Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Watcha Say Wednesday: Hook or Bust

I am blogging from my phone today. How ya like that? I am sitting in the parking lot, waiting for my religion class to start. This semester I'm tackling religion and tax accounting. Just seems wrong.

Watcha Say Wednesdays are a chance to share your feelings on a particular subject. Anonymous comments are on for those in the Writers Protection Program.

My question to you, and I'm really curious about this- how forgiving are you to authors? How long do you give them to hook you? And if you find yourself losing interest, do you keep reading or return to the to-be-read pile? And if you keep reading--why?

What's the deepest you ever made it into a book, and then decided to put it down?

Answer what speaks to you, and ignore the rest. But do tell- I am quite curious.


  1. You know I don't think I give any slack to authors, or maybe I do and don't even realize it! I have gotten to the point where I give the author 50 pages to get me hooked, if you don't then I put you down, I'll read something else. Now I do give it two chances, I'll go back after I read a book I like and try again!! Two times, 50 pages, finito!!

  2. I usually read through the entire book. Once in a while I give up halfway, but after that much time invested, I want to know how it ends.

    So you phoned-in your blog, huh?

  3. In a bookstore I might only read a few words. If I've bought the book I'll read a few pages at least.

  4. Alex-Yep, sure did. I did write it earlier in the day, but just wanted to try out the whole blog by phone. You know, it actually took me longer than if I'd have done it at home. Dang thing kept mis-guessing my words - so lots of delete-delete-delete. haha

    I generally buy the book based on the premise and a quick read through of the first page. For me, it's about voice - does the author/protagonist "speak" to me. Once home, if I find myself halfway through a book and feeling like I need to hurry up and get through it so I can get to the next one-I'll move on. And if I ever find myself wondering what happened - then I'll go back. That's me.

  5. The longest I've ever given a book was 12 chapters, and that was about halfway through. On average I'd say roughly a chapter or two, 5,000 words or so. If the characters are bland, or the story isn't moving forward, I'm out before my brain cramps up.

    Bad writing can get me to stop reading too, but, if the story is interesting enough, sometimes I can switch my inner critic off and just enjoy the ride. Take H.G. Wells for instance, The First Men in the Moon; Fun story, terrible writing. He used "had had" over 40 times in that book, and that's just one example.

    I'm probably way too critical though, and it's largely due to my trust in Mark Twain's saying, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."

    I want what I read to be enriching. I don't enjoy reading for the sake of reading, or for an escape from reality. In a way, I read with hope that, by doing so, I can learn to be a better writer. If a book isn't doing that for me, at least in some way, I shelve it and find a classic instead.

  6. I put down Graceling and I think I was about halfway through. I just couldn't keep going.

  7. It all depends on whether or not i have other books waiting to be read. If i do, i don't give them long to hook me. If i don't, well i'll stick it out.
    I once quit on about page 800 of a 1000 page novel

  8. I'm pretty forgiving for the most part. I've only not been able to finish a few books in my life and it was because I didn't like the characters. I'm really forgiving of the writing because I want a good story above all else.

  9. I give an author a lot of leeway. I've rarely put a book down, even I didn't actually like it. I'm in it for the story, and if the writing style doesn't turn me off, I'll finish it.

    Reading a book is like meeting a new person; you can't just give up because your expectations weren't 100 percent met.


  10. Nice brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

  11. I give it 3-5 chapters, though if a voice doesn't hook me, it's rare for me to pick up a book in the first place. I've tried some memoirs and couldn't finish. Guess I prefer made up stuff.

    BTW, I have an award for you on my blog.

  12. Wow, you guys are awesome! This was really informative on everyone's style. The good news is that there are a few of you that will actually finish my book even if you think it sucks. LOL!

    Laurel - thanks for the award. I'm dreaming up yummy lies.