Sunday Book Club: I Can’t Take it Anymore

Posted August 20, 2017 by meezcarrie in Sunday Book Club / 33 Comments

Good Sunday morning to you, dear reader friends 🙂

As I continue to work through the wonderful post ideas that you gave me a few weeks ago, today’s discussion topic comes from Elaine Stock:

As both an author and reader, I’d like to know what makes a reader put down a book and state they cannot read more.

This doesn’t happen to me often but it does happen. Personally, I decide I just can’t finish a book when:

  1. there’s too much/too graphic cursing or sex
  2. the writing style is just not my thing
  3. the writing itself is poor quality (esp. narrative that pretends to be dialogue)
  4. in the finished copy (not advanced copies) there are too many distracting errors in continuity (that’s a big one for me) or spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation.
  5. events or characters or dialogue is simply implausible, even for fiction

What about you? What is the last straw for you in a book?


33 responses to “Sunday Book Club: I Can’t Take it Anymore

  1. Karen H

    I agree with Lori about all of the above and #6. But I mostly will throw in the towel for #3 and #5. Number 5 covers a lot of no-no ground for me. #1 could even be thrown in #5 too. For example, I’ve read lots of ultra-sexy books and while there was sex everywhere, it held to the theme of the story. If it’s just dropped in on a page, just to add the to ‘screw’ count, then no, it’s a killer for me.

    • Carrie

      yep. exactly. I prefer no explicit scenes at all BUT if they’re in there they have to make sense to the story.

  2. I agree with all of yours. Usually if a book doesn’t grab me by about 7 chapters in I’m hard pressed to finish. I don’t need to know everything by then but I feel like the author should have peaked my interest by then. I hope you understand what I mean lol

  3. Carrie,
    I agree with all your issues. I guess the “biggest” reason I’d put down a book I get, (first thinking it was a clean read) is if there is too much graphic stuff.
    I once got a book from an exchange. It looked good from the cover but when I started to read it I actually had to stop and read something else, I just couldn’t handle how vivid it was. I have to confess, I through the book away in the garbage. I didn’t want anyone else reading it.
    I also have a huge issue with published books which have LOTS of errors in them. It makes the story stumble and not flow. That’s why I started my business. To help authors with copy editing/proof-reading. It’s a new adventure, but I’m having fun.

  4. Very seldom do i ‘throw in the towel’ on a book, if I start one, I really like to see it through to the end.
    Recently, I did have a book that I stopped. I was caught off guard with the graphic details of the evil done by the villain. I love mystery & suspense, and usually I can handle it, but something about that particular book…I just couldn’t make myself go on.

  5. Tracey Hagwood

    The number one reason I’ll put a book down is it doesn’t hold my interest and I’m just plain bored with it. (I’m not sure if that comes under #3 or not, may not be poor writing to someone else, just me) I usually will give a book to 50%, but if I’m not into it by then, I have to cut my losses.
    Like you Carrie, it doesn’t happen all that often as I pick my books carefully, but sometimes a book I hear is great just baffles me as to what another reader sees that I’m not seeing. Different tastes I guess.

    • Carrie

      totally true. I’ve had two cases lately where reviewer friends and I completely disagreed on two different books. The first one, I gave it 5 stars & my friend gave it 2 stars. The second book, another friend gave 5 stars and I was a bit generous with my 3 stars lol. Sometimes it’s very subjective.

  6. Marilyn

    I will put down a book if it is too explicit and too many curse words. Most of the time all the dirty language is not necessary. I also will stop reading a book if the story is not to my taste. There are so many books worth reading that there is no reason to put up with a book that is not up to my standards.

  7. I love your list, plus historical inaccuracies. I also add when the dialogue does not match the time period. When words or phraseology from a more modern era appear in a book supposedly set in a Regency-era or other era long past it drives me crazy. Takes me right out of the book, and then I’m done. Can’t get back into it.

  8. Pam K.

    I try to be discerning about the books I read so I usually don’t get into books I would consider “trashy.” I try to stick with books that may be slow at the start, to give them a chance, which usually turns out okay. The only book I remember not being able to finish was one I had won from a blogger that was supposed to be Christian fiction. I read a couple of chapters and just had a bad feeling about it. It’s kind of hard to explain but it was like I could feel the evil of one of the characters. I even skipped ahead to the ending (something I don’t ordinarily do) to see if there would be redemption for that character. There wasn’t, it seemed to be even worse for the female main character, and the ending left the reader hanging, waiting for the next book. I usually donate books I don’t want to keep, but the feeling of evil was so thick I just threw it away. I’ve never felt evil come off the pages like that, even reading a secular book.

  9. Minora

    When I realize I don’t even CARE what happens to the characters 🙂 that probably comes under the heading of bad writing because I am not relating to them enough to see them as “real” people

  10. Paula S.

    I agree with Patricia and Nicole and like Pam I try to be discerning when I pick a book to read. I really dislike anachronistic writing. .

  11. My list is pretty similar to yours. Just plain being bored will make me do it. If I have to *force* myself to read it, I’m just not going to (unless of course I’m obliged to for some reason). Back story dumps and too much detail will bore me as well as a lot of information that does nothing to move along the plot. And if I can’t discern the plot, well, I’m probably setting it aside.

  12. Rebecca Maney

    Poor quality sticks out to me like a sore thumb, and you have stated some of those symptoms already. Another indication of that is repetitive scenes, a character or characters going the same places, doing the same things the same way or even slightly differently, but the plot stalls and spins and stalls.

    Another rarity that will give me little incentive to finish a story is an inability to bond with the characters. They remain aloof, their personality never stabilizes, I feel like I am reading about them, rather than getting to know them.

    All in all, it takes an enormous combination of these traits to make me put a book down, but I have done it.

  13. I agree with your list. I guess it is all subjective, but mostly for me, when the developmental content is based on illicit sexual activity, even if the story is restored later on, I am not interested. I read for enjoyment. Not to be dragged into things graphic (and sometimes inferred) actions. Recently I bought two books by an author I have always loved. Both of them were so different from her style of writing, that I probably won’t be purchasing any more of her books. Another was an author you had recommended. I read her first book, and although it wasn’t graphic, it left an unsatisfactory ending. The second book of hers that I started, just left a bad feeling, so I stopped reading. Won’t be reading any more by her either.

  14. Andrea Stephens

    I agree with you. Another thing that really turns me off is the use of modern language and sayings in historical fiction. Seriously, distracting. I nearly lost my mind when reading a Mail-order bride book where “she stepped off the stage coach with her girl next door looks” If there were girls “next door” the guy would not have sent for a MOB!
    I rarely give up on a book but with all the great books I have waiting TBR, I find I have put down more than ever before.

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