Turn-Offs in Books

Like people, we have turn-offs when it comes to books. There are some things about them that will deter us from reading them either right in the synopsis, or a little into the book. The latter is more often the case, since the synopses of books don’t tell you everything in the book (otherwise, what’s the point?) and if we feel put-off by the contents, we’ll stop reading.

Or push through and leave a scathing review once we’ve finished. Depends on the person, I guess.
(just don’t tag the author if you do this)

I’m only human, so I’ve discontinued reading a book because something about it gave me a bad taste in my mouth more than once. Heck, I’ve sometimes pushed through a book because it was back when I was determined to read through every book I started (which really, only makes me dislike it more later on). So, here are some of my Bookish Turn Offs.

5 of My Bookish Turn-Offs

Certain Tropes

This one is going to have to turn into it’s own post about why I dislike a certain number of bookish tropes, but for now I’ll give a short list of which ones I can’t stand. I’m sure there’s more than what I put down, but this is a general idea.

Absentee Parents, Couples Gets over a “bump” where one of them cheated, The Bad Boy Reforms to Get the Girl, The Chosen One Who Wants a Normal Life, Female Protagonists only being strong because of trauma in their past, Instant Love/Soulmates.

Open Door “Romance

I do not need to know or have a play-by-play of what a couple does in the bedroom (or wherever). Sorry, not sorry. It’s not really romance if I’m being honest. It’s lust. Especially if it happens a lot throughout a book. If a scene is not very graphic, I can get over it by skimming through until the scene is over, but if it’s going to be a repetitive thing in the book just to fill the pages, then I need to put the book down. Or in the trash.

Note: I’m not judging you if you like to read steamy/erotic scenes. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Excessive Swearing

If the characters are going to swear, sprinkle it throughout the book, not have them drop an f-bomb every other sentence. I’ve only ever heard people swear that much in a sentence when they’re seriously pissed off. Also, it makes it seem like the person doesn’t know any other adjectives to describe something. This particular turn-off also includes mentioning private body parts an excessive amount of times. I once stopped reading a book ten pages in because the amount of times the main character said “d*ck pics” was a ridiculous amount. Like, we get it! You had one sent to you!

No Character Connection

If I’m reading a book, I want to get inside the characters head. I realize that with third-person narrative it’s not as easy to convey, but there are plenty of authors who have achieved this. I’m mentioning this one because a book I DNF’d recently (you can find it on the DNF Graveyard page) gave no insight to the main character’s feelings about the journey she was going on. Everything was just happening to her and she was just going along with it. It was a perfect example of “Tell, not show.”

No Chapters/Long Chapters

There’s one book I read a few years ago that had no chapters at all. It just had little breaks to end ridiculously long scenes (the book is called The Circle, by the way. The one that got made into a movie with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson). It was a horrid experience and I don’t know why I bothered finishing the book. Along with that, I can’t stand it when chapters are super-long and have no chapter breaks. If the chapters are going to be 50 pages long, at least put a break in there! I’m definitely more of a “short chapter” gal.

I feel like there’s more bookish turn-offs that I have, but they’re more trope-related, so I’ll save that for another post in the future. But, yeah, these are a few of the things that will make me put down a book, or not even pick it up if I can tell the book is going to have one of my peeves in it. And that leaves us to discussion time!

What are some of your bookish turn-offs?

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13 thoughts on “Turn-Offs in Books

  1. Jordyn @ Birdie's Book Nook says:

    My biggest one is child/infant death on page. I can handle it — maybe — if it’s a ‘natural’ death, but I’ve had to DNF several books in the past year and a half where the author felt the need to fully describe murdering a baby. I CANNOT read that, so I just put the book down and moved on.

    Another one for me is cheating. I hate that particular ‘trope’, I guess. I won’t read romances with that in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wildwood Reads says:

    I agree with you on a lot of these. I have a turnoff related to the physical book itself. There is a certain type of paper that I can’t stand to touch. Like the newspapery type. So, if a book has that I either don’t read it, or I read it on my Ipad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zay says:

    I agree with pretty much all of these. I really do hate long chapters that go on and on. If they’re going to be that long, at least put a scene break in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicole Santana says:

    I love your list and agree with you totally.
    I have never read a book with no chapters, but that would be painful. Super long chapters are difficult for me because I never feel like I’m going to get to the end of the book. It’s odd that it would matter because reading a 300+ page book with short chapters and reading a 300+ page book with long chapters is the same number of pages, but it really does feel different. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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