Aside from cutting my free time short, writing has affected my reading habits in a lot of different ways, and they aren’t all nice.
Back in the day, I’d pick up a book and just read until I reached the other cover – I’d even read the copyright statement, acknowledgement, biography and, if included, the bonus chapter from the next book.
When my time got shorter and books got available with a bigger variety, the only thing that really changed was the fact that I got pickier. Back then, I didn’t mind if there was a typo, a plot hole (small one) or if some paragraph didn’t make much sense. I simply ignored the mistakes – because they happen, we’re human after all – and went on with the story. My rating of that book was the result of my overall enjoyment, meaning, I didn’t try picking the book apart – writing style, plot, character and so on; if I enjoyed the story as a whole, it meant that was a good story and that’s it.
Then I started writing. And so, I began paying attention to other author’s style, the way they described things, the tone of the story… you know, big and small things that appealed to the writer within. Now, everything’s changed.
For one, I’m always on the lookout for mistakes. The grammar, the spelling, the formatting – any typos. That should be a good thing, being able to identify others mistakes. For a writer, that is, and I like that I can tell the difference.
But, for my reader? It kills the reading mood. I still rate a book by my overall enjoyment of the story, but sometimes, if the typos are many, my enjoyment of the story dims, especially if I find a plot hole.
And when I find any typo on a best seller? I’m crazy enough that I do a happy dance.
What about you? Do you rate a book by your overall enjoyment of the story, or do you take note of the typos and then deduce stars from your rating?