Author Topic: What makes you stop reading a book?  (Read 11327 times)

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poundcake

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2014, 09:01:20 PM »
I could have written all of Dindrane's post.

I, too, rarely don't finish something I've started, but two things that have stopped me are the "Eight Deadly Words" about not caring what happens to the characters, and horrible writing and/or editing. This is why I gave up on "Twilight" after the first hundred pages. Even mentally re-writing the sentences to improve them didn't make the characters less dull. And I'll usually soldier on through anything to find out what happens.

Coralline

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2014, 04:09:57 AM »
I had to stop reading Bryce Courtney's books because in every single book of his that I read the strong female character would get raped. And in some cases die because of it. I really liked his stories, but couldn't handle knowing that it was inevitably coming up at some point.

Also, I recently read a murder mystery where I hated the main character so much that by the third chapter I was really hoping she'd be taken by the serial killer. I've blocked it out of my mind, it was so awful.

cabbageweevil

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2014, 05:12:53 AM »
Oh, I hate that, too. Dialogue and attitudes that just don't fit with the period.

I threw aside a Regency romance where a duke said "Okay."
"Okay" is extremely hard to purge from one's everyday speech or writing. It's so extremely useful...

And on a similar line, phrases that rely on concepts that the historical background  does not support.  Someone can't "run out of steam" in a medievaloid fantasy, if steam power hasn't yet been invented!


I too find modern attitudes and viewpoints incongruously transplanted into past eras, exasperating; but re use of language and figures of speech, there's an opposing "take" which I feel has some validity.  I personally tend to be more annoyed by extremes of what I think of as "pishery-tushery" or "writing forsoothly" (archaic language, no matter how correct for the period) -- where they are extremes -- than by technically-misplaced modern language or concepts. I value the perspective that overall, human nature has been the same throughout history, and human reactions to the majority of daily life, likewise: I'd rather have characters from past centuries, rendered as talking more or less in the English I'm familiar with from today -- with even a modicum of modern figurative language ("running out of steam", or even "being switched-on") -- than the author knocking themself out to make the characters talk in a, to me, unfamiliar and grotesque manner; or tying themself in knots to find "contemporary" figures of speech.  That kind of thing can for me obscure a bit, the characters' being basically humans, with a lot in common with us their descendants -- can give a slight impression that the author is trying to write about aliens.

For me, feeling hit in the face by too-energetic attempts at what described above, can be irritatingly distracting from what's going on in the story. Georgette Heyer always grates on me, just because of the (meticulously researched) Regency slang and idiom in which she makes her characters converse -- I just find it weird and awkward and a distraction: would be more comfortable with "neutral" more modern-type speech.  Facetiousness aside -- I feel that though the Regency duke saying "Okay" would have slightly jolted me: I'd have been inclined to give the author a pass for that.  It could have been for me more irritating, and disrupting to flow of story, if the erudite author had had him saying an authentic-for-the-time equivalent.  If that were something like, say, "eftsoons", or "I strumple your moggin", I'd have to pause at least a moment to take the new expression on board, and check from the context that it meant basically, "okay" -- I just don't need annoyances like that when reading fiction for fun.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 05:16:07 AM by cabbageweevil »

Pioneer

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2014, 09:41:48 AM »
I started off enjoying the Stephanie Plum series (One for the Money...) not cause the writing was all that great, but they were amusing.  But man, after a while it seemed like it was the same story, different criminal every single book.  I got so tired too of her bouncing back and forth between Ranger and Morelli. 

When I started reading the Harry Potter series I took a break after the third book cause it started to get a bit tiring, but I think one of my cousins encouraged me to try the fourth book and I got interested again. :)

Piratelvr1121's post could have been written by me!  HP#3 was hard the first time, but my kids encouraged me to keep going.  And we still refer to HP#7 as "Harry Potter and the Absurdly Long Camping Trip."   We were also enjoying the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events at about the same time.

Stephanie Plum.  Agreed.  Then something even worse happened; earlier writings of Janet Evanovich were re-released.  I don't even borrow them from the library any longer, much less pay for them.

I read this thread yesterday, then downloaded a free book last night.  Two pages into the story, I was reminded of eHell, but heck, it was only 97 pages and I needed a "help me fall asleep fast" diversion. No luck.  It had it all; instantly smitten maiden, gorgeous guy who is a total jerk, implausible meeting scenario, gratuitous but mind-blowing scrabble, errors in grammar, syntax, and punctuation.  I'd share the title or author or even character names, but it is 10 hours ago and I can't remember.
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shadowfox79

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2014, 10:12:38 AM »
The too-stupid-to-live heroine.

I forced my way through a piece of chick-lit in which the heroine did nothing but whine, obsess about shoes, chase the wrong men and get into supposedly hilarious messes which were entirely avoidable, and now I think I've used up all my reserves of patience.

Winterlight

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2014, 10:14:37 AM »
1. Willful stupidity on the part of characters who are old enough to know better.

2. Not caring what happens.

3.When the book needs a translation guide- AKA Black Dagger Brotherhood. I quit 10 pages in when I realized I'd had to look up at least three words per page in her glossary.

4. Bad research. When the author does an online Meyers-Briggs test in the persona of the person she's doing the biography on, out it goes.

