable response to being insulted/hearing something they don't like, it's an instant turn off. I also feel that way about TV shows.

When it is so incredibly predictable that I can call the plot twists chapters ahead, and when they try to convince the reader that no really, this is shocking and a surprise. Heroine is pulled between two men, one of whom is nice and normal and the other is growly (supernatural in some way if it's paranormal) and jerkish, constantly telling her she wants him. If the book was written in the last 5 years she'll go with the second guy undoubtedly.

Well, this was also the plot twist in Pride and Prejudice, so it's hardly limited to the last 5 years.  ;)