Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Won't Read That

Is there anything you won’t read?  Would you quit reading a book because of some line the author crossed? I’m not talking about genre, because if you pick erotica or any of the glbt genres you know what you will be getting. Although there may still be the same lines you won’t read.

I once read that you can’t kill a cat. Readers will quit reading. So are there other things that might stop you cold and go – No Way. You can’t do that. And put the book down. There are some authors I've never read because I've heard about some of their books and thought - nope, I couldn't read that. It's too gory for me.
Can an author kill an animal? Can it be a dog, cat, bird or even a horse? Does size have anything to do with your response?

What about children? Can you kill a child? Does it matter how old the child/teen? What age would you find acceptable?
Sexual abuse – adult or child?

Me, I don’t want to see an animal killed or abuse. I think I would stop reading at that point. Maybe I could accept a rat or a snake but no pets, of any kind. I have problem with a child being injured or killed and the author better set it up so I can accept it.
It also depends on how descriptive it is. Did it happen behind the scene and is only just mentioned? Or are you there as a reader watching it unfold?
I’d love to hear what your line in the sand is. Would you stop reading at some point if the author crossed that line?


  1. If the action fits the character and is well-written, I will indeed read anything. Too often though such things get put into a story for shock value and forward the premise of the story. That being said, I once wrote a short story where a dad had killed a litter of puppies. It didn't go over very well in workshop... The idea of losing a dog stuck in my head though and my short story "For the Love of Dog" is the best one I've written yet.

  2. I think we all have those hot buttons inside our brains, but the odd thing is, we may not even know we have certain "can't do that" rules buried in our minds until we actually encounter them or read about them. Like you, I've avoided certain authors and themes because I know I would get squeamish about them. Horror is something that is dodgy because it can take on so many guises. But, in the end, I tend to stick to styles I know I'll enjoy because I have such limited time, I really don't want to be horrified, I want to be entertained.

  3. I think that an author has the right to write what they want, but as a reader, I have the same right to put the book down if the words create images in my mind I'd rather not have. Variety and diversity are necessary in this life to enrich our experiences, and choice is part of that equation.

    1. I agree!

      I like a nice cozy mystery. I don't want blood and guts. Please, no gore! But I know those really gruesome stories appeal to others.

      I can handle a sexy romance but there are certain acts that will stop me from reading. Yet others think such things are normal.

      I don't have time to read a book that I don't like!

  4. I don't know if I have a line. If the part is important to the storyline, I wouldn't put the book down.

  5. Interesting topic, Beverley. My stop reading points seem to be subtle even to me. If a characters don't act 'real,' or have tendencies that make them immoral (my standards) or cruel for no reason put forward in the plot, I quit reading. Other than that, I know I'll stop reading if I there is some plot point I just can't buy into.