“What Makes You Put Down a Book?“
46.4% said, “Slow, boring”
18.8% said, “Weak writing”
8.8% said, “Extremely stupid”
8.5% said, “Ridiculous (or non existent) plot”
4.9% said, “I don’t like the main character”
3.8% said “Inappropriate, makes me uncomfortable”
3.2% said “When an author is committed to doing something I hate.“
For me, it’s a combination of “Slow, boring,” author voice and “weak writing.” The first is self-explanatory, but the next two aren’t necessarily related. An author with strong writing skills could still turn me off to a book if her voice doesn’t appeal to me.
After these, it’s “When an author is committed to doing something I hate.” This last one is a pet peeve of mine because I not only abandon books that do this, I also abandon shows. One in particular comes to mind. The writers went in one direction, and I went in another. Never went back either.
BTW, the top five abandoned “classics” were Catch 22, The Lord of the Rings, Ulysses, Moby Dick and Atlas Shrugged.
“When do you abandon a book?“
38.1% said, “I always finish, no matter what”
27.9% said, between “50-100 pages”
15.8% said, “Fewer than 50 pages”
10.6% said, “100+ pages”
7.6% said, “100 pages“
I’m basing this on my Kindle sample habits. If the sample chapters (usually 2 to 3) don’t hit me, I don’t buy. But lately, my patience hasn’t been what it used to be and I’ve started deleting samples after the first few pages. If the samples are good and I’ve bought the book, but for whatever reason, the rest doesn’t appeal to me, I stop reading. I used to finish every book because I didn’t want to waste money, but now I take a different view. There are too many good books out here to waste time on something that doesn’t appeal to me.
Finally, Goodreads asked:
“What keeps you turning pages?“
36.6% said, “As a rule, I like to finish things.”
25% said, “I have to know what happens.”
13.4% said, “It’s a compulsive habit.”
9.3% said, “Come back to it at the right time.”
7.4% said, “It’s the same with films: I have to watch them to the end, no matter how inane they might be.”
3.2% said, “I judge a book by its ending.”
2.6% said, “I’m committed to the series.”
2.3% said, “I’m usually pleasantly surprised that an author can pull it out in the end.“
And there you have it. What say you?