Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

the broke and the bookish

Good morning you lovely people. I can’t believe it’s Tuesday already, but that’s a good thing because it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the gals over at The Broke and The Bookish. The topic today is Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT Pick Up a Book. Fun stuff!Let’s get to it.

1. “Coming of age” – I’ve read so many bad books under this description that as soon as I see it printed somewhere on the book, I tune out and put it back on the shelf. (Examples – A Visit From the Goon Squad, The Age of Miracles, The Catcher in the Rye, etc…)

happy endings

2. Erotica – Just not my jam. I like the occasional romance novel, but this just… pass.

3. Mystery – I’m not big on mystery books. I never browse in that section. I’ll read cozy mysteries once in a while if they have some sort of magical angle or it’s an author I like, but I usually just don’t really like mysteries. I’m not even that excited to read the “new” J.K. Rowling novel…

4. Political mongering – Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Michael Moore, Bill O’Reilly… NO THANKS. It’s all just such biased bashing and bullcrap.

5. Historical fiction – I actually used to totally love historical fiction, but you know how too much of a good thing eventually gets to you? That. I’ve read so many historical novels about Tudor history or WW2 or the Holocaust that I generally avoid these things in general now.

6. “for fans of Twilight/Fifty Shades…” – Man, if there were ever some words to print on a book cover to make me not pick it up, here they are.

liz lemon, 30 rock

7. Orson Scott Card – Sorry dude, I loved Ender’s Game, but there’s no way I’ll ever buy another one of your books OR go see your movie in the theaters. I can’t support homophobic assholes.

8. “Women’s Fiction” – For some reason, this label just kind of bothers me. Also a lot of the books I’ve read under this heading are the kind of books that try to be really poignant and deep, but come off as too dramatic, emotional, and dull with forgettable characters. Or basically, I’m just a robot and can’t be bothered by so many feelings.

pretend to care

9. “self-published” – Okay maybe that’s mean, but I pretty much never want to read a self-published book. It’s just too risky and too likely to be bad, especially since it seems easier and easier to do with the rise of the e-publishing.

10. “E-book only” – And lastly, books that aren’t available in print. I don’t own an e-reader and don’t really plan to. If you don’t release your book or novella in print format, chances are I’m never gonna read it even if I want to.

Can’t believe I made it to 10! That was surprisingly difficult, since there aren’t many things I won’t read. And even most of the above have their exceptions.

What makes you NOT want to read a book?




  1. I read and write almost nothing but historical. I write a lot about the WWII/Shoah era, and since it’s one of my areas of historical expertise (the other being Russian history), I know there are many angles to what some people feel is the same story with different names and settings. There’s always something new to cover. Although I agree that some people don’t have enough variety in writing historical. I’d love to find more historicals set during, say, Heian Japan, the Golden Age of Islam, the Renaissance, or Ancient India instead of the same 5-10 topics/settings all the time.


    1. Yeah, these days historical fiction has to be something new-to-me and highly recommended to spark my interest. For instance I loved The Bronze Horseman when I read it, even though I was kind of sick of WWII, because it was set in Russia and had a really new perspective for me.


  2. Excellent choice of gifs for this post! No, thank you, please. Heehee!

    I think the thing with self-pub is that as a reader you’d be acting like an editor…and they get paid to read rubbish and then find hidden gems. I’d be open to reading a self-pub if it had been recommended, but at the moment I aint got no time for bad books. I haven’t even got time for bad traditionally pub’d books!

    For some reason I have this idea that historical fiction isn’t for me, but I don’t think I’ve read any. Will actually have to read one to see if I’ve been neglecting a possible favourite genre for years!

    Also with you on everything else bar mysteries and coming of age stories. I don’t read them often, but I wouldn’t avoid them like ‘the next 50 shades’!


    1. Why thank ya! EXACTLY, self-published books are just too sloppy and whatnot for me to deal with. I MIGHT read it if it comes highly recommended from someone I trust, but otherwise I just don’t have the time for that. (Unless I was getting paid… being an editor would be such a cool job.)


    1. Surprisingly, I had trouble coming up with 10! I’m usually pretty open to anything. Of course now that I’m reading everyone else’s posts, I’m realizing how many things I COULD have put on this list, lol.


    1. I think coming-of-age is rough because I just don’t have enough interest in reading about the problems of young kids or teens. Exceptions would be things like The Kite Runner, which is KIND of coming-of-age but also has a really unique story and is so well written.


  3. There are so many things here that I agree with that I don’t know where to start! Instead I’ll disagree with you on a few, ha ha. I really dig a good coming of age story. Maybe because, like Katie, I still feel like a angsty adolescent inside? I really dig historical fiction…depending on the time period. But I read SO many Tudor based books that I’m avoiding them now. For some reason I can’t get enough WWII stuff though.

    Scott Card can suck it. Truly.


    1. Yes he can.

      I think I burned myself out on historical fiction. It was my favorite genres like 5 years ago, and then I just stopped. I’m more into sci-fi and stuff now. I go through reading phases, lol.


  4. Oh hey, I agree with nearly every one of this. Nicely done.

    Although I do occasionally break the e-book only rule if Stephen King releases one. He has a couple of times. I do like a well done coming of age story, but they are hard to come by. I think I told you before, but I absolutely agree with your opinion of Good Squad.


