Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Top Ten Book Turn-Offs (While Reading)

This week's Top 10 Tuesday prompt wants to know what are our book turn-offs we encounter while reading.  There are certain things that just don't do it for me when I'm reading and cause me to separate myself from the story.  Some may not sit well, but I'm still able to push through.  While others bother me so much it creates such a disconnect from the story that I end up giving up on it.

Does this ever happen to you? Let me know in the comments if you share any of my book turn-offs, or if you've got some new ones. Be sure to check out The Broke and the Bookish for more details on this awesome weekly feature.

1. Pet Names - Terms of endearment run on a thin line for me. I'm OK with the occasional "sweetheart" or "honey", but when the character's name is entirely replaced with another word it becomes too much for me.

2. Happily Ever Afters - What? I know. Sounds like I'm a pessimistic a-hole. But since I love to read a lot of contemporary fiction, this is an element that I don't always find realistic.  Sometimes life is messy and things don't always end the way we like. I get irritated when things end a little too perfect.

3. Editing Errors - I get that some things will be missed. We're all human. But when the editing is so bad that I find myself wanting to correct all the grammatical errors instead of enjoying the story, it's time to move on.

4. No Romance - It's what I love most about what I read. If the story doesn't have a romantic interest, or even just a small crush, the story is a turn-off for me. I need my romance!

5. Cringe-worthy Dialogue - Since I do read a lot of romance, there are often moments where things get pretty steamy under the sheets. I'm not a fan of the dialogue that leaves me thinking, "who really says that?!" It just makes the story uncomfortable, which then leaves me as the reader uncomfortable.

6. A Character Who Never Learns From Their Mistakes - I love a good story when the character is so screwed up, but then eventually comes out the other side OK -- or at least you walk away from the story thinking they'll eventually get there.  What I don't like is when a character messes up so badly, yet they never see the error in their ways. I just want to shake them!

7. These Days: Anything That Is Not Contemporary - It's been quite awhile since I picked up a paranormal, fantasy, or dystopian  novel. Does this mean I never will again? Absolutely not. Just at the moment those elements seem to be book turn-offs for me and all I want is realistic contemporary fiction.

8. Pacing Of The Story - Some novels move a bit slower than others, and in the end I totally get why that is. But others seems to drag a bit too much in parts, which results in me disconnecting from the story. There have been moments when nothing seemed to be happening and it caused me to put the book down entirely.

9. A Name I Can't Pronounce - Sometimes I am horrible at pronouncing names. It can get so bad that I end up calling the character something entirely different (in my head) because I don't want to get hung up on that and miss out on the story.  If that does happens though, it still frustrates me.

10. A Dirty Book - And I don't mean the context of the book, I mean the actual BOOK itself. I love my library, but what I don't love is when I check out a book and there's an unidentifiable stain on a page. Just eww.


  1. LOL-- dirty book. I agree with you on that. I cringe when I am reading a used book and see a stain-- I can't get my mind off of what IT might be. :/ Gross!
    Also have to agree with you on the cringe worthy dialogue in bed. hahaha I cannot take that crap seriously. WTF?

  2. I had to laugh at your choice of 'A Dirty Book', although the misunderstanding is entirely my own. I guess I need to get my mind out of the gutter! :P I completely agree, though - As much as I love the convenience and cost (i.e. none) of the library, I can't stand reading books that are filled with unidentifiable stains, tears, etc. You would think people would have enough common curtesy not to destroy property that isn't theirs and that needs to be shared with others!

    I'm currently kicking myself for forgetting to include pet names on my own Top Ten Tuesday list this week! Few things set my teeth on edge more, and often times when I hear a hero repeatedly calling a love interest by a pet name, I can't help but feel he has forgotten her real name and is compensating accordingly. If not that, I find pet names have a tendency to be extremely saccharine and cloying.

    Is there anything worse than a book so poorly written you find yourself spending more time editing and re-working it than actually reading it? While I can understand simple mistakes, I absolutely hate glaring, obvious issues. For example, I began reading The Beginning of Everything the other day and there was an obvious inconsistency - Ezra originally states that he parked his car two blocks away when he attends a party in order to avoid dings, and yet when his car is struck later than night he states that his car is parked a mere two houses away and everyone pours out of the house to see what happened. How was something this obvious not caught during the editing process!?

  3. I agree with the pet names, and the cringe-worthy dialogue. I actually like a HEA, even in a contemporary YA (and I do love dystopians and paranormals). I figure life is messy and you don't often get them, so why not in fiction? And I always like a little bit of romance (even when the world is ending)! Great list. ~Pam

  4. dragging my mind out of the gutter. . . loved #10, I've done it too. Worse is when there is actually something left with the stain {shudder}

  5. Ohh the dirty book gets me! I'm kind of a clean freak so those mysterious things I see on library books totally gross me out. And yes, romance! I am always sad if the story has zero.

  6. I love your last pet peeve. I hate it when I get a book and it feels grimy. Books are precious and I want hug 'em and sniff 'em and just cuddle 'em, but not if they're going to leave a smear of dirt across my cheek (or shirt)!

  7. LOLOL dirty book hahahahaha. I can't believe I forgot editing errors. I'm an editor! Fail!

  8. Oh my gosh, I love pet names! I think it's because I give everyone nicknames (like my brother's name is Nick (already shortened from Nicholas), but I always call him "Ni" which is ridiculous and he hates it, but whatever, I like nicknames). I actually think terms of endearment like "honey" and "sweetheart" are kind of awkward, especially in YA because they seem so old. I am completely with you on books that lack romance and have ridiculous character names. The name thing is so distracting!

  9. I totally get the dirty book thing. It's definitely gross. I also agree with pet names and dialogue. Editing errors drive me insane! I understand the occasional mishap, especially in an ARC, but when it's a finished product and a five-year old can see them a mile away, total story killer.

  10. if I don't know how the name pronounced or I don't like the name - my brain just substitutes in another name

  11. I love me some romance, too :)

    I work in a library, and I completely understand what you mean about dirty books. The condition some people return their books in is insane sometimes.

  12. Editing errors drive me crazy too. Great list!

    My TTT

  13. A Dirty Book - I have often been grossed out by unidentifiable stains on a page. Especially those that make pages stick together...YUCK! I mean seriously what do people do while reading a book? This makes me glad that the local library has ebooks to borrow. I have once returned a physical book with a gross pages and switch to borrowing the ebook instead.
    Read Books and Blog | Addicted to Films

  14. Bad editing is probably one of the things that irritates me the most - I agree that it's inevitable that things slip through the net but when I spot things it stops the story in its tracks for a few seconds!

  15. Totally with you on the bad editing! And dirty books were on my list, although for me it's more about the smell ;)

  16. I think my biggest pet peeve is the dialogue, sometimes I can get around it, but sometimes it feels like my grandmother is writing what's she thinks a "hip youngster" would say and I want to throw my head and scream in frustration for ruining a perfectly good premise with innane dialogue.


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