Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the opposite of last week’s topic. Instead of what compels me to read a book, I bring you my list of things that will stop me from reading a book. For the most part bad writing, characters, and lack of praise will keep me from picking a book up, but those aren’t the only reasons. I also don’t like books that will give me nightmares, make me vomit, or feel disgusted. Reading is entertainment, and if I’m not being entertainment there’s no reason for me to waste my time.
1.) Too Much Hype
I’m usually turned off of books that have too much hype. So many expectations surround them as being as great as everyone claims, that I often feel let down if it doesn’t reach them. That’s not to say I won’t eventually read them, but I usually put if off until the hype dies down, or if the right people keep pestering me to read it.
2.) Weak Female Characters
If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s weak female characters. I can’t stand damsels waiting for a knight to ride in and save them and much prefer strong, kick-ass females.
3.) Slow Plot Pacing
I’m an action junky, so slowly paced books bore the hell out of me. I’ll put up with a slow plot for a little while, but if the story continues to drag, the book becomes a chore for me to read, and I have to put it down. I read for enjoyment, and not to fall asleep.
4.) Poor Character Development
A novel could have the greatest plot in the world, but it falls flat if there’s no character development. Characters are what the makes stories work. While world building is also important, the best world in the… well, world doesn’t mean a thing if the reader can’t identify with or care for the characters.
I read horror, and I love horror films so I’m used to a huge amount of grossness. However, if nasty things happen for no reason, and don’t further the plot, I just can’t. I can put up with a lot of nastiness, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand is the use of gore or sex for shock value instead of story.
6.) Torture Porn
This one is tied to number 5. While I’m a fan of Hostel and Saw, I don’t want to read it. When I read I get entirely sucked into the story. The last thing I need is to have gross scenes playing in my head. I made that mistake this Christmas when I decided to read a book about cannibalism. Yuck!
7.) Child Molestation
I’m a school teacher. I deal with homeless and abused children in my profession. It’s hard when you discover one of your students is living in a unideal situation. When I’m relaxing this is the main subject I try to steer clear of. Life can be hard enough without taking my work home with me.
8.) Unlikable Characters
A book with characters I don’t care anything about is almost as bad as a book with a horrible plot. If an author doesn’t make you care for the characters you’re reading about, the story’s plot looses its climax. Of course it happens, but the reader never cares about the outcome, thus the climax has no meaning. The only time I can put up with a story full of characters I hate is if I think they’ll die horribly. And even then it better happen quickly.
9.) Stupid Storyline
As a fan of fantasy and horror, there’s not much an author can write about that will cause me to give their creation side eye. However, if their plot is full of holes, requires me to suspend belief within their made-up world, or the actions don’t belong to the characters as they’ve been written, then I’m out. There’s just too many books out there to read for me to torture myself with bad writing.
10.) Not Highly Recommended
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I won’t read a book that’s not recommended by people I know and/or trust. I don’t care if it’s the New York Times. Someone has to recommend the book as worth my time, or it’s a no-go. Period.