Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Are You Reading?

Jennifer looks at what bothers her about books she reads…

Although, or maybe because, I’m so busy right now, I’ve been trying to find a few spare minutes to read. It’s more relaxing that sitting at my computer and makes me feel more productive than wasting time on Facebook. Plus, through Facebook groups, Twitter, other social media outlets and author friends, I’ve come across a lot of books that sound interesting to me, and I’ve been trying them out.

I’ve learned a few things:

      1)   Just because I know an author, doesn’t mean I like their books. This is not the case for everyone I know, but I’ve read enough books by people I know to be careful about promising a review. My tastes are specific and I enjoy certain types of books. Although author friends may say they write those, they don’t always. And even if they do, that doesn’t always mean that they write well or in a style that I enjoy (same goes for me, my writing and my friends).
      2)   Formatting issues bug me. I don’t like to be picky and I can overlook a lot when I get into a story, but I just read a book on my Nook with screwed up formatting and I hate to say it, but I remember the formatting issues more than the book’s title or author. The story was okay, but the formatting mistakes really bothered me.
      3)   Even tried-and-true authors don’t always hit a homerun. I finished a book today by a pair of authors whose books I really enjoy and the story was good…but not great. They’re known for complicated, kind of crazy plots that work in the end. And it did work in the end, but it wasn’t as complicated or as crazy as other stories I’ve read by them, even though it is part of a series. I found it a little predictable, which disappointed me.
      4)   A story that carries me away can make up for a lot of “mistakes.” If the story is good enough to make me forget where I am, not hear my kids, or get my heart to race, I can easily overlook word repetition, minor grammar mistakes and other small issues. I read to escape, and if an author can make me escape for even a short amount of time, I’m hooked.

So, what bothers you about books? Or, on the flip side, what do you really, really like?


  1. Generally speaking, I don't write reviews for friends. That always seems to me to be a case of 'I'll give your book 5 stars if you'll do the same with mine' and I don't want to go down that road!
    I'm less bothered by formatting errors than I am by grammar errors. That's when I get nitpicky!
    But if, as you say, the story is a good one and holds my attention, I can overlook most things!

    1. I agree with you, Paula, especially because, as I said, I might really like the person, but not be a particular fan of the genre they write and then I'm stuck. And I also don't tell friends if I'm going to review it. That way, I don't have to worry.

  2. Grammar errors and head-hopping bother the heck out of me when I read a book.

    Romance tends to be formulaic, and to an extent I'm okay with that. I want the predictable tension and the HEA, however sometimes if I'm reading off of my Kindle (Which has mostly romance on it) and I read several books in a row, I lose track of which characters belong to which stories because they all start to sound exactly alike. Even with a so called 'formula' there's room for improvisation and a unique twist here and there.

    What I love in a book is what you've both said so far...one that takes me away to someplace else and makes me forget where I am...and when I continue to think about the characters long after I've hit 'the end' and closed the book.

    1. Absolutely! Actually, for me, I find the formula soothing, which is why I'll choose to read romance over something else at certain times.

  3. Now that I write. critique, study (think, breathe) romance, I am pickier about the books I enjoy. I want a romance to carry me away. To be so well written that my brain doesn't think of a better word choice than what is on the page. I want good grammar, good formatting on ebooks. I want plot twists that hook. I don't want gratuitous sex or blow-by-blow love scenes that focus on movement rather than emotions. I want a feisty heroine, a worthy hero. A love story that evolves. I don't want to be able to predict on page 50 what will happen on page 150 or 200. I want a HEA that I worried over.