I also don't like tedious and unnecessary detail that slows reading but know other readers who do like all that description. I just prefer mine in small doses. Another pet peeve is running into some inane dialogue after the characters got off to a good beginning or sections where the dialogue tells about another character's personality or situation in a most unrealistic manner. When characters' dialect speech is constantly spelled in phonetics can make me unhappy while reading, too, although I've also read this done by using the cadence of correctly spelled words to carry this out and thought it very compelling.
As a teen when I ran out of Georgette Heyer novels, I turned to Barbara Cartland. I liked her novels well enough, but looking back… I…wonder…why. Because… that… is… how… the… virginal… heroine… spoke to the most refined, rich, and powerful hero. Even then, I found the dialogue bizarre. Now I use ellipses in writing dialogue, but not so often that they draw attention to the story's mechanics, or at least I sure hope I don't. At the same time, I liked Emily Loring too, but as the 60s drew on, I found some of her dialogue racists and very much in the category of a woman who must find a man to take care of her. Of course, her books had been written many years before the civil rights movement, so I guess likes and dislikes can change as the reader and history change.
Today I read most genres except horror and like almost everything with convoluted situations that develop from twisting cause and effect plots, and with multifaceted characters who the author slowly reveals. I enjoy characters who are deceivers with good hearts, manipulators working to solve impending calamities, stories with moral messages the reader needs to discover, and villains who are only too human.
I have a horrible secret to disclose. To prevent wasting my money, when buying a print book I read the first two pages, and then skip to the end and read the last two pages. I have done this since I started reading and ran into my first, 'I don't like that book' occasion. One of my friends asks how can I do that, doesn't it ruins all the drama? Not so long ago I found out one of my sisters does the same thing. We did not know we both did it, so perhaps it's a genetic thing. Anyhow, if I like the ending, I usually like the book, but I have to say it is not a foolproof method to prevent buying a book I don't enjoy.
So there you have it. If you hear a book hit the wall in this house, you know what caused it. Check out the authors below to see their story-enders.
Heidi M. Thomas