Monday, July 29, 2013

On Finishing (Or Not Finishing) Books

There are two types of finishing to talk about under that ambiguous title. First, finishing writing that first draft of your manuscript. Second, finishing reading a book published by someone else. (Okay, there's a third, finishing the manuscript to completion by editing and revising and getting it published.)

I really want to focus more on that second one. I'm sure I've talked endlessly about finishing manuscripts. (I could search but I'm not that concerned.)

Last year, I think there were about 8 books on my TBR pile that I started but never finished.

This year, I was on such a roll. Hadn't started and not finished a single book. Until this month. I started a couple and set them aside.

I was thinking about it and I think I probably stop reading for a lot of the same reasons an agent or editor might stop.

The most common one is that I am not sucked into the story. This could be for a variety of reasons, but commonly seems to be the stylistic choices made by the author that jar me out of the story.

Second most common is that I don't care about the MC enough to have anything but apathy about their story.

And the third most common is probably that the antagonist feels too cliche, too cardboard.

What are reasons you stop reading a book you've picked up for fun? Or are you a die-hard who has to see a book through to its last word no matter how much you might be suffering?


  1. I've been a die-hard, but sometimes, especially recently, I stop reading. Or, heaven forbid, skip to the end.

    Mostly, it's the writing that pulls me out of the story. I want to read without noticing that someone wrote it.

    1. So true. What's that quote? "Easy reading is damn hard writing?"

  2. I usually always finish books no matter how much I hate them, but I have been known to set a few aside a few chapters in because I literally had NO interest in them whatsoever. I'm a LOT pickier about what I pick up to read these days.

    1. I've been trying to branch out more in my reading lately, but at the same time I am reluctant to because I know what I like and don't like. Though I will admit that I did have one real success at branching out this year so far. The other two attempts weren't so great though.


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