Why I stop reading
Before ebooks, I always finished a book. I suspect the reason was that I’d paid around $25 for the book and because it cost so much, I’d always choose very carefully, so that I was pretty sure that I’d like the book before I read it. I stuck with authors I knew and I found new ones by reading review blogs on line.
After the revolution
Ebooks changed all that because now I never pay more than USD$3.99 for a book and mostly pay nothing or 99c. I still read reviews and make sure the book sounds like something I’d like even if the book is free, but I am more inclined to take a risk on an unknown author if they’re charging nothing or 99c. I never pay more than 99c for an author I’ve never read before. The only books I pay full price for are the rest of a series when book one has caught my attention and held it so much so that I really want to read the rest of the series. Since the books are so cheap and there are so many of them to choose from, if I don’t like a book, I simply stop reading, delete it from my Kindle and go onto the next one. That’s not good for an author, and if the book is really bad, I might even leave a negative review to warn other readers.
What makes me stop reading?
- Excessive copy errors: A book has to be really good in all other areas if I’m to keep reading something that clearly has not had basic editing or a proofread. It gives such a strong impression of unprofessionalism that I have no trust in the author’s ability to write a story that won’t end up being a waste of time.
- Bad writing. Specifically poor prose. This includes overwriting and bad habits like the over use of starting a sentence with an ‘ing’ ending participle, such as, ‘Thinking hard, she ran over the grass.’ That construction is one of my pet hates when it’s used more than about 6 times in a novel. When I see one on every page or every second page, I stop reading. Why? Because it’s just really bad writing, and the rest is likely to be as bad. Why read something that needs a line edit when you can read well-written books?
- Incorrect paragraphing: Some authors put the speech of one character in the same paragraph as the action of another character, making it hard to know who is speaking. This is confusing and just plain wrong. It makes it really hard to read, so much so that I can’t be bothered. It’s just too much work. There should be a new paragraph for the action or speech of a different character.
- Incorrect formatting: I’m not being picky here. Incorrect formatting can make a book really hard to read. I’ve stopped reading books that have huge gaps between paragraphs or really wide spaces between lines (I had one that showed one or two sentences on a page no matter what setting I had my Kindle on), or hardly any indent at the start of paragraphs.
- Stupid, cruel, or misogynist protagonists.
- Plot holes and lack of believable character motivations and reactions: This indicates that the author hasn’t thought the story through fully and hasn’t had it sufficiently beta read.
- Meh: These are stories that, though they may be well-edited, are simply not particularly interesting and there isn’t enough depth, elegance of prose, and solid character development to make up for the insipid or predictable story line. I don’t leave reviews on these because I can’t find anything to say about them. ‘Meh,’ isn’t a helpful review.
- Themes and author commentary that I find distasteful.
- Excessive graphic violence. (I’m okay with sex, but I will skim it if I’m not in the mood, or if it’s gratuitous.)
What makes you stop reading a book? Leave a comment.
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