top ten things that will keep me from picking up a book

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

Sometimes books don’t work for you as a reader.  Other people love them – I mean, genuinely fall in love with them – but you find yourself either going ‘Ehhhh…’ or wanting to throw the offending volume across the room.  I bet you can think of a couple of things that make you feel that way.  I thought I’d have a tough time coming up with ten absolute no-go words or topics that keep me from reading a book, but it was actually very, very easy.  Almost too easy.  I am a little worried that I am a hater.  But not enough to stop me from sharing my list!

Top Ten Things That Will Keep Me From Picking Up a Book

1. Popularity contests – This is a real thing in young adult books.  It’s also a thing in real life (which is why they put it in YA books. because, duh.).  I find it boring.  *le sigh*

2. Vampires – Vampire books feel trite and overdone at this point.  A few are really terrible, but most are victims of the surge in paranormal popularity.  I may eventually come to appreciate vampires, but it’ll probably be in another 20 years when the trend comes back around.

3. Love triangles – Oh. Dear. Goodness.  If we’re going to talk about a YA tropes, THIS is the one that will actually make me spit fire and/or rage.  I’m just done with them.

4. ‘Losing it’ plots – Hey, I get that sex is a big deal, especially that first time.  I just want to read a little more character development or see a really cool fantasy world in addition to this plot device.  All of the focus and emotion centered on that one act is making me feel like an old.  One who is over the angst.  Sorry/not sorry.

5. Cheating/disloyalty – Confession time: I am a Hufflepuff.  Officially Pottermore-sorted and everything.  Characters’ disloyalty or cheating on someone make me uncomfortable, even in fictional universes.  Like, cannot-continue-reading uncomfortable.  I get that it happens in real life, I just hate it.  So I don’t read it.  Because hate reading is not one of my things, either.  Remember, Hufflepuff.

6. Mermaids – When I was writing up this list, I put down mermaids, and then I thought to myself, ‘What?! Who even hates mermaids? You are crazy, self.’  But it stayed on the list, so I think it’s real.  The only mermaid-ish book I can remember enjoying even a little was Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli.  All that said, I’m totally fine with selkies.

7. First-person point of view – Now, this isn’t proven in all cases, and I’m sure I’ve liked a book with a first person POV.  Just can’t recall one at the moment.  I know that sometimes it’s a major pet peeve.  Okay, make that a lot of times.

8. Drama class/theater setting – This is where (if you didn’t see it coming) I admit that I am a person without the requisite amount of art in her soul.  I didn’t enjoy drama class in high school, and reading about it = the wrong side of dull.  So I don’t.

9. Bad boys – Oh, I get it.  He’s tortured, he needs help, he’s a misunderstood a$$hole who will break your heart into little pieces.  I just don’t want to read about him, because he sounds selfish and probably disloyal (see above).

10. Exclusive boarding schools – My mother has real-life stories from boarding school, and they’re mostly tame and boy-free.  Also, she received a quarterly alumni newsletter, and I skimmed it for years.  Not a single secret society or real scandal to be found.  The glamour ran out before it ever put a shine on this idea (for me at least).

Are any of these your kryptonite, too?  Please do tell what turns you off books (I am honestly curious)!


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty much done with love triangles in YA too. So predictable.

lillylilac said...

Great list, I also hate love triangles, cheating, and bad boys.

brandisbookmusings said...

Cheating mad my list too, but I am still a sucker for the love triangle. I need help!

Matthew said...

When you say you hate reading about cheating, are you referring to when the protagonist (hero) is the one doing it? What if the antagonist is the cheating scumbag?

Cecelia said...

Matt: Good question! I think the point when I really can't keep reading a book I've already picked up is if the protagonist is the cheater, but I've also been turned off by reading the word 'cheating' in a plot summary, regardless of who was doing the deed (so to speak).

Liviania said...

I gave up vampires for awhile, but I just couldn't do it. I read several terrible vampire books in a row as a result, all, "I miss you I'll never leave you again!" I am critical of a lot of the stuff that's come out of the popularity surge, but it's just so hard for me to resist.

I'm not big on 'losing it' plots either. I don't connect to it. But I became more interested in Bennett Madison's September Girls after I heard that the hero was a Magical Virgin. I adore a good magical virgin, which I think comes from my childhood fandom of Artemis and Athena.

I don't like cheating either. My RL views on it became more complicated after a close friend had an affair with an engaged dude (which she now looks back on as, "WTF was I thinking?"), but it's nothing I care to read about in fiction. Also, I really hate things like TAKEN where the hero is all angry that the heroine was cheating on him when she thought he was dead and he'd been flirting with another girl during the whole separation.

Mermaids are something I don't seek out, but tend to enjoy. I much prefer man-eating mermaids. And I love love love selkies.

I really enjoy murder mysteries set in boarding schools for some reason.

One of the big things that turns me off, and is pretty common in urban fantasy, is when the heroine's entire backstory is basically that she got raped and it messed her up. For awhile it seemed like every single urban fantasy heroine had been raped. There are other possible motivations for women with chips on their shoulder!

I also tend to avoid cancer books. I usually find them really hard to get through.

Jamie said...

I can't do diaries. I find diary style takes a long time to get into.

Anonymous said...

Yes, love triangles! Also cheating. I do still enjoy me some vampires, though ;P

Kelly said...

Yep - popularity contests books are horrible and ugh, boring to read about.
And I hate reading books about cheating and disloyalty too. I just can't deal with it.
Great list! (:


Anonymous said...

It didn't make my list, but I totally agree with you on mermaids. I *want* to like them but no matter how many books I try, I just don't.

Irish said...

Great list...we have similar pet peeves in books. I especially hate when bad boys are combined with a love triangle...because no matter how douche the bad boy acts he somehow always manages to redeem himself and win of the good guy.

My TTT is here.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I feel ya. I use to love vampires and mermaids but I can't really tolerate them anymore. I think I over did it. I've been on a vamp diet for years. Only occasionally breaking it.

Great list.

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