As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a very picky reader and generally like everything I read. But I do know there are some issues that a lot of people have with a book. I want to know what makes a book great to you and what makes a book terrible.
This is a big one for me. For some reason, I struggle with slower books. I find myself skimming or spacing out. A book doesn’t need to be all action, but I need things to be happening.
Multiple Points of View
I do fine with multiple POVs, but they need to sound different from each other. Also, I can’t do it when there are so many that I can’t keep track of people. I had to DNF a book last year because there were over 6 and they didn’t feel different for me.
Racism/Homophobia in a book
I have fine with this as long as it’s addressed and shown to be problematic. I think books can be realistic with the world we live in, but they need to be challenged. I find that not only is racism still a big problem in this country, but I remember growing up and boys insults were always “you’re gay”. This is fine to show in a book imo, but I know others will feel offended by it. As a writer, you need to make sure the reader knows these things are not ok.
I struggle with these. Like a lot. Authors, please warn us if you’re killing off a dog. It breaks me. And don’t linger on the scene.
I don’t mind tropes. They really don’t bother me the way they do with others.
I prefer diversity in a book. I won’t pass up a book because it doesn’t have any. But I like it and it needs to feel natural and not just mentioned to say the book is diverse. Own voices is even better, but I think anyone can write diversity in their book. But use sensitivity readers to make sure nothing is offensive.
This kind of goes along with pacing. I’m not super picky with writing, but I do love writing that feels natural and not forced.
I’m ok with crappy or annoying characters if the book is good. I never expect everyone to be likeable. But I do need to like someone to fully enjoy the book.
I’m one of those people who prefer books to be 450 pages or less. I will read a longer book if it’s something that interests me. But I generally pick smaller ones. I always worry about the book stretching out with things not needed. And I start to space.
Series or Standalone
I’m ok with either of these. I love getting attached to characters in a good series. But I hate waiting a year or more for the next book. And they take up so much space. Standalones can get great, but sometimes I do want more.
What are the things that make or break a book for you? How do you feel about all the things I mentioned above? Are you a picky reader?