Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn Offs

In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday we explore things that turn us off to a book. I’ve compiled a list of ten things that either make me run in the opposite direction or have me thinking long and hard before picking up the book.

1. Horror — I enjoy a good suspense novel. I even like a story that props me at the edge of my seat, my heart pounding in my chest. That being said, if a book crosses into horror territory, I’m out of there faster than a ten-year old at a haunted house.

2. Sex — Sex happens — in and out of marriage, among teens, old people, and every age in between. That doesn’t mean I need or want to read about it. Some things are better left to the reader’s imagination.

3. Gore — Speaking of things that are better left to the imagination — graphic gore and violence. Does the cop shoot the rapist? Does the serial killer stab another victim? Does the banker who’s lost it all dive from a skyscraper? The author can reveal how and why without showing every itty-bitty detail. I don’t want to know where each speck of blood fell or what organs spilled out of the body.  

4. Bad language — It’s not that I don’t ever read a book with colorful language. A few authors I enjoy, who pen adrenaline-pumping suspense, sadly come at the expense of strong vocabulary. So I do my best to gloss over those words. However, if an author utilizes excessive bad language and it serves little purpose other than shock value, I’ll pass.

5. Sci-fi and 6. Fantasy — I know people who rave about these genres, but for some reason the fan boat passed me. With more books out there than I can possibly read in ten lifetimes, I’ll stick to genres that captivate me.

7. Sad endings — Tragic and painful things can happen in the book as long as I get my happy ending. Maybe it’s not realistic, but if I want sad, I have real life for that. When it comes to stories I want things to turn out okay.

8. Time travel — I’ve tried it in books, movies, and TV shows, but I just can’t get into it. Perhaps I can’t suspend belief long enough to immerse myself into the story, or maybe it’s because time travel often falls under the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Whatever the reason, the effect remains the same.

9. Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Demons, etc. — Books with these characters seem to be all the rage right now, but it’s one fad I just don’t get.

10. Biblical retellings — I’m not opposed to Biblical retellings, but I’m extremely picky. I understand that the Bible doesn’t provide all the details and I’m all for artistic license, but few things irk me more than when the author changes known facts.

What turns you off to reading a book?




10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn Offs

  1. Um, yes. I agree about the sex, especially if the book has the genre Erotic near it. I steer clear of Amish books these days and run away from simplistic romances. I’m too tired of super easy happily ever afters. Bad covers also turn me away, especially super frilly ones. ANDDDDDD, sometimes if a book seems too brainy, I’m not interested (we’re talking documentary style…it just doesn’t hold my attention).

  2. Terrific list! I share almost all of these! I will read sci-fi/fantasy, but it’s not an “instant sell” for me. I have to be interested in the premise, characters, and actual story – but if that’s the case, I won’t mind an imaginative setting.
    I also get what you’re saying about Biblical “retellings” (vs. fiction set in that time period). Historical facts are important, especially when they’re in the Bible!
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks, Kimia!
      Exactly! I’m all for an author filling in the unknown blanks, but it’s one of my biggest (book) pet peeves when they change parts of the story/details that are in the Bible.

    • Maybe I’m just picking up the wrong ones, but it seems like most of the ones I pick up have Biblical inaccuracies. Oh and by the way, I’m not referring to ones like Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love or Sarah Monzon’s The Isaac Project, but fictionalized versions of the “real” story.

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