Unlike my husband, who reads every night, I tend to read in spurts. I’ll read like crazy and then go months without a book. (In my defense, I find it hard to read when I’m elbows deep in my own writing project.) I have a good-sized “To Read” pile. And last a couple of weeks ago, I picked up the next paperback in line.
I tried. Really, I did. But I’m about half way through and have decided to stop reading. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve given up on a book midway. I like to finish what I start but the older I get, the less patience I have for books that aren’t keeping my attention.
Here are some of the reasons I’ll stop reading a book:
Not relating to the MC (This was the reason this time around.)
Too challenging (I like to be challenged but I hate needing a dictionary to get through a book!)
I don’t really care about the MC’s problem (It seems lame or too far-fetched.)
Plot is plodding along (I find myself skimming to “get to the good parts.”)
The writing is showing - if I’m thinking “Man, that needed some more editing” then I’m not caught up in the actual story.
I think all of this is useful information as I settle down to write my own stories. I don’t always get it right, but if I’m writing to please the READER inside myself then I can’t go wrong.
What about you? What makes you give up on a book?