Reading preference is a matter of taste. It’s fine if some books are a little raw if the writer is new; I’ll always finish a book that feels a bit rough if the storyline is good and the characters hooked me early on. There’s been some instances where something disappointed me in a story, but I was invested enough in the bigger picture that I overlooked the minor thing(s) and kept reading. Heck, I’ll even enjoy a story that has multiple typos/formatting errors if I enjoy the story a lot.
With all that being said, there are some cases where reading a book becomes too painful to continue.
Here’s what stops me from reading:
- The writing style is bland (for me). I’ve read a lot of books in the last few years and it’s rare when I’ve read something that’s bored me to tears. Out of 100+ books, maybe 2 of them fit this category. If this happens, I’ll keep reading to see if the real story begins a few chapters later. I try to give it a chance. I’ll start scanning to see if there’s something that will pique my interest or jump out at me from the page. If I’m not able to find anything worth reading then that’s when I have to put it down. Maybe it was just my mindset at the time or it’s not my preference of style.
- There’s a lot of torture. I can’t deal with torture. I hate seeing someone else in pain or even imagining it. I understand that some genres might need this for fuel (Such as horror or thrillers or survivalist stories), but I think some authors take this too far and write really disturbing stuff just for the hell of it. It’s not for me. I’ll pass.
- Very sexist, racist, bigoted, or tone deaf language. I don’t think any explanation is needed here. If this comes up at any point in the story, I will stop reading right away. I likely won’t want to read anything else by that author.
- Poor descriptions. We all see things differently and that’s what makes people unique. Sometimes, though, the way something is described can make or break a book. The descriptions can become lazy and repetitive. If the words used for something or someone are so poor that I feel insulted, I’m not going to waste more time on it. Thank you, next.
- Bad portrayal of mental health issues. This goes along with being tone deaf and having poor descriptions, but it deserves its own category. While I don’t expect anyone to have a 100% accurate portrayal of every mental health condition, they should do their due diligence to ensure it’s portrayed correctly to prevent causing harm to those who have that condition. If the book became popular, it could add to the stigma of the disorder since it’s not characterized accurately. I’ll stop reading in this case and seek out a book that actually gets mental health issues right.
So, those are my reasons! To put this into perspective, I’ve D.N.F.-ed maybe 6 books over the last few years, which is a tiny percentage compared to how much I’ve read. I also won’t give a bad review if I can’t finish a book. Even if it met all 5 of my requirements for a D.N.F., I won’t make any attempt to slander the writer.
To my readers, what causes you to stop reading a book? Please let me know in the comments below! I’d be interested to know. 🙂