 5. Bad spelling, grammar, word use. Although I devoured Barbara Cartland as a teen, she was egregiously bad in this respect. The pre-French Revolution marquis who referred to a "wildcat scheme," the illiterate maid who used words like insipid and cerulean.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2014, 10:20:18 AM »
I started off enjoying the Stephanie Plum series (One for the Money...) not cause the writing was all that great, but they were amusing.  But man, after a while it seemed like it was the same story, different criminal every single book.  I got so tired too of her bouncing back and forth between Ranger and Morelli. 

When I started reading the Harry Potter series I took a break after the third book cause it started to get a bit tiring, but I think one of my cousins encouraged me to try the fourth book and I got interested again. :)

Piratelvr1121's post could have been written by me!  HP#3 was hard the first time, but my kids encouraged me to keep going.  And we still refer to HP#7 as "Harry Potter and the Absurdly Long Camping Trip."   We were also enjoying the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events at about the same time.

Stephanie Plum.  Agreed.  Then something even worse happened; earlier writings of Janet Evanovich were re-released.  I don't even borrow them from the library any longer, much less pay for them.

See, Deathly Hallows didn't bother me as much with the camping as it does to other people.  My middle child has started reading the series and he was looking at the size of book 7 and said "That will take me forever to finish!" I told him it just took me two days cause I stayed up late and read it every chance I got because it was so hard for me to put down.

Lemony Snicket's another series I got tired of and that one I didn't finish. The movie didn't help but then I'm real burnt out on Jim Carrey.
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Thipu1

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2014, 12:02:18 PM »
Although the stories were entertaining I had to give up reading anything by A. J. Santori. 

Nothing in the books was ever dark, it was 'negrescent'.  Nothing was ever light in color or pale, it was 'etiolated'. 

That sort of affectation was like a blacksmith's rasp on my teeth. 

Bijou

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2014, 12:34:20 PM »
I usually stay with it. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2014, 12:59:38 PM »
I usually stick with the book but if it is a series, I may not continue on with the series.  This is especially true with my Kindle.  I get the first book for free or 99 cents but each subsequent book is $5 to $9.  I'd have to really enjoy it to spend that kind of money on the continuing books.  But if the freebie had a lot of issues?  I'm done.  Unless a boxed set is released for <$2.
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squeakers

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2014, 01:15:23 PM »

And on a similar line, phrases that rely on concepts that the historical background  does not support.  Someone can't "run out of steam" in a medievaloid fantasy, if steam power hasn't yet been invented! 


Steam power has been around since 1AD... granted it was just an inventors' experimental device type of steam power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_engine

"Early experiments[edit]
The history of the steam engine stretches back as far as the first century AD; the first recorded rudimentary steam engine being the aeolipile described by Greek mathematician Hero of Alexandria.[7] In the following centuries, the few steam-powered "engines" known were, like the aeolipile,[8] essentially experimental devices used by inventors to demonstrate the properties of steam. A rudimentary steam turbine device was described by Taqi al-Din[9] in 1551 and by Giovanni Branca[10] in 1629.[11] Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont received patents in 1606 for fifty steam powered inventions, including a water pump for draining inundated mines.[12] Denis Papin, a Huguenot refugee, did some useful work on the steam digester in 1679, and first used a piston to raise weights in 1690.[13]"


Made-up languages used too heavily, plots that go nowhere and way too much description of the setting are things that cause me to stop reading a book.  Except for Jean Auel's books... I love reading the description of what things might have looked like way back when.
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »
TV Tropes has a wonderful section on coffee and no-its-not-coffee-honest in SciFi and other fiction.
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Elfmama

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2014, 01:57:10 PM »
1. Willful stupidity on the part of characters who are old enough to know better.

2. Not caring what happens.

3.When the book needs a translation guide- AKA Black Dagger Brotherhood. I quit 10 pages in when I realized I'd had to look up at least three words per page in her glossary.

4. Bad research. When the author does an online Meyers-Briggs test in the persona of the person she's doing the biography on, out it goes.

 5. Bad spelling, grammar, word use. Although I devoured Barbara Cartland as a teen, she was egregiously bad in this respect. The pre-French Revolution marquis who referred to a "wildcat scheme," the illiterate maid who used words like insipid and cerulean.
An illiterate person might pick up words like 'insipid' from her mistress, but I agree, she'd just say 'blue' or 'sky-blue' rather than cerulean.  I just asked very-literate DH, and while he could identify it, he says he'd NEVER use it in conversation.

I change the word use depending on the POV character.  One of them was a 3 - 4yo child, so her vocabulary reflected that.  As a 3 year-old, she didn't know the word 'auction,' for instance, and at 4 described a hideous tapestry as "yucky." 

And while I do coin words, or use the obsolete 'swive' instead of the modern f-word equivalent, it's only a couple of them, nowhere near to needing a glossary!   
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Baby Snakes

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #73 on: April 02, 2014, 03:21:14 PM »
A book has to be pretty bad if I can't finish it.  The last book that wasn't finished had too much violence in it, the main character was killing people left and right because he felt it was his place to take out all the "bad" people.  Ugh!

I have tried to read Gone Girl twice now, still cannot finish it.  I cannot stand either of the main characters, they are totally unlikeable nasty people.  I deleted it off my Kindle it was so bad.
 :P

poundcake

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Re: What makes you stop reading a book?
« Reply #74 on: April 02, 2014, 04:25:26 PM »
The too-stupid-to-live heroine.

I forced my way through a piece of chick-lit in which the heroine did nothing but whine, obsess about shoes, chase the wrong men and get into supposedly hilarious messes which were entirely avoidable, and now I think I've used up all my reserves of patience.

This is why I left the Shopaholic book on the plane.