Ten things that make me NOT want to read a book

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is the other side of the coin to last week’s (Ten things that make me want to read a book).

Get ready for some bookish confessions, folks!

Top Ten Tuesday

Sci-fi

I am a self-confessed fantasy addict, sci-fi just doesn’t do it for me. That’s not to say I hate it or wouldn’t read a book if I was recommended it, but the blurb or review would have to really speak to my tastes. I do think some sci-fi is really clever, and I love credibility in fiction – believable origins and explanations, especially if the author has come up with a new and interesting way to explain their fictitious elements that I can really imagine being true. Basically, I like really great sci-fi, but it is so easy to do badly.

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Aliens

This one relates to sci-fi, I’ve just seen so many films with aliens that I don’t care to read about them too. They’ve been done. You can’t top E.T.

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Ugly covers

I know, I know, but I think my taste in covers is quite specific. I actually dislike a lot of the covers of books I’ve loved. I can easily overlook a bad cover if the book is hyped and I’ve read only good things, but if I’ve never heard of the book or the author AND it has a dodgy cover I won’t even give it a second glance. Now, if the typography is bold and strong, and the title is good, but the image is bad, I can push past that. I think a book’s title is the one thing that draws me in most.

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Short stories

I’m not really a fan of short stories. I won’t buy a book of short stories (unless I really trust the author/s) because I expect it to contain more bad stories than good ones. Plus I just love a really long book, preferably a seven book series. I’m constantly checking the length of books on Audible before deciding which one to download, I want my money’s worth and a book I can enjoy for weeks!

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Boring MCs

As a self-confessed fantasy fan, I have been spoiled by a plethora of ‘special’ protagonists, Chosen Ones and prophesied saviours. So, if your MC doesn’t even have a personality or any agency, let alone a secret ability or destiny, then I’m probably going to go and read something else…

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Poor representation

I’ve read my fair share of books written by male authors with incredibly sexist depictions of women. Weak, damsel-in-distress type characters just waiting to be rescued by the male lead, overtly sexual temptresses that only seem to exist to be desired by the male protagonist. And don’t get me started on the representation of sexualities, genders and POCs in literature – we’ve all read at least one questionable, if not completely offensive depiction of a diverse character. Use sensitivity readers, it’s what they’re there for!

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Unknown author

This one’s on me, I know I should branch out, give more authors a chance, especially self-published authors who don’t have the benefit of a major publishing house’s marketing team, but there are so many books and so little time! I want to know I’m going to enjoy what I’m reading, and if I have to choose between an author I’ve read before or seen a positive review for online, I’ll tend to choose that book over one I’ve never heard of, unless the blurb is particularly enticing. Sorry little-known authors!

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Super long books

Don’t get me wrong, I love long books. The longer the better. If I know the author and the story, and it’s the third or fourth in a series I already obsess over. Super long standalones? No way, I can’t risk wasting my time if it’s terrible. Ridiculously long first book in a series? Well, I like to finish what I start, and if book one is long and bad, I’ll feel an itch to read the rest of the series and find out how it all ends, even if I’m not enjoying it. Rare is the book I DNF. So I just don’t pick them up.

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Classics

Confession time! I really don’t like classics. It’s like an immediate reaction to the phrasing and style, I do love historical fiction so it’s not the setting. That’s why I love when the BBC make adaptations of old classics, I love the stories and the fabulous outfits, I can even deal with the way people spoke back then if it’s on screen, but I struggle with the confusing dialogue and long stretches of time where nothing happens. OK, I’ll stop, I know you’re all shaking your heads at me already…

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Rubbish adaptations

Speaking of which, if I haven’t read a book yet and I watch a terrible TV or movie adaptation, there is almost zero chance I will then go on to read the book. Adaptations should be a wonderful introduction to the subject matter, with the book expanding on the characters and story. And the best ones are, watching them inspires me, and others, to pick up the book, but it’s hard to tell whether a bad adaptation is just that, or is a faithful adaptation of a bad book. I know bad adaptations happen, and that shouldn’t put me off reading a book, lots of the books I’ve read and enjoyed in the past have been adapted poorly, but, like I said, too many books too little time.

