I read a lot. When I read, I tend to pick apart things in the books. I find the plot holes, the poor characterization, the tiny editing errors that were missed. (I read a lot of ebooks that have been self published.) One of my favorite writers completely screwed up her own timeline. I still read her books because I love the stories, but now I have to read them with a more open mind because of that. If the characters are too flat, the story showing a poor build up within the first five chapters, I'll put the book down and not pick it up again. I'm very picky with my books. I have over 200 Kindle books. I don't necessarily have time to read all 200. (All but four of them were free, and I already knew I'd like the four I actually paid for.)
Himself does this with movies. It doesn't matter if it's his first time or his tenth. He will pick it apart. He's been known to walk out of movies that have plot holes and bad characterization because they were so terrible he didn't want to watch it anymore. He's as bad with movies as I am with books. Occasionally I can get him to sit through the whole thing because I like the story, but he grouses about it when we leave. If there's a sequel it gets worse because he's comparing it to the first movie. If there's a remake of a movie, he tends to compare it to the original. Character development is something he focuses on, as well as moving along a storyline. Just like I do in a book series.
I am an author, unpublished though I may be. I look at books that I read as research material. If I love the story, I want to figure out what it was that drew me into it. I want to find out why I'm so fascinated by the characters. What is it about the setting that appeals to me? What's the plot and how does the author have it progress? Everything gets analyzed and filed away in my mind to be used for my books.
Not every book I read to the end is a good book. Sometimes the plot is weak but the characters are so fascinating that I'll push through. If the plot and setting are good, I'll somewhat forgive weak characters. But there has to be something compelling about the story or I won't stick with it.
What do you look for in a book/movie? Is there something that will get you to put it down/walk out? What are some of your favorite authors?