November 24, 2020, 08:33:37 PM

Author Topic: How long do you give a book to grab you?  (Read 4422 times)

Offline JCkang

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 03:41:13 AM »
I have no hard, fast rules, but there has to either be a compelling narrative voice, or an interesting character in a unique situation within the first couple of paragraphs for me to get me into the story.  I might give up on it at any time if I find it boring or confusing.

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2017, 04:39:24 AM »
It's pretty simple for me. In the first chapter, you need to give me something that makes me want to read on.

Do you display brilliant use of language? Are you hinting at having an interesting world/magic system, etc? Did you make me care about at least one character in that first chapter? Did you write an action scene that worked for me?

There are all kinds of ways for a book to get my attention and hold it. As long as the book isn't boring me, I'm probably going to finish it.

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 11:52:38 AM »
I think I usually give a book about 50 pages before I decide it isn't for me. I think that's giving the author more a than fair shot to engage me.  Some books I don't pick up at all after flipping through and finding the prose style jarring.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 08:00:53 PM »
To update my exercise, I have set the book aside on page 28. I'm having persistent style issues that a passing interest in the setting cannot surmount.

Offline Lanko

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2017, 10:29:33 PM »
And for me, I shelved my 2nd DNF book in GR at around 60%. A shame, as I really loved the first book by this author.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Nora

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2017, 10:21:04 AM »
A few people were gushing recently on The Shadow of What Was Lost, and when I opened it, on the first page there was :

Quote
For a moment the waters of Eryth Mmorg were lit, roiling and churning as though a great knife had plunged deep into the pool’s murky heart.
(...)
Quote
Behind him lay the flat, barren rock that was Taag’s Peak.

And my brain immediately froze, and went to this :

Spoiler for Hiden:

Damn I didn't realise the comic was in panels and totally missed the others, so here is the actual entire joke :

Spoiler for Hiden:



The comics are initially french and his translators are simple fans, you'll have to excuse the patent mistakes...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 10:24:03 AM by Nora »
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Offline xiagan

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 11:54:30 AM »
Spoiler for Hiden:
The book he's reading is Bakker's The Darkness that Comes Before. I remember at least three of the names. (Plot differs a lot, though.)
;D ;D ;D
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Offline Lanko

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2017, 03:03:08 PM »
Spoiler for Hiden:
The book he's reading is Bakker's The Darkness that Comes Before. I remember at least three of the names. (Plot differs a lot, though.)
;D ;D ;D

I don't know if this puts the book down on my list or up to see if all this really happens.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline ksvilloso

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2017, 04:03:48 PM »
I kind of actually give it until the end. I very rarely decide that I don't want to finish a book, because I've already invested all that time in it. Of course, if a book is really slow, it may take me forever to finish it (I've been technically reading War and Peace for 12 years now  ;D).

Really, my feeling is that the writer is attempting to express something from within themselves, and not to "entertain me" by any stretch of definition. There's been too many books that turned around in the end, where I go from being confused to "Ah hah!", for me to ever actually give up on a book just because it didn't grab me.

(That said, I do a first page flip test to see if this is the sort of book that isn't going to make me grab for the eye bleach, but that's mostly a technical thing...shoddy prose, bad grammar, or glaring typos are enough to turn me off from attempting to read any further).
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Offline Lordoftheword

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2017, 06:13:18 PM »
As a rule, I trust people. This means that I take recommendations from friends and family and I will stick with a book to the end almost every single time. The added bonus is that if the book sucks I will lambaste whoever recommended the book and then feel right as rain immediately after  ;D

The only time I DNF was a self-published novel from a first-time writer. I actively pursued him afterward and gave my constructive two cents in the most polite way possible, and offered any help/advice I could provide. The passion was there, I said, but the editing was not.

Unfortunately, he replied in a less than pleasing fashion, and it took everything in my soul to not rate his book 1 star. Had I not been an author I'm sure I would have.

Oh, and now that I'm really thinking about it, I DNF a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. I bought three of her books on sale never having read her, got through half of one of them and promptly returned the two I hadn't cracked open. 
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Offline ksvilloso

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2017, 07:56:16 PM »
Unfortunately, he replied in a less than pleasing fashion, and it took everything in my soul to not rate his book 1 star. Had I not been an author I'm sure I would have.

That is some admirable self-control. :P
“You don’t find me handsome, Sapphire?”

“Because heavens forbid we talk about anything but you, your charisma, or your women when we’re passing time.”

Sapphire's Flight

Offline eclipse

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2019, 07:58:22 AM »
Do you think Younger readers (30 and under) are less patient now ? Having grown up with very fast paced YA and Sanderson type novels and binge watching tv there can’t handle the more slower stories?
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Offline Yora

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2019, 09:03:19 AM »
I think patience has nothing to do with it. If anything, it's a question of whether you are enjoying yourself with an activity or not. If the activity of reading a book bores you, then why keep doing it?
There's nothing wrong with slow pacing, but it still needs to be entertaining. "Trust me, it get's good later" just isn't a good argument to do something you don't enjoy as entertainment, when there are plenty of other things you can do instead.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2019, 09:15:01 AM »
I think patience has nothing to do with it. If anything, it's a question of whether you are enjoying yourself with an activity or not. If the activity of reading a book bores you, then why keep doing it?
There's nothing wrong with slow pacing, but it still needs to be entertaining. "Trust me, it get's good later" just isn't a good argument to do something you don't enjoy as entertainment, when there are plenty of other things you can do instead.

+1 on this.

Offline eclipse

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Re: How long do you give a book to grab you?
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2019, 09:36:12 AM »
I think patience has nothing to do with it. If anything, it's a question of whether you are enjoying yourself with an activity or not. If the activity of reading a book bores you, then why keep doing it?
There's nothing wrong with slow pacing, but it still needs to be entertaining. "Trust me, it get's good later" just isn't a good argument to do something you don't enjoy as entertainment, when there are plenty of other things you can do instead.

Is one chapter enough to decide to know if the rest of the book will bore you not every book can start off like a James bond film.
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate