Latayne's Corner: What Stops You from Reading a Book?

What Stops You from Reading a Book?

By, Latayne C. Scott

I’m an author, and editor, and a book reviewer. But most of all, I am a reader! And like many readers with choices on my screen or shelf, I have to make decisions about what to read.

Some readers will stick with a book they don’t like, all the way to the end, just to see if the book redeems itself after a slow start. Or even a slow middle.

Others have “hot buttons” that cause them to stop reading and go on to the next book on their “TBR” (To Be Read) list.

I’ve found at least eight things that will cause a reader to put a book down:

1. Nothing itches enough during the first chapter that would make you want to scratch the second chapter.

2. There is no compelling reason to care about the protagonist. He or she could go straight to hell and you’d wave goodbye, because they’re just characters in a book.

3. You can predict the next plot development. And the next.

4. The protagonist (or what she loves) is in tepid water. (Not hot water that would make you want to see him or her rescued.)

5. The story isn’t believable – either illogical or not true to life.

6. The story is too true to life. (Most of life is quite ordinary and doesn’t make good reading.)

7. The book’s outer appearance – art, cover copy, endorsements—writes a check the writer can’t cover.

8. Stereotypes. Of any type.

How about you? Do you read books all the way through? If not, what causes you to put a book back on the shelf?

About the Author

Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed novel A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage--also controversial-- has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.

One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom). Her first novel, Latter-day Cipher, is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are.... controversial.

She's also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she's not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

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You can read Latayne's column, "Latayne's Corner" on the 4th Friday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.

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