Have you ever experienced book fade?


In the last year there have been two books I started reading with much enthusiasm. Each has a good premise, an interesting world, interesting characters—the writing is solid. The first chapters were especially compelling in each case, but I wouldn’t say the writing quality was unsatisfactory thereafter, I just lost interest.

I suppose it could be slow pacing to blame, but I can usually work through that if I am interested in the characters or the plot. These are romances so I know there will be a happily ever after, that is never in questions, but when has that ever lessened my desire to know HOW they get that HEA? Both of these authors are popular, well published, award-winning authors. Both books are in my wheel-house (SFR).

So, why did I lose interest? I truly have no idea. It happens sometimes. Occasionally a book doesn’t interest me from the beginning, but I can pick it up later and enjoy it. So with these fade-books, should I try again? I really don’t have any interest (except that I feel like I should like them).

Has this ever happened to you? If so, have you figured out why or what to do about it? Blogging minds want to know…

24 thoughts on “Have you ever experienced book fade?

    • I think that is what I’ll have to do too. Just feel boggled as to why. I think it is the writer-nerd in me. I like to analyze books, so I get annoyed when I can’t figure out why it isn’t working. LOL

  1. Most writers have trouble with either the beginning, the middle, or the end. Sometimes I think the writer just loses enthusiasm, but many writers have trouble with a ‘sagging middle.’ Also hate it when the ending is a let-down. I love Nancy Kress’s book, “Beginning, Middles & Ends”, and consider it one of the Top Five Must Have books for every author, and wish more would read it. Too many writers think it’s enough just to put words down on paper. After all, everyone knows writing is so easy, anyone can do it!

  2. “Book fade”. I love that term. I’ve had to fight to finish a few books like that, but I’ve persisted in getting through others because I wanted to finish them at least.

  3. I have had this happen. Sometimes I’m just in the wrong mood for that book. Sometimes it is the wrong book for me. I will try twice and then move on. It’s about 50/50 on which it was, though I’ve found some great reads by going back for a second look. But, IMHO, life is too short to struggle to finish a book that isn’t grabbing you. Sometimes I’ll go read the ending, so I can have book closure. (grin)

  4. Books fade because the writer does. It’s hard to keep momentum. Some multi-published authors have a tendency to write the same story over and over, especially if the publisher pressures them to do more. I have stories where I reached a point where I simply lost interest. Which is okay, unless I’m on deadline.

  5. That happened to me. I am a big fan of the Bones TV series and I thought I would give the books that “inspired” the show a try. I found it disappointing and just could not get through it. Eventually I gave up. There are too many good books to read to waste time on something I don’t love.

    • I’ve heard those books are way more technical than the show. I always figured the episode where Bones revealed that Angela had been writing the love scenes for Temperance was a nod to that difference.

  6. Sometimes lazy reading, worse yet, entitlement reading comes into play. We’re so primed to be satisfied that we give up entirely too soon. If we’re not spoon fed, we give up. That’s damned wrong. I do step away and go back to a book.

    But, and here I do agree, at times a series does not deserve our time.

    So far the series that has disappointed me the most is R. Scott Bakker’s The Second Apocalypse series. I started reading the first book and gave up. Three years later I started from the beginning, read the second and third book only to learn he had decided to start another trilogy. I’m done with his sloppy writing.

    Don’t get me started on George R.R. Martin. I might explode.

    • I get what you are saying but I don’t think of it as spoiled. I am guilty of being loyal to a fault and kept buying an author who is very popular still but for me things had changed I no longer enjoyed reading her. I had to ask myself why I kept buying. We should not be on automatic just because we love the author just like they write what they like we read what we like. There are too many choices out there, not to say you can never give the author a chance again.

      • I have on occassion just gotten tired off an author for not changing enough – sticking to a formula. I have also stopped reading an author because they changed too much. Authors are people too. They grow and change and get tired of things and interested in new ones. That’s fine, doesn’t mean I have to follow.

        What a fickle creature I am. LOL

  7. Interesting topic. Sometimes, it happens due to my mood. I have a novel by an author I love- read all her other books- but can’t seem to get into the newest one. Since she’s so good and I love her other stuff, I will give it another go.

    I often get book fade if I read too much of the same genre at once. It helps to skip around:)

    Sometimes even a popular author is not necessarily your thing. I can think of one very well known, well loved writers whose books just don’t do it for me.

  8. Yup, drives me crazy. It seems like it usually just isn’t the right time for me to read that book, because most of the time I put it down and forget about it, and then I’ll come back to it (often years later) and just fly through it.

    As others have said, I don’t fight it if it happens – to many good books to waste time fighting though one that doesn’t grab me.

  9. This has been happening to me with far more frequency. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m seeing the same story line too often or maybe my tastes have changed or matured. I’m looking for more substance in my romances–that much I know is true.

  10. I’ve had that happen, and it’s generally because I wasn’t in the mood for it, though usually those books don’t start with a bang for me–I’ve gone back after a year and ended up liking them. For ones that start with a bang and fade, hmm, not sure I’ve run across that exact species, though maybe I’m just not noticing and the momentum carries me through to the end…

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