I’m a writer, so I totally get the months and even years of absolute WORK that goes into making a novel. All the plotting, revising, shaping, and polishing. Not to mention the arduous process of becoming published. Therefore, I try to give books a chance…to read through the sometimes slower parts, to forgive inconsistencies and shrug off odd plot tangents.
I read for pleasure as well as for research in my genre. Yet my time is finite. As benevolent and lenient as I try to be, there are still some books that I find myself giving up on. I relegate them to the “DNF” (did not finish) realms. Why do people give up on books?
SOME REASONS FOR “DNF”
1. Slow-paced, uninteresting. This is certainly in the eye of the beholder, as what is fascinating to one person may be highly entertaining to another. But some novels are more inherently gripping than others, with more tension, conflict, and quicker pacing.
2. Violence. I recently read half of an adult novel before giving up on it for its constant and graphic violence. It’s just not my thing. I’m (old and) impressionable, and images stick with me forever. I don’t really want to get desensitized, either.
3. Sex or extreme sensuality. Not my thing, either. I prefer fade to black, where the action and details occur off-scene. That’s partly why I read mostly YA rather than adult novels.
4. Character actions/motivations. If the main character is constantly doing stupid things, it gets old fast. Sure, he or she can make mistakes, but I want the character to learn from those mistakes and not do them over and over. I also don’t want the whole plot to be able to be cleared up by one conversation or act, but the MC won’t do it for flimsy reasons.
5. Love triangles. Some people hate these to the point of loathing. I don’t mind so much if the characters aren’t shallow, and if they are attracted to each other more than by appearance (the “oh-he’s-so-HOT” syndrome).
6. Cliché plots, no surprises. I don’t want to feel I’ve read something before. Like it’s the same plot as another book or movie, except with interchangeable characters. And who doesn’t like a good twist, where you think, “Whoa! I never saw that coming.”
7. Too much description. Some people adore description, particularly lovers of high fantasy. For me, I want a quick snapshot, a pertinent paragraph at most of something to set a scene or mood. My mind wanders otherwise, or else I start skimming.
Have you ever NOT finished a book?
Which of these things above made you not finish a book? Were there other reasons?