Not my bag baby!


Every Tuesday over at  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

The opposite of last week’s list, I’ve tried to use the same headings, so here goes:

  1. Bloggers  – if all the bloggers I chat with seem to be not really enjoying a book then I admit it puts me off reading, even if it’s a book I really want to read it will probably move down the ‘must read’ list – life is too short and whilst I like to form my own opinion if the popular opinion is generally against a particular book it will put me off picking it up or at least make me less eager to do so.
  2. Author – well, sometimes you can have an author that just doesn’t seem to work for you, their particular style maybe doesn’t do it for you.  When this happens then, yes, maybe the first couple of times I’d put it down to experience and try another book but after that it would probably be a no go for me.
  3. Cover – just as a great cover makes me want to pick up the book, well, the opposite is obviously just as true.  I would probably stay away from certain types of covers.
  4. Hype – yes, I used this last week, but while I do usually crumble in the face of popular opinion sometimes my stubborn streak just kicks in and the hype really does put me off.
  5. Part of a series – maybe the first or second book didn’t work out for me – I do have quite a number of uncompleted series.
  6. Genre – I know that authors don’t really like to be pigeon holed, but if a book falls into certain categories then I would probably not be very interested – not a judgement on any body else of course, just not my go to kind of book – romance, for example, I don’t mind my book having a romance along the way but just not the main focus.
  7. Content – I do tend to find insta love and love triangles a little over used and if I read about a book having such content then I would be less interested in reading.
  8. Certain descriptions – I’m not a really hard sci fi fan, simply because I figure things will go over my head.
  9. Unlikable characters.  Characterisation is such a big selling point for me,  Fantastic characters just make the book don’t they?  If I’m reading a book and can’t get along with the character it will just slow the book down and ultimately stop me from picking it back up.
  10. What did I miss?



26 Responses to “Not my bag baby!”

  1. Carmen

    You missed nothing. I agree on all counts.

  2. Nathan

    I am ok with unlikable characters if they are supposed to be that way. But occasionally I see a protagonist that is supposed to be the one you root for and I hate them instead. I agree with much of your list though.

    • vacuouswastrel

      Personally, I find interesting characters more important than likeable ones.

      Or put it this way: a good character can be dull and likeable, or interesting and unlikeable. But it’s very, very hard in my opinion to have a good character who is both dull AND unlikeable…

      • @lynnsbooks

        Ohh, don’t get me wrong, I love interesting characters, and sometimes I enjoy reading books with characters that aren’t really likeable – Mark Lawrence’s Jorg from the Broken Empire series is a perfect example, but sometimes I just really don’t like a character for whatever reason and then it makes it really difficult for me to get on with the book. Good point about the ‘dull and unlikeable’ – I feel like I should try and come up with an example of such a character now 😀

      • vacuouswastrel

        I feel a bit harsh saying it, because she’s neither wholly dull nor wholly unlikeable, but for whatever reason I was actually thinking of the protagonist of Hurley’s “God’s War” (haven’t read the sequels yet). She wasn’t that likeable because she was one of those grimdark ruthless people… but she wasn’t that interesting either because she was a stereotypical grimdark ruthless person who acted almostexactly as I expected her to throughout. So as a result I found it hard to care about her and that hurt my reaction to the book. As I say, she wasn’t totally unlikeable or totally boring – so I didn’t hate her, or the book. But iirc I was trying to work out why I had more of a problem with her than with some other similar characters (since I’m usually engaged by badass warrior women). And I sort of worked out it was because the other characters were EITHER more interesting OR more likeable. Either one would do. But with neither, it’s tough to make me care, and I think a lot of other readers (and viewers, for that matter) think likewise.
        [Actually, an example I’ve been hearing recently: Holden from The (TV) Expanse. It’s not that he’s despicable – there are much more horrible characters on that show alone. Even just in his crew: Amos is much ‘worse’ than Holden. And it’s not that he’s completely dull – there are much less interesting characters, too (Naomi is less interesting and more bland as a character). But because he’s pretty dull AND not massively likeable, he ends up being unappealing as a protagonist, and both blander Naomi and nastier Amos come out ahead of him.]

    • @lynnsbooks

      Frodo springs immediately to mind for me – I never liked him. Go figure.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Zezee

    The hype does get to me sometimes too and make me not want to read a book. Too much chatter on it.

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Descriptions can indeed make or break a book – not just science-oriented ones, IMHO this rule works for fantasy as well. When descriptions tend to smother a story, that book is… doomed for me 🙂

  5. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Yep. If the bloggers that have similar taste to me don’t like a book, I find it very hard to get motivated to read it myself.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Exactly – it’s an absolute turn off for me – I have a few bloggers now and our tastes are so similar that unless I’m absolutely adamant about reading a book – if they don’t like it I pretty much feel like it’s going to be a waste of my time.
      Lynn 😀

  6. imyril

    With you all the way. I can’t believe I missed author in my list 😉 …because yes, absolutely, some names are an instant turn-off.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think once you’ve had a few misses you can certainly strike certain authors off your must read list. Not because they’re bad but just not for you.
      Lynn 😀

  7. the (book) supplier

    I’m another who listens to the opinions of other readers I trust when it comes to picking up a book, or not as the case may be.

    eli @ the (book) supplier
    My TTT

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think when you find a few bloggers with similar tastes its so good for finding good books – or maybe deciding not to pick something up. Of course, sometimes you just really want to pick up anyway regardless of other opinion but I do like to have this whole ‘blogger trust’ thing going on – it’s been invaluable for me in finding some great books.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This is what I usually use to guide my reading as well. Bloggers, especially, are a huge influence, especially those who I know share similar tastes as me!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Your blog in particular has been quite infectious to my tbr!
      Lynn 😀

  9. jessicabookworm

    I also had hype, love triangles, romance and unlikeable characters on my list too! They do say great minds think a like 😉

    • @lynnsbooks

      Hah! We seem to think alike more often that not – which is very nice 😀

  10. vacuouswastrel

    I have a sort of a different perspective from everyone else here – in that, I think it’s charming and impressive that you all need to find reasons NOT to read a book! Personally, not reading the latest new book is the overwhelming default response in 99.9% of cases, so I don’t really think in terms of what would dissuade me. For me, it’s more just “fails to excite” – not anything being wrong with it, but just there not being anything really exciting that makes it stand out from all the other things I’m not reading…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – yes indeed. Well, I won’t say I’m looking for reasons not to read a book tbh (although given that I’m addicted to picking up books and adding them to my tbr I perhaps should be) more that certain things just put me off. So, yes, for example, if I read a very negative review by a blogger I enjoy reading and share similar tastes too, then it will put me off picking up that particular book (unless I’m absolutely determined to read it and find out for myself). Life is just too short and you can’t read everything after all so eliminating some books from your wishlist isn’t alway a bad thing 😀

      • vacuouswastrel

        Oh, sure. But it feels like you look at a book and think “I’m not going to read that because (e.g. I read a negative review of it), so I’ve taken it off my wishlist”. Whereas for me it’s more “*shrug* It was never on my wishlist. Why? Oh, no reason” – I don’t have reasons not to read things, because by default I don’t read things!
        [I’d like to change this. But…]

  11. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom

    Ahhhh yes to hype! Hype can both make me want to read a book, as well as NOT want to read a book… Basically if the fandom is super annoying I probably won’t want to pick it up lol I could list two off the top of my head, but I won’t in case there is a fan among us haha

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