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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 Reasons Why I Never Finished Reading Your Book

I love writers. Anyone that takes the time to put down their thoughts in a constructive and interesting manner earns my respect. It's not easy to do. Not to mention it can be time consuming. But having said that, I don't always like everything I read. I admit I have a short attention span. I am probably a literary fiction writer's nightmare because I don't care for long prose. I am a plot driven kinda girl. Get me to the climax and get me there fast.

I have hundreds of books on my shelves that I have begun to read but for one reason or another, I have never finished reading. Of course I vow to finish reading them at some point in my life, but for now they will continue to collect dust unless I need quick fix for chronic insomnia or I'm in the mood for some gentle self torture. I will not name authors or book titles, but I will tell you why I never finished reading YOUR book.

1. Too slow

If I've made it to page ten and nothing has happened. No one has lost anything; not life, a loved one, money, fame, integrity... nothing... nada. Then we have issues and I'm officially pissed off. Your character cannot have the same problem in chapter two as they did in chapter one. I'm not saying kill off someone by page one, but jolt me into caring enough about the outcome of the protagonist to make me turn pages. Isn't that what readership is about? Turning pages, so I can finish the book and buy your next one. Most readers brag about the books they couldn't put down, not the books they could.

2. Your character names sound like drinks I want to taste or cars I want to own

I'm all for creative names. I can never forget the name Sula Peace from the novel "Sula", Humbert Humbert from the novel "Lolita" and Mr. from the "Color Purple." But once I see characters named after cars and drinks, I instantly feel suckered. It screams I am lazy I couldn't put in the effort to give you a memorable name. However, this is an easy fix. Go to baby name sites ( and look up names, flip through the phonebook or look at the credits at the end of a film. There is no reason not to come up with something that titillates the reader's mind.

3. Your characters are not believable

Have you ever read a book that made you think..."yeah right?" Some actions that characters perform or traits they exhibit seem unrealistic. Sometimes it's evident the author has not done his or her research. Unless it's science fiction; I can't believe outright lies. You can tell me a baby walked at ten months old, but you can't convince me it talked right out the womb.

4. Typs....Oops I meant typos

I have read books by popular authors before and stumbled upon a typo or grammatical error here or there. But if I have to re-read a sentence more than once because of a typo, I'm not happy. I can forgive three or four max, per book, but that's my personal limit. I am not a translator (although that does sounds cool) and I haven't played Scrabble in years (sorry Oprah).

5. Not enough white space

I need variation in sentencing and paragraphs. Short, long, short, long, short. If I see too little white space, I've already told myself this is going to be long and drawn out. However, you can take the same sentences and break them up into smaller paragraphs. Most novels I've attempted to read have had about thirty sentences per page. Now if I take those thirty sentences and divide them into two paragraphs only, that looks like alot of reading with no pauses and the task of reading can seem daunting. But if there are five paragraphs, it's easier to feel you're making progress. It's all an illusion and I'm willing and eager to believe. I want to feel like I've accomplished something for my effort.

What are some reasons why you couldn't finish reading a book?


  1. I've read several books lately and for the most part it was forced. I can honestly say that out of about 10 books I've read in the past year, there was only 1 that held my attention. The writing drew me in. If I don't finish reading a book it is because the story just isn't interesting or unique.

  2. That's a great reason...not being unique. I forgot about that reason. If a story is not unique, it can kill a reader's attention fast. When a story is rich and captivating, it does draw you in, and you can finish a book so fast you wish there were more to read. Thanks so much for commenting and giving a new perspective :-) I personally equate boring and slow to interesting. But unique has to intrigue and keep the reader's interest peaked. So that's a good one.

  3. well If i don't finish a boo; IT's slower than a turtle that is sick. or writing style seems DUll as for instances: just conversation leading to what, i don't know that's why i placed it in the 'do you want this book pile'.

  4. Lena, The only thing i've kept long is my husband. lol. yes, I changed my blog. i do when i'm going to feature an author for the next month. I would of done it anyway, i like changing as the sesaons change. yelp, i do my house like that but had to stop, the little niece started to walk and it was throwing her off and she would cry and i realized the change was effecting her so i put them out. (no i didnt) i just could'nt change family area or out door deck area til they moved.

  5. A fiction book has to grab my attention within the first five pages. It has to be intriguing and/or relatable. If it's not, then I'm finished before page six!

  6. Sidne I get that ways sometimes as well. I start changing colors but then I'll change it all back. And I don't like dull books either. I'll try and then I put them on the shelf or give away as gifts.

  7. @Lineofserenity, I thought page 10 was quick. I feel it has to be relatable as well or atleast intriguing to get me pass the first chapter.

  8. I couldn't get past the first few pages of Stephen Colbert's I Am America (which sold about a gajillion copies). It had nothing to do with the writing--it was the layout of the pages, which included lots of red text in the margins, like footnotes. It hurt my eyes to read it, so I donated it to the library.


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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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