8 Reasons I Stopped Reading Your Damn Book


#9: No T-Rex Skulls. (Image by Steph Snow)

1. The Snake Mittens. A book I tried reading recently–which seemed perfect for me–got the axe because the main character failed to notice three important things in the first ten pages, all because he was too busy wondering how he looked in his new hat. You don’t deserve to survive to the end of the story. You are dumber than snake mittens. Next.

2. The Failure To Launch. Nothing’s happening. And I don’t mean the artistic nothing, where you can get alongside it because it’s exploring character*. I mean nothing nothing. You might have some good characters or an interesting setting or a cool idea, but, goddamn, move it along a little. I’m too busy to hang around while an author masturbates all over a page and calls it art.

3. The Frankly Scarlett**. When you just don’t give two sacks of dead rats about these people or anything that’s happening to them. Died? Meh. Survived? Double meh. Crowned ruler of the land? Welcome to the Kingdom of Meh, population meh.

4. The Long Con. When the first two 900-page books of a series are just set-up, and nothing really gets interesting until book three. At the earliest. Call me when the author learns about editing.

5. The Sexist Bullshit. And don’t even fucking try to get around me with ‘historically accurate’ sexism in fantasy settings. You’ve got magic and elves, but it’s too unrealistic for you to let anyone with a vagina be a real person? Go fuck yourself.

6. The Racist Bullshit. Likewise, any fantasy/sci-fi mention of an ‘evil race’ automatically earns you a place in the corner. It’s 20-fucking-16. If you can’t write racism with any nuance or grace, then don’t do it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, proceed directly to go fuck yourself.

7. The Any-Other-Discriminatory Bullshit. Get it together, and also go fuck yourself.

8. The Something Better. A better book came along, and I just…kind of…forgot to finish that one. Sad, but it means there was no question I needed answered badly enough to finish the story.

Who out there always finishes their books? Who’s okay with quitting if it’s not doing it for them? Organize yourselves into two teams and square off…..NOW.

*Though, in that case, it had better be a damn interesting character.

**Fantastic drag name, btw.

12 thoughts on “8 Reasons I Stopped Reading Your Damn Book

  1. Tell us how you really feel. I’ve addressed prejudice a couple of times in older books. It was always from the POV of the person being discriminated against. It tends to creep into the background these days, but still pops up. I really try to finish books I start, but a few of them were too much for me.

  2. I don’t feel any compunction any more to finish a book that’s not entertaining me on some level. Too many books, too little time, as the saying goes. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad boo, it’s just not for me.

  3. I used to force myself to finish everything no matter how much I didn’t want to because quitting is for quitters. But then I started trying to reduce my stress and step one was to stop making my hobbies feel like work. Since then I’ve DNFed books for all of your reasons, plus a few others:

    9. Surprise Jesusosity (didn’t say anywhere on the outside that it was Christian Fiction, which is not my thing)
    10. False Advertising (loosely related to #9, but more along the lines of the blurb on the cover made it sound like a completely different book)
    11. Blank Heads in a Blank Room (no description… of anything)
    12. Author is a Frigging Tease (a veritable rain of hints, no payoff)
    13. Utterly Unbelievable (even within its own logic)

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