Why People Stop Reading a Book

I think a lot about books and writing. I’ve always wanted to be a writer of some kind and now that I’ve self-published two novels, I’m desperately trying to get better at what I love to do. Besides getting reviews and feedback you think about what impact your books have on the reader. Do they understand the idea? Do they like the language? Which parts do they like and which do they don’t like? Are the characters clear and “real” enough? And of course: Did I lose them and if so, where?

The good folks at Goodreads asked themselves the same question and have now conducted a survey investigating that very question: What Makes You Put Down a Book? Below you find their stylish infographic…


I find it interesting that almost 20% think weak writing contributes because when you look at so many books out there – weak writing seems to be quite popular and doesn’t seem to have a major effect on the popularity of the book in question.

But the number one reason for people quitting a book isn’t surprising at all: “It’s because it’s slow/boring.”

People want to be entertained. That is a fact of life. And since reading is a “slow”, slightly laborious way of being entertained compared to watching a movie and playing video games, books already have an uphill climb before they can hook a person.

The number of published books every year is increasing at rocket speed now that everyone can write and publish a book, but I wonder if the number of people reading books do too. I guess there has always been this fear in the publishing industry that the number of people willing to invest time into reading a book keeps decreasing. What is the trend now? Does self-publishing and more books and the presence of e-readers like Kindles and Nooks counter that? How many people read on their mobiles? (37% according to a another Goodreads study, although it’s not super-scientific).

My feeling is that the possibility to read on mobile phones and the portability of e-readers should increase the interest in books and spread like wildfire. But of course, no matter how portable or easy to use the device is, the book still has to entertain and hopefully also raise a few thoughts. Otherwise you could just as well watch a movie, play video games or simply read another book.

Do you use digital devices for reading? And what kind of device? Please share your thoughts below! /J.


“This is a divorce. In Hollywood that’s as big as someone painting their house.”

Here are some more quotes and excerpts from the romantic comedy Hollywood Ass...

“When B had launched her projectile vomit, right there on the red carpet, the world stopped for a second and stared at the mash of white wine, shrimp, guacamole and God knows what else, and asked the obvious question: What the hell happened? The famous TV-presenter, who witnessed the whole thing from only a meter away and probably got some of her regurgitated food on his shoes, probably asked the same thing. He was frozen and pale, a rare look on his always polished and controlled facade.”

B was an immensely successful romantic comedy actress and the star of movies that made women all over the world go “oooh” and guys go “uuuugh”.

“Good luck,” A said without a hint of belief in his voice and returned to his Ferrari, a car that always performed flawlessly, something I’m sure he wished for in his wife.

B about her husband’s transformation: “From flower-petal-trails to scratching his balls openly and only lusting after things with wheels, what an amazing transformation! I used to feel like the most special woman in the world and now I’m like his sister, bucktooth Bree from fucking Oklahoma. I should take a sledgehammer down to that garage!”

“No, of course I don’t hate you. I was just worried about you, because the B I know doesn’t run away to foreign countries to have late night rendezvous’ with other men.”

A man was touching me. Luckily we weren’t in a bar, but in a Gucci store and the man was a white-haired, old-school tailor with a pen behind his ear and measuring tape in his hands. I was getting an outfit custom-made, express charge and was paying for it.

“No. There was only one thing alive on you and it was THAT thing.” B’s eyed travel downwards and fastened on where my groin would be, if it wasn’t covered by the bed linen.

Agent Julianne was always looking for ways to spin things. She would have been better off owning a laundromat.

I don’t know how I managed to keep calm and take it, but I did. I saw them exchange jokes and smiles and look so goddamn worry-free that for a second I felt like throwing my wine glass in their faces and leave. Take that you rich and soulless motherfuckers! How does the wine taste when you got it through your nose?

Buy Hollywood Ass. on Amazon.com