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There you have it, how to make me put a book down and walk away without looking back. What are your bookish turnoffs? Hit me with them in the comments!

Lyndsey

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Ten things that make me instantly want to read a book

Can you believe I have never done a Top Ten Tuesday? Me neither. So, this is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s theme is Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly Want To Read a Book.

Top Ten Tuesday

Fairy tale retellings

I love any kind of fairy tale retelling, whether it’s set in modern times, olden days, the real world or a completely fictional fantasy setting. It could be a direct retelling like the Twisted Tales series by Liz Braswell, which reimagine classic Disney fairy tales, or a vaguely inspired story, like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, which is based on Beauty and the Beast.

I just love the familiarity of sinking into a story you already know well, and seeing how authors have tweaked and changed the original to create something new and exciting.

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Doomed love stories

I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but there has to be a reason why Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most famous play. In fact, almost all of the Bard’s plays end with someone unhappy and alone – Othello, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice probably…

Modern contemporaries like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and classics like Wuthering Heights just speak to a dark little part of my soul that longs for the characters to suffer and end up miserable. I don’t know how I got this way, I’m very happily married!

Curly blog dividerEpic books that span years/decades/generations

I just really like to know people’s life stories, how the events of their youth can affect them years later, or even their children and grandchildren. Even better if it’s a slow burn romance that doesn’t come together until the very end, a la Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern. Flashbacks and other similar plot devices can give the feel of an epic story within a more conventional plot, but I just love seeing the key events as if I was really there, rather than hearing about them second hand.

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Ghosts

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? My favourite kind are suspenseful and bloody, with bonus points if the MC is some kind of supernatural hunter, like the Winchesters. My absolute favourite is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Cas is endearingly sarcastic and witty, and the romance element is unlike anything I’ve read before. Plus, there’s lots of blood and killing and ghostly screaming and such.

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Sassy/snarky characters

Nobody likes boring protagonists who drift along with no agency and very little personality, sobbing and whining and generally being wet blankets. Characters with a little sass and a pinch of snark are my favourite. Whether they’re just dark-humoured or truly damaged, I just can’t get enough of their witty repartee. See: Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare, Ronan from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater and Jorg from Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

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High Fantasy

High Fantasy refers to novels set in an entirely fictional fantasy world, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I love the escapism of opening a book and submerging myself in a completely different world, with new rules of science and magic, strange customs and cultures, and maybe an invented language or two. My favourites are Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series, Six of Crows.

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Mythical creatures

Dragons! Unicorns! Mermaids! Centaurs!

Give me all the mythical creatures and I will be a happy bunny.

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Circuses

This is a relatively new one for me, but I’m almost finished listening to the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I’m loving the atmospheric and magical setting of the circus. Caraval by Stephanie Garber is also right at the top of my wish list, and I’m open to any other circus book recs if you have them?

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Adorable boys

By this I mean the sweet, kind and gentle male characters that capture your heart and don’t let go. They’re usually tortured souls who don’t think they’re good enough for their love interest, or even their friends. Think Adam Parrish from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater, Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices by Cassie Clare and Nathan from Half Bad by Sally Green.

Who needs bad boys when you can have this lot?

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Food!

Set your story in a bakery or an ice cream parlour and I am there. Make your characters love food and constantly describe the delicious smells and tastes they come across on their travels. Introduce me to new delicacies from around the world, or fictional fancies from your fantasy world. Just give me all the food.

 

 

Those are the ten things that make me pick up a book and buy/borrow it immediately. What makes you read a specific book, above all the others on your astronomical TBR pile? Let me know in the comments.

 

Lyndsey

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Camp Nano word count: 15,914 (45% of 35k)

 

Ten things make me want to read Lyndsey's Book Blog