3 Things That Make Me Stop Reading

I love to read. Give me a book and a healthy snack a bag of Oreos and I’m set for the night. I like a lot of different genres, too, so I always have a nice, big TBR stack just waiting for me. But there are some things that will make me put a book down without finishing it (or sometimes hurl it at the wall if it’s a physical book.) Recently several bloggers have listed the things that make them stop reading, so I thought I’d throw my own reasons out there, too.

3 Things That Make Me Stop Reading

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1.) Excessive dialogue tags. The occasional “he said” or “she whispered” don’t bother me a bit. In fact, I usually don’t see dialogue tags if they’re “said,” “whispered,” or even “asked.” But this weekend I ran across a book I just could not finish. The premise was great, the  story itself was interesting, and the characters were pretty captivating. The problem was that none of them ever said anything. No, they “growled,” “choked out,” “screamed,” “retorted,” “snapped,” “sobbed,” and everything in between. Even worse, one of these tags was appended at the end of every single line of dialogue. They totally interrupted the flow of the story, and by the third chapter I’d had enough and quit reading.

2.) Head hopping. I don’t see this a lot anymore, but every now and again I’ll read a book where the author keeps changing the point of view. One minute I’ll be reading from the heroine’s perspective, and then the next paragraph I discover I’m now in the hero’s head. When that happens then it’s over, and I put the book down, never to pick it up again.

3.) Lack of research. This is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t care how well-written a book is, if I discern that the author didn’t do his or her research on certain subjects then I’m done with it. I cannot read a book where a surgeon performs a delicate procedure on a patient in ten minutes, or a car mechanic replaces a transmission in a half-hour. I quit reading and fling the book at the wall when a Rock star wanders around backstage all by himself/doesn’t have a PA or hires one from a temp agency/has tons of time to kill while on tour/brings his girlfriend onstage (oh, God, that last one makes me scream aloud! That Does. Not. Happen. Ever. Actually, none of that stuff I mentioned ever happens.), or when a chef never cooks. If a book is set in New Orleans (or Denver, or St. Louis, or Dallas, or Memphis, or L.A., or any of the other many cities I know intimately) then the descriptions of those cities had better be spot on. I guess lack of research is my biggest sticking point because deep, painstaking research is part of writing a book. Any book. If Fantasy/Sci-Fi authors can build entire worlds from nothing, a romance author can take the time to learn about what Rock stars do in the studio and on the road, or what newscasters do to prepare for a broadcast, or what veterinarians do when someone brings in a cat that’s been hit by a car. Yeah, the book is fiction, but the subject matter isn’t. That part is real, and if it reads like someone’s daydreams of what they wish it would be, then I stop reading.

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Now that I’ve ranted all over the place and vented my spleen, tell me: What makes you stop reading?

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