thinking out loud

Five Bookish Turn-Offs, and their exceptions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is the opposite of last week’s, and we’re to talk about the things that make us NOT want to pick up a book. I don’t think I have that many bookish turn-offs, and the ones I have are mostly conditional – they make me less likely to pick up a book, but I guess I’d never say never.

Here are some of those things…

I love tv series like Elementary and Criminal Minds, but even as a kid I could never get into Nancy Drew and/or the Hardy Boys. The only reason I enjoyed the Secret Seven and Famous Five mysteries was because of all the food (and camping, and adventures without parents). Mysteries usually don’t engage me.

An exception to the “rule”: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, and most Sherlock-related stories, really.


* Horror
In high school, I was a huge fan of horror. These days, I’m not so keen. I still enjoy the occasional gothic novel and I like mixing a bit of Lovecraftian vibe into my fanfic, but in general, I just don’t pick up horror titles lately. (I haven’t even rewatched Buffy in almost a year!) A current exception would be Dan Wells, because I can’t seem to stop reading him.

Exception: Dan Wells’ John Cleaver books, mostly.


* War/Military
I’m not a fan on war and military novels. Period. The very few exceptions have been incredible military SF, or fantasies, but even within those genres I’m less likely to pick up anything too military.

Exception: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

* Historical
I think I’m relaxing on this one more of late, but I guess I still have a bit of a thing with historical fiction – including historical fantasies. In fact, I guess the main reason I’m less likely to pick up a high fantasy is because they’re more likely to have a historical vibe.

Exception: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


* Verse novels
I just can’t, for the most part. The few I’ve read, or included in my TBR, I only did so because my interest in their subject matter/theme was stronger than my dislike of verse novels.

Exception: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman


It was hard to think of more bookish turn-offs after these obvious ones (that I’ve talked about with friends more than a few times), so I’m stopping at five. Do you have similar, or completely different things that make you not want to pick up a book? Are your bookish turn-offs absolute, or do you have exceptions, like me?


5 thoughts on “Five Bookish Turn-Offs, and their exceptions

  1. I hear you about novels in verse. (and also your exception because A Time to Dance was awesome) Do I like them? Sometimes. Would they be better as a prose novel? Almost always.
    BTW: I loved that you put in exceptions. Such a good idea. And your picks are all excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also don’t like horror (eek) although I love historical fiction and the occasional mystery. I read and loved one verse novel years ago (The Watch That Ends The Night) but apart from that, I’m not a fan.

    Nice post, and I like that you’ve included exceptions here!


  3. My blog title has made me start reading at the edges of the horror genre in the last few years–Dan Wells is an example (I recently reviewed I am Not a Serial Killer). What I like are the comic takes on horror. Buffy started some of this and much of it is still YA, like Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.


  4. Yeah, I’m not a fan of war or military stories either. This is an absolute rule, too. If something has even a whiff of this, I’m not interested.

    Although I do have other dislikes -the romance genre, for example – that can be ignored if the main storyline otherwise sounds really good. So not all of my turn-offs are absolute.

    Comic takes on horror are great, though, Jeanne. I’m also into Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not a huge fan of war/military stories that are about the actual war or war strategy, if that makes sense. I love WWII books where the war is really just in the background and the book is mostly about the human drama.

    I like the John Cleaver books too, actually. I think it’s because there’s a lot of interesting psychology in them. Also, I just like Dan Wells. Mostly.

    Happy TTT!


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