Formatting issues with books

I planned to read The Mummy Case, the third in the Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters this week. However, I got hung up on formatting issues with the ebook copy I got from the library and was unable to continue.

In my case with this particular ebook, it was a space between paragraphs that I couldn’t get past. I felt like I was reading a screenplay, which oh, yeah, is another format I don’t like, well, in a novel, for example, Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Or mixed-media formats like The Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I wanted to buy into the hope for those critically-acclaimed books, but I just couldn’t get over the hump of how they were formatted.

Even in print books, I have issues with formatting, with another example being italics. I especially loathe italicized flashbacks, although I did read one book recently that was pretty good despite the use of italicized flashbacks. That was The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. However, most of the time I find it lazy writing.

This leads me to the question this week for you all: Do you ever stop reading a book because of how it is formatted? Share in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Formatting issues with books

  1. Yes I do… but mostly if the typeface is too small to read as my eyesight is wonky even with glasses. I rather like the audiobook versions of the Amelia Peabody mysteries. They’re read by Barbara Rosenblat. She does a great job with the characters. My weekly update


    1. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of most mass market paperbacks for that reason. Why I prefer ebooks. As I mentioned to another commenter, I wish I liked audiobooks but my commute isn’t long enough and I want to read at my own pace, not at the pace of a narrator, which is too slow for me.


  2. Yes, I’ve dumped books due to format. Sometimes I’ll make allowances for ARCs since it probably isn’t the final version of the book, as long as it isn’t too annoying, but a book I’ve purchased or from the library? I don’t understand how major publishers, a decade into ebooks being a thing, can’t produce decent formats.


  3. I don’t mind italics etc but In a lot of e-ARCs I read the formatting is pretty awful, PDFs especially. I’ve had to tell the publisher at least twice I wouldn’t be reading it solely due to the formatting they left it unreadable.

    Have a great reading week


  4. Daisy Jones is fantastic — it will be among my best of the year — but I think it only works in audio, which was my choice for this one. I hear (no pun intended) what you’re saying about the formatting. It can be a bit annoying at times.


    1. I wish I liked audio. Another format I don’t like, sadly, and also because I have a five minute commute. If I had a long commute, maybe? I just want the narrator to get on with it, I think that’s it too.


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