Well not any more, I'm afraid!
I don't know about you, but I have 100s of books in my To Be Read pile, whether in paperback or e-format. There are 100s of new ones appearing every day. And - to be honest? - I'm getting on in years *cough* and life just feels too short to waste on an endurance tussle with a book that doesn't engage!
I really like the modern way of giving excerpts when you go to buy a book online. I can immediately tell if I'm going to enjoy the style - and so often I'll read an *author* I love, whatever they write. And I confess I've often initially passed on a book, then returned to it later and found it to be a hidden gem. But that's less often than it used to be.
I recently revisited a fellow blogger's post from some years ago where readers discussed what would make them give up on a book. In the spirit of full disclosure, here are my particular reasons:
* Writing style is stilted or overly melodramatic.
* Dialogue isn't realistic (a biggie for me).
* Neither protagonist engages my sympathy.
* I have a strong feeling I want to 'slap' a character because of their behaviour or attitude (though that may be due to my occasional(!) lack of tolerance *g*)..
I know I also don't like to read too many similar themes in a sequence. And I also know for the more heavyweight topics - even if I'm looking forward to reading the book - I need to have the time and mindset ready for it.
Here are some of the other issues raised by fellow DNF-ers:
- Unbelievable/implausible situations for our hero(es).
- Factual errors.
- Too many characters or too much head-hopping/confusion as to whose story it is.
- No conflict (excluding slice-of-life stories that can have their own charm).
- An author's soap box showing through too often.
- Poorly crafted or unimaginative writing.
My favourite comments? From the two ends of the reading spectrum:
* I just have to give them all a fighting chance!
* some books are so bad I just have to finish and see how bad they can get!
We all know that one reader's delight is another reader's dread. That's human nature, and thank heavens for the variety.
But what are YOUR deal-breakers?
PS this is not to be taken as criticism or finger-pointing at any book or author in particular. Please make sure your comments relate to styles/plotting/characters in general :).