And a big hello to Tina. Thanks for having me here. I think you're my biggest cheerleader. I talk about you all the time--good stuff, of course. But some of the things we've gotten into lately have inspired me to take a good look at what folks do and don't want to read. With that in mind, I did some research. *g*
A while back, I asked a bunch of my friends what crosses their mind when they shop for or read the books they brought home. I know that sounds like a pretty broad question, but we’ve known each other for more than ten years, so they took it and ran with it. I was pretty surprised with what they ended up telling me. Most of my friends are big readers, so I knew they'd all have something to say.
I started it off by saying that I have no problem with closing the book and giving it away if I don't like where the story is going. But I know we all look for different things when we read--different expectations and all that. I know SOME folks read on till the bitter end, complaining all the way.
One of my friends said, “Used to be, I finished a book no matter how much I didn't care for it. Nowadays, my time for reading is so limited that I give the author a chance, read about a quarter, maybe half of the book...and if I don't like it? Close it up. The thought used to make me crazy, but...once you've done it; it ain't so hard to do again. My mother, on the other hand, will slog along no matter what. AND, she begins by reading the last page. I so hate that.” (Frankly, I hate that, too)
That REALLY started the ball rolling. The next person said that he ALWAYS judges the book by its cover. That surprised me, though I guess a lot of people do, or we would just make all covers the same… Anyway, he went on to say that he always makes sure to finish any book he’s started, no matter how hard it is to read.
One person said that she had no problem skipping chapters, but she was talking about non-fiction and self-help. She then said that if it doesn’t get her in the first two chapters, she tosses it.
I’m like that now, as I said. I used to read to the end no matter what. Now, I toss the book if it doesn’t keep my attention, though I do find myself skimming sometimes, if I like the story but the descriptions are too wordy. If I find myself skimming too much, I ditch the book.
Someone else said, “When choosing a book I base it on, suggestions from others, the topic, the size of the print (no kidding), and the summary on the jacket or online. I don't do sappy love stories. I like suspense and drama, but nothing too heavy or sad. I don't need any extra burdens in my life. Reading is supposed to be entertaining.” This was a manly-man, so that's what he wants us to think he does, right?
Personally, I love sappy romances as long as they aren’t too crammed with purple prose. (Writing full of ornate or flowery language—best definition I’ve found) I do agree with the extra burdens bit. Most books tell you if they have upsetting content, though that, too, is variable.
What makes you put a book down? Have your reading habits changed?
and check out my sneak peeks at Coffee Time Romance-