As a reader, I love a book I can’t put down – and yet I’ve lost count of the books I’ve put down mid-way, or worse just pages in. There’s a lot of reasons for this, so much so that this is the second post I’ve written on the subject. Well, here’s another 6 reasons why readers (especially me) are dropping books.
If your novel’s indents are a mile long or if the right margin is swallowing space on the page, I’m not subjecting my eyes to that. End of story.
2. The cursed wall of text
This is a big wall of text. Doesn’t that fill you up with joy? Aren’t you just dying to read all these words? Imagine if this entire post was just one big wall of text. Look at how long I make this one sentence, adding multiple overstaying phrases, until the point is so muddled up that you can’t remember what the point of the sentence was; well, here, let me remind you, because this is going to be a really, really, incredibly long sentence, the kind of sentence Butterscotch Horseman would write, a really great sentence that goes on for pages and pages – leave a like if you got that reference – and I’m telling you now that this will be the longest paragraph on my blog; this is actually taking effort to write because I like being concise, but I guess you’ve got the point by now and the point is that nothing is more off-putting than a big wall of unbroken text, especially on a first page, because it signals that there is going to be a thousand more big, ugly walls of text. And there was the precious end of that sentence and I finally got to the point.
Did you read all of that? If you did, I’m impressed.
3. I don’t like where the story is going
This applies to sequels as well as standalone books. The first act of a story is the part I enjoy the most – the part where promises are made, excitement builds, and the potential of a story lies ahead. It’s no surprise that the second or third act can sometimes be a let down.
When we read, we bring our own experiences to the narrative. The characters and story become woven with our own image, one that doesn’t always align with the author’s. The disappointment we feel isn’t always to blame on bad-storytelling. It’s just personal preference.
4. Sexism, racism, ableism…. All the isms
Mr. Robot once said “We’re going to ism all over them, they’re not going to be able to see straight.” Well apparently some writers think they can do the same to their readers – and that we’ll keep on reading. We won’t.
I’m not just talking about the classics either. A lot of modern books contain sexist, racist, and especially ableist language and ideas. If a book makes you uncomfortable, that’s a perfectly valid reason to put it down.
Check out 5 Sexist Books They Made Us Read And What To Read Instead by Charlotte Ahlin.
5. Blatant lack of research
A book that offends is often one written out of ignorance. Derogatory writing aside, they are plenty of novels written by folks who just couldn’t be bothered researching the topics they are writing about. Novels don’t have to be realistic, but the last thing they should do is spread misinformation. Misinformation is not only irritating, it can be dangerous.
Some books have a lot going on, other books don’t. Books that fall into this trap tend to revolve around competitions, education or training, and as a consequence have characters going through similar situations for pages and pages.
There we have it. Another 6 reasons readers abandon books. If you want to read part one, click here. What books did you not finish? What’s your top reasons for DNFing a story?