I was reading through my feed, when I came across The Bookshelf of Emily J’s wonderful post on why one abandons a book, with the help of this rather facinating diagram from Goodreads (I really ought to get into Goodreads more).
I will admit I started to read 50 Shades for a giggle. Seriously, many hours were spent in the college Student Union HQ reading out particularly rude bits, with the rules that one had to keep a straight face and a posh English accent at all times. I sucked at this game! But I gave up simply because the writing was so AWFUL!!! Seriously, a virginial thirteen year old Bieliber would write a better sex scene! That’s what made the game so bloody hilarious!
I also read Wicked, and it is one of my favourite books of all time, as I relate to Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the way she was persecuted for being different to the other people of Oz. However, when I first read it, aged 15, it took me a good two goes to read it properly, and to enjoy the story. This is due to the fact that it is a hard book to read, due to the rather heavy way the political themes are used in the novel. I also found that the language used in the novel was rather too grown up, and sophisticated for me, so I had to adopt a dictionary to have alongside me as I read this book. I do love the book, but I will freely admit to preferring the West End Musical far more.
I will abandon a book for the following reasons:
1. If the plot becomes too predictable
2. When a character gets really annoying
3. I simply don’t have the time to read the book properly as it might be a heavy read
4. Historically inaccuracies in historical fiction
5. Plots that don’t make any sense whatsoever
And the point where I will unceremoniously send a book flying towards the rejection pile ready for the charity shops varies.
For example, I only read two chapters of ‘Emma’ by Jane Austen, before I got peeved off with the title character, and literally tossed the book across the room. However, I struggled boldly with Catch 22, as a penfriend wanted me to read it to see what I thought, and couldn’t bear it much longer (16 year olds should never be persuaded to read such heavy literature). I got towards the halfway point, before admitting defeat, and used Wikipedia to help me find out the ending so that I could give my friend feedback.
Good writing and a comfortable weight of reading makes a good novel, in my opinion. Witty characters that don’t wind you up with sappyness (Yes, Marianne of Sense and Sensibility, I’m talking about you!) or their irritating and condescending attitudes to other people (Emma, don’t think I’m letting you off the hook!). Not forgetting of course enough description of events, scenery and people/their appearance without being distracting to the plot…