Bookish Topic Tuesday – Book Turn Offs

Bookish Topic Tuesday
Book Turn Offs

There’s a few things which are either going to make me avoid picking up the book in the first place, or make me not like the book once I’ve started reading, and today I want to share them with you. I have somewhat discussed how I select books in the past in Blurbs and Covers, but I want to share what would make me avoid a book.


When it comes to the book cover, if it’s one of those black cover’s inspired by Twilight I’m probably going to avoid it. Same goes for headless people on the cover too, I never get why they do that. What’s wrong with someone’s face. Is it cheaper? Or perhaps for romance novels which do it a bit (with shirtless guy with abs and no head) it is to protect the model from being associated with the book? Also as does everyone, we judge a book by its cover, so if it looks strange, I’ll probably avoid it. I also have this tendency to avoid old looking books, like the covers of books from the 70s to 90s are very different to the covers of today, and I just tend to scan over them rather than really look. Which I have been trying to correct, because I’m sure many of those books are interesting if I just give them a chance.

I don’t like it if you’re part of a series and don’t tell me on the front cover, worse would be if you didn’t say so inside the book (I’m looking at you When Dogs Cry by Markus Zusak, which is apparently book 3 of a series, but says so NOWHERE). Like most people, I’m going to be daunted by a large series, but that’s not quite a turn off, it’ll just make me consider whether I want to enter into such a long term commitment.

With genres I’m going to instinctively avoid romance, westerns (never tried one but unsure about them, if you know a great one let me know) and paranormal. And usually the biographies as well, I’m not the biggest fan of them, as well as the ‘general’ fiction books, that’s not the first genre I’d look at if I was browsing.

If I’m going to purchase a book, I’m going to avoid buying it if it’s a short book with a large price, especially classics, there’s no reason a 200 page book should cost more than a 700 page book, I want value for money. I mean the larger book presumably cost more to produce, and would have (theoretically) taken longer to write and edit, so surely a shorter book should be cheaper?

In regards to actual content of books, I think a lack of action is actually a turn off. I mean, something has to happen in the book, otherwise it’s just writing, even if it is beautiful writing. Which is perhaps my issue with literature, it is not quite action/plot-based by rather character based. I think character development is really important, but it has to be pretty good to carry the story if nothing else is happening. I don’t think that content wise there is too much which would make me immediately dislike the book, I think the book as a whole leads to the dislike rather than a specific thing.

So what are your book turn offs? Do you have any? Are any of them complete deal breakers?

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4 thoughts on “Bookish Topic Tuesday – Book Turn Offs

  1. This is an interesting question, because I don’t tend to just stand in a bookstore and randomly pick books out. I usually get something popular I’ve been hearing about or the next book in a series I started because it was given to me by somebody else.
    It’s rare for a book to really make an impression on me, honestly. I know what people say about “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but there are just so many to choose from and a lot are just so generic I find them thoroughly uninteresting. I particularly hate the bland bumpy letter covers you see on airline fiction.
    A neighbor lent me some of his Clive Cussler books recently and I read the first few chapters, thought it was decent and entertaining enough genre fiction, but didn’t really find it interesting, no matter how he stressed that it was special because Clive Cussler is “really big into NUMA”.
    Books should try to have an interesting summary on the back, I think. I’m not likely to read romance and paranormal, either. I did love Ella Enchanted but I don’t read that type of book often at all. When I get the opportunity to shop randomly for books, it’ll have to be something with either a really interesting summary or a really great opening sentence.

    1. Yeah, I tend to do the same when it comes to book shopping, though on occasion I walk around the store. Not much really stands out, usually it’s books by authors I’ve heard about a lot ore read before. I think it certainly is difficult for a book to stand out, because there are just so many of them out there, so for it to stand out is quite a challenge.

  2. I like to avoid romance novels too. They’re completely unrealistic and while I suppose that may be the point, given it being a story and all, I like more realistic romance.
    Realistic romance is something pretty hard to come by these days though. it seems most authors are writing about obsessive relationships and glamourising destructive and controlling behaviour, trying to make us believe that that kind of relationship is ideal.
    So most new YA novels I skip over completely without a doubt. It doesn’t matter how amazing the storyline overall could be regardless of the romance, it’s just something I cannot get past.
    I suppose I’m bitter about romance novels because of personal experiences too (although this only enhanced my already-there opinion on the stuff), but what about you?
    You say what you don’t like, but not why.

    1. Interesting question, why don’t I like romance? I don’t know, I just don’t find it all that interesting. There isn’t really anything striking as to why I don’t like it, or the other things mentioned.

      Thanks for your comment.

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