Do you finish every book you start to read? I don’t.
Here’s the thing: Ideally, I would love to have the luxury of being able to finish every book I start reading, but there are too many books out there, and life is just too short. As I get older (and become a more discerning reader), I find I have less and less tolerance for forcing my way all the way through a book that can’t maintain my interest. If I invest hours plowing through a book that only disappoints me, I can’t get that time back.
So why do we stop reading? Here are a few things that make me put down a book:
I’m 100 pages in and nothing is happening.
Seriously. If the plot hasn’t moved forward at this point, I’m out. 100 pages of description, character development, etc. that involves no action feels like a self-indulgent waste of time to me. I usually get frustrated and end up watching some UFC or listening to angry music instead.
It’s clear no one bothered to edit the book.
Even with professional editors and/or proofreaders, typos can happen to anyone. I find them all the time in books published by the big, traditional publishing companies, and pretty much everywhere else. A few of typos across the span of an entire novel is not an unusual occurrence.
What drives me nuts is when:
a) The mistakes go beyond mere typos and are major grammatical issues that interfere with my understanding/enjoyment of the plot.
b) The mistakes are frequent. I can’t get into the plot because I’m constantly distracted by errors.
When I find several issues in the first few pages, I’m not going to keep reading. If the author/publisher can’t be bothered to use spell/grammar check, I can’t be bothered to continue. If I have to read sentences multiple times to decipher them, I think that’s a waste of my time.
I can’t sympathize with any of the characters.
Not every character is going to be likeable. I get that. But if all of them make me feel like I want to punch them in the face, then I don’t really care what happens to them. The same goes for a bunch of boring characters. I want to be emotionally invested in the success or failure of at least one of the main characters. The last thing I want to feel is apathetic or annoyed. I’ve stopped reading many books for this reason.
What about you? Do you finish every book you start to read? What makes you stop reading?
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