6 Reader Responses to Books

I read a lot of books, but I start more then I complete. Some books just aren’t worth finishing. With so many books waiting for my attention, it makes no sense to waste time reading a book I’ve lost interest in.

Do you finish every book you're reading?

Here are six reactions I have when I read a book:

1. Give Up

Nothing grabs me. The opening lacks a hook, the first page ends with no reason to turn it, or I grow bored before the first chapter finishes. I stop reading and reject the book.

2. Never Return

The book starts out okay, but I never pick it back up. Another book seems more interesting so I start it, and I stick with it. Then I go on to another book. This doesn’t mean the first book isn’t good; it just means other books are better.

3. Force to Finish

For some books, I push through. Maybe it started okay and then languished, but I plod on anyway. For other books I hold on, hoping for a payoff at the end. Regardless of the reason, I’m invariably glad when I finish it, not for its content or conclusion, but so that I can go on to something better.

4. Pleasant Diversion

These books are those I enjoy reading and look forward to. They are worthy of my time and the end brings satisfaction. I’m glad to have read it and plan to read the author’s next book.

5. Page Turner

These books are so good that I keep reading even when I need to turn off the light and go to sleep. Just one more page becomes just one more chapter. It’s hard to put down, and I can’t wait to return.

6. Takes Priority

Sometimes a book is so good that I’d rather read it rather than doing anything else. The book gets in the way of eating, working, and writing. Ignore others; skip TV; forget the movie. I must read this book. Nothing else matters.

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I’ve read books in all six of these categories. For those that fit in the first three, sometimes it’s my fault; I just don’t click with the book.

In other cases, it’s the writer’s fault. They didn’t write a good book, they published it too soon, or they didn’t take steps to make it as good as they could.

Don’t be that writer.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

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