    1. Good coming of age stories ARE hard to come by. I find that the best ones usually focus more on a really good story, in ADDITION to said young character growing and changing because of whatever’s happening. But too often it’s about some young kid and their angst and crush problems and UGH I cannot deal with that!


  5. So much to agree with here. I don’t have an e-reader either, so that falls off (yay to real books), I haven’t read anything self-published and just the same, am quite wary of those… Political schenanigans (and non-fiction) ain’t for me, unless it’s purely fictional and set in fantasy world (Martin, Steven Erikson, also Dune), I am also not jumping to read erotica and books that go “for the fans of” anything, really – I don’t need to be put on the leash and dragged to a book using such methods, so to say. Coming of age can be okay, but these kind of books usually don’t end up in my favourites’ list.

    I read lots of mysteries when I was younger and for that reason I think they are comfort reads for me even now. But still, I read only a few of those because they are not that challenging for mind. Haven’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I’d like to try some books just to have more all-around reading experience (Pillars of the Earth for example).

    And exactly the same with Card – Ender’s Game is a good book, but guy is a proper twat, so I’m also pondering whether to even see the movie or not.


    1. Oh, Pillars of the Earth was FANTASTIC. I read that years ago and just loved it so much. I flew through it in a few days even though it was so long.

      I’ve decided I’m going to wait until it comes out on DVD to see Ender’s Game, and I’ll just rent it or something. Especially because he actually came out begging people not to boycott his movie because of his homophobic views. Ugh.


    1. That’s yet another reason I don’t want an ereader – I’d have to choose which kind to get and then be limited by what might be available or which place is selling an ebook for cheaper. Blah.


    1. Ender’s Game I read because my friend raves about it, and I didn’t learn until afterwards that he’s super anti-gay, and that’s not cool with me. (There’s also a controversy surrounding that book and his use of the n-word, which he eventually edited out… so I think he’s probably racist too.) I really loved Ender’s Game, but I just can’t bring myself to read any of the sequels because of that.


  6. Ahhhhh, I agree with all of these! I don’t even bother with self-published or e-books simply because a) I like knowing the book I’m reading has at least past through a good/bad barrier and b) I also don’t own an e-reader. What happened to good ol’ fashioned BOOKS?! Why can’t people publish on paper too?? SIGH.
    But yes. “Coming of age” is a term too loosely used nowadays and makes me want to gag. I love those sorts of stories; I just wish they could use a new way of saying it. And “woman’s fiction” just reminds me of “chick lit” and they both sound demeaning.
    I could pretty much go on and on about this list, but I’ll stop there so I don’t bore you.
    Great list!


    1. I really wish books would come out on e-reader AND paper, or just paper. I don’t know what I’m going to do if any of my favorite authors decide to only publish in e-format… that’s not a day I’m looking forward to.

      The women’s fiction and chick-lit labels are a bit awkward, because it’s not like Tom Clancy novels are labeled “man books” or anything. From my experience, women’s fiction tends to be more serious and try to be a bit emotional, and chick-lit novels tend to be really light-hearted and kind of fluffy. Those are generalizations, but that’s the overall appearance and neither really appeals to me.


  7. I don’t get it – what does coming of age even mean? And Women’s Fiction, what does that genre even focus about?
    E-book only books are also a turnoff. I doubt I’ll ever own an eReader.
    Awesome list! (:

    My TTT


    1. They’re both just labels that should be avoided. Why can’t it just be called fiction and left at that? It’s not like women’s fiction and chick-lit are separate sections in a store. Silliness, I say.


  8. ‘Coming of Age’ is dangerous ground, and I usually avoid it too – unless there have been positive reviews from other people. I’m more OK with women’s fiction than you I think but zomg I hate the term “chick-lit”. If that’s on a cover I will never read it.

    Not on your list, but I really, really, really detest “A modern retelling of…”, it just smacks of laziness and riding-on-coat-tailsing (that’s a thing right? Ha ha). Just write your own damn story.


    1. Coming of age can be well done, but now I avoid it in general unless someone I like REALLY highly recommends it. Too many bad books under that label.

      “A modern retelling of” IS really terrible. Those modern retellings of awesome classics but dumbed down and geared towards teens just make me cringe. However, if it puts a different spin on it like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I’m kind of okay with it. I couldn’t get into the actual book, but the idea still kind of makes me laugh. And I would TOTALLY see the movie if they ever get around to making it.


      1. Yeah once in a blue moon there’s a new unique “modern retelling” like PP&Z but it’s mostly pretty groan-worthy. I got pretty bored with PP&Z, I really liked it and then the gimmick just got old about 3/4 through, but I think it’ll make a great movie.


  9. I’m going to take 6 one step further: “for fans of” anything. Doesn’t matter what. Just about every time publishers succumb to comparative recommendations, they either undersell an original, individual book that has nothing to do with the book they’re comparing it to or they unjustifiably compare crap to something better (or crap to crap… that happens as well).


    1. Agreed. Although I admit that when something says “For fans of Outlander”, I almost always have to check it out. I’m almost always disappointed, so I don’t know why I bother, but there we have it…


  10. I feel the same about coming-of-age. Except I actually liked Catcher in the Rye. lol. But, I feel in order for me to like books in that genre, it needs to be told well by a talented author. Great post!


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