IWSG: When I Quit Reading

Logo for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Picture of a lighthouse with text reading "THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP"

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

I’m not sure that being a writer is what makes the difference between sticking with a story and nope.

As a writer, I’m more likely to find myself reading unpolished work, or work from beginners than I would as a general reader. There are a lot of different skill levels among my friends.

If I’m reading an unfinished piece of work, I usually stop when I realize there’s nothing more I can do for the writer. Needs structural editing? Did the grandmother die (unintentionally) three different times? Well, that’s where I tell the person it needs structural editing.

There’s no point in forcing my way through so I can adjust punctuation.

In published works? Well, it’s been a while since I stopped reading something. I do tend to be pretty careful with my selections, though.

**glances at to read list**

To be fair, I think most of the books I stop reading are ones that I didn’t choose for myself, in the first place. For instance, I’m still fighting my way through that list of prize winners. Some of the books just flew. Others were not what I would pick out individually for myself, and they just… stare at me.


  1. Reply

    It’s so hard when people gift me a book “because I know you love reading!” and it’s not the kind of book I actually like. I don’t want to be rude, and I appreciate the thought behind it but…meh. Shhh, don’t tell them, but if I just can’t get into the gift book after giving it a try, I usually take it to my local used bookstore that gives trade in credit and use that to get a book I wanted.

  2. Reply

    You’re right about books you choose yourself. I know what I like, and if I don’t like the description or the preview pages, I don’t buy.

  3. Reply

    I’ve made a point to let people know, (cough my husband), that if you want to gift me a book before they do, look at my bookshelves on my Goodreads profile. I have a huge queue of books that I want to read. Can’t go wrong. Unless I’ve chosen the wrong kind of book.

  4. Reply

    I am normally patient when reading fiction, good or bad. I want to see how things end. I just stop when grammar is so atrocious that it affects the understanding of a story. I am not a grammar nazi (I am not grammatically correct sometimes). But if you can’t write comprehensible sentences, you have no business writing in that language. Improve your grammar.

    I HAVE stopped reading a few times mainly because the protagonists do morally despicable things with no remorse.

  5. Diane Burton


    If a book doesn’t grab me right away or atrocious grammar/spelling errors, then I go on to the next book in my TBR pile.

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