|Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight host the 2017 Discussion Challenge.|
Last month, I discussed how a book gets 5 stars from me, so this month, let’s do the opposite. What makes me quit? Here’s how a book ends up on my DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf on Goodreads.
What makes me quit?
Too Much Dialect
I’ve always been a slow reader. In school, I was that annoying kid who was still pondering question #1 when everyone else was finished with the quiz. I dislike anything that makes my reading even slower. Books with a lot of dialect tend to slow me down so much that I lose patience and give up. However, I did manage to get through Faulkner’s work and A Clockwork Orange in college, so *Pats self on back.*
It Feels Unfinished
This mostly happens with self-published books. I’m not interested in reading a first draft. If a book is full of typos and Creative Writing 101 mistakes, I’m not going to read it.
Google is a thing you should use
I’m usually pretty forgiving of research errors. I realize that authors make mistakes, and that it often takes massive amounts of research to write a book. It’s easy for an author to accidentally overlook something. Still, I occasionally wonder if authors even bother to Google the things they’re writing about.
It’s Unnecessarily Huge
Remember when I said I’m a slow reader? It takes me forever to finish a big book. If I feel like a book is padded with unnecessary fluff, I’m probably not going to finish it.
It Makes Me Feel Confused Or Stupid
Have you ever been reading a book and felt like you were completely missing the point? Like, whatever message the author was trying to send was not being received? I don’t mind reading challenging or weird books, but some of them just go way over my head. I don’t want bafflement to be the primary emotion I feel while reading.
Whine, Whine, Whine
Have you encountered this plot? A character—or an author in nonfiction—gets the opportunity to go on an amazing adventure. The character/author then spends the entire adventure whining about how miserable they are. Yeah. I’m not here to listen to you complain about your amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sorry.
Preach, Preach, Preach
I love it when stories have themes or morals, but I don’t want the moral to be the main point of the story. If the plot and characters only exist to teach me something, I’m going to get annoyed, even if I agree with the message. I can overlook this with fables and fairytales because I know that those exist to teach kids lessons, but if a novel suddenly turns preachy, I’m done.
Is This A Textbook?
I’m extremely picky about nonfiction. I only like narrative nonfiction. If a nonfiction book doesn’t have a plot, I’ll probably get bored. I also can’t stand textbook-like info-dumps in fiction. Too many of them will make my eyes glaze over.
What makes you give up on a book?