Tuesday, May 30, 2023

What Makes Me Avoid A Book?

Last week, I listed some of the reasons I will add a book to my to-be-read mountain. Today, we're going to talk about the opposite. What makes me run away from a book and refuse to read it?

(Warning: I sound like a complete asshat in this post. I'm sorry! I swear I'm nice! Well, mostly nice.)

Let's get into it:

🙈  What Makes Me Avoid A Book?  ⛔

Amateurish Or Unfinished Projects

This is mostly a problem with self-published books. If you've been around this blog before, then you know I'm a pretentious snob. I used to work in publishing and have seen many books go from draft to finished product. If I read a book's sample pages on Amazon and am reminded of an editor's slush pile, I won't read it. I can tell if a book has been professionally edited.

Too Abstract, Experimental, Or Dense

I loved college and am thrilled I got the opportunity to go, but I'm also thrilled I never have to go back. I don't want to read super challenging books anymore. I don't want to spend a whole semester trying to sort out what an author is saying. I'm too tired for that!

Is This A Romance Or Not?

Sometimes I read the first paragraph of a synopsis and think, Yes! This book is for me. Then the rest of the synopsis is about the characters falling in love, and I feel my excitement dying. I'm not a huge fan of romance. I don't want to read a romance book with an interesting subplot. I want to read an interesting book with a romance subplot. There's a big difference!

It's Too Close To My Real Life

Some people want to see themselves in literature. I'm usually not one of those people! If a book sounds too similar to my real life, I'm temped to run in the opposite direction. If a book's synopsis mentions drug addiction or sexual assault, I'm out. I've seen enough of that nonsense to last me a lifetime. I want my books to be real, but not too real!

I'm Burnt Out On The Book's Genre

I live in an area of Colorado known as The Fox News Cinematic Universe. I mean . . . have you seen how Lauren Boebert behaves in public? Yikes. My parents and neighbors are her supporters. I want to understand the people around me, so I read approximately one zillion books about their beliefs, and then I got discouraged. It's hard to stay engaged and compassionate with people who passionately hate you. I read so many books about politics and sociology that I'm burnt out. I'm tempted to donate all my books and adopt the Darkling's attitude from that GIF ^^.

I'm An Insufferable Know-It-All

Everybody is an expert at something. It could be a job, a hobby, or even a health problem. Occasionally, I'll read the synopsis of a book and go, "Umm . . . I have a feeling the author doesn't understand what they're writing about."

The Author Is A Jerk On Social Media

Some readers are great at separating an author and their work. I'm not one of those readers. I love talking about books on the internet. If an author is a jerk to readers who criticizes their work, I probably won't read their work. I don't want a random author and their angry fandom jumping into my DMs. No book is worth that stress. 

Too Much Dialect & No Audiobook

I'm a slow reader. Having to read dialect slows me down even more. If I'm slogging through a book, I'll probably feel stupid and quit. If a story has a ton of dialect, there better be an audiobook edition. I'm going to need it.

It's A Genre That's Not For Me

I read widely and am pretty good at knowing which genres I like. I usually want character-driven stories with strong settings and poetic writing. Some genres have other priorities. I know those books aren't for me.

Art, Music, Or Sports

Watching hockey is one of my favorite things. Reading hockey is boring. Some stuff just doesn't translate to fiction. I love looking at art and listening to music, but reading descriptions of those things does nothing for me. I usually avoid books that have a big focus on art, music, or sports.

What makes you avoid a book?


  1. Agree with certain genres just not being for me, and I generally avoid literary fiction because I just don't want to think that hard about my books.

  2. These all make perfect sense! Bad editing is something that turns me off, too.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


  3. Great TTT list! I don't enjoy dense or experimental books either.

  4. Agreed on Certain Genres. Here is my post-https://paigesofnovels.com/2023/05/30/top-ten-five-tuesday-things-that-make-me-not-want-to-read-a-book/.

  5. I like watching hockey, too, but probably wouldn't read a book about it either. I'm not a huge fan of audiobooks, but what you mentioned about dialects would be a reason for me to listen to one. Have a great week. :)

  6. Dialect - OMG! That's why I never made it through Outlander. It was such a chore, I gave up. Too much reality - Covid, major political issues, too many social issues . I don't need that. I read the newspaper for that.

  7. I am enjoying seeing these lists. I agree that sometimes if a book is too close to my reality, I just don't want to read it. I live it so don't need more of it.

  8. Not everyone is going to like every genre. I'm not going to read horror, and I may give a few other genres a try. But I also have my tried and true genres that I will lean into.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  9. I've seen "problematic authors" on a ton of lists this week. I'm very out of the loop on these things and I'm glad I am! Ha ha. I rarely know much at all about an author when I try out one of their books. I'm definitely one who can separate author and book, especially when I'm completely ignorant about whatever is going on.

    Happy TTT!

  10. Ditto on the "Is this a romance or not." It always happens to me when trying YA or new adult books. I go in expecting straight fantasy and often end up with a plot saturated with romance.

  11. Love this! I'm an escapist reader so I tend to avoid things that are too close to my real life and when I was more active in social media I came across an author that I loved who was really negative about her own books (apparently she wanted to write in another genre but her publisher didn't think it would sell). I haven't been able to read her books since then. And I have definitely DNF'd a book on Agatha Christie because the author clearly didn't even do a basic Google search on her. Great list!

  12. An interesting list of reasons (many of which I'd agree with) about what not to read. I thought Boebert was from western Colorado? I'm sorry you have to deal with family who support her, but I have family and friends that support MAGA folks and they drive me crazy. Clever name you gave your region: "The Fox News Cinematic Universe."

  13. Ha ha "Is this a romance or not?" is so me! I get so frustrated when I pick up something expecting one genre (fantasy is normally the worse culprit for this) and then the plot is solely about the romance. If I wanted a super heavy romance plot in my books, I would read romance novels, it drives me up the wall when I pick up a book because the plot actually does sound like something I would like and then the author spends all their time focusing on the romance or not. Honestly, I can even take or leave romantic subplots, I don't mind them and when I get really invested in the romance I can enjoy it, but I'm just so frustrated by every book HAVING to have a romantic subplot that I tend to try and actively look for books that don't have any kind of romance in them at all. I read across quite a lot of genres, the only genres I tend to avoid are romance and erotica because I know that's not my thing, I tend to be more picky with stuff like science fiction and horror but that's not to say I won't read them at all, I just have very specific things that I like there. I also feel you on being burned out on a book's genre, I was feeling burnt out on fantasy last year so I didn't read much of it, but I've felt more into it this year so I've been reading more, it's swings and roundabouts!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/05/30/top-ten-tuesday-422/

  14. Totally agree about the author being a jerk. I am also not a person who can separate the author from their work, and I am kind of glad? Like I don't want to be tempted to spend money on jerks! I also don't love straight up romance- I am cool with it as a subplot, like you said, but hard nope on having no other plot. I also haaate when an author seems to know nothing about the topic they're writing about- though I am also not usually lucky enough to catch it before I start the thing!

  15. I generally avoid any mention of paranormal in my books. Lovely list this week. Happy reading! https://readwithstefani.com/did-i-read-the-books-on-my-30-books-to-read-before-i-turn-30-list/

  16. I avoid horror, supernatural, sci fi, and some fantasy. I have found dystopia books I liked, but normally stay away. True crime I'm not interested in. I'd rather the horror stays in the fiction category. Have a good reading week.