BRN #15: Bookish Turn-Offs

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Chandler Bing reading book

As I’ve been sorting through my very overstuffed bookshelves I’ve stacked piles of books to part with. I don’t have the space and these are all books I doubt I’ll read again anyway. But then it got me thinking…what makes these different from the books I could never fathom letting go? So, I decided it might be fun to figure out what I don’t like to read in books. So I’ve put together a list of about 10 things that are bookish turn-offs for me (in no particular order).

As I made this list I realized a) it included things that I also don’t enjoy in movies/TV and b) that I’m very judgmental towards books. Lol 


Characters are going to die. I get it. I won’t always like it, but I get it. But do not kill a main character that is loved. A character whom you’ve followed since page one and have grown to love and understand and hope for. They should get a happy ending! I don’t care if their death could be some dramatic act of sacrifice. I want them to have a perfect happy ending that can only exist in books! Lol…Sorry, I’m a Disney child. As cynical as I can be, I really like happy endings.

will smith no

Terrible Terrible Covers

A) When they’re simply terrible, I will not buy it. It could have great reviews but yes, I shamefully admit that I won’t buy it, which 98% of the time means I’ll never end up reading it.

Although that being said, it’s such a just betrayal when I buy a book because the cover is beautiful and the story is rather lackluster.

bumper workaholics no

B) Pet Peeve: When they change the covers mid-series or when they completely rehaul the cover art and it becomes almost impossible to find the originals because I can’t stand to have mismatched covers on my shelves. I just hate when they change the cover art and/or the book dimensions!!! Why would they ruin our bookshelves like that?? WHY?!


Romantic Drama that Just Won’t Give Up

I don’t hate all romantic drama obviously since that’s usually part of the point of a book. I just hate when it starts to get out of hand or dragged out. I hate any overblown drama, really. It’s just…I mean surely someone knows what I’m talking about? Like when they’re simply going in endless circles and start being petty and whiny and dramatic and annoying and blehhhh and the writer can’t think of anything else to fill our time with and you just really want someone to make a decision and let that be that. #bored.

hilary clinton SNL no

Unpopular opinion: When done well, the whole insta-love thing doesn’t always bother me.
Semi-Popular opinion: What I absolutely dread reading are intense love-triangles, unless it’s super obvious that it’ll only last 0.2 seconds because it never really stood a chance (but then just why?).


Oh, I also really don’t like it when two characters fall in love and suddenly there seems to be no other characters in the story, or at least none that matter. All that they’re concerned about is their love and romance and all other previously urgent and pressing matters are shoved aside in the plot. Silliness. Just because you’ve fallen in love doesn’t mean the castle isn’t still about to be invaded or the planet blown up or whatever!


Super Long Series That Try to Outlive my Lifespan

The longest series I’ve invested in are Little House on the Prairie (9 books), Harry Potter (7 books), and the Chronicles of Narnia (7 books). I like a good trilogy, although for the Six of Crows series the duology size was perfect.
I’d be totally down with a long standalone but they don’t usually write those unless it’s a contemporary fiction or something. I wish they would. It’s nice to read a fantastical adventure in one book.

It’s just that sometimes these series go on and on and on and I really want a beginning, middle, and end that doesn’t require my buying another bookshelf just for that series.

ron swanson no

Author is a Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

If I don’t like what the author is saying or doing via Twitter, Instagram, etc. then I start to not like them as a person and (sorry?) that rubs off on their book. I’m sure if I got to know them in real life I’d like them (maybe?) but based on the portrayal of their twitter rants and other social media nonsense… No, sorry.

no nope

Succeeding to fail to communicate information that any normal person would have failed to miscommunicate.

Please have a REASON for why things go wrong, why secrets are kept, why arguments break out, etc. Give the character a strong and valid motive. Sometimes authors “try” to validate an issue that arises but it’s really just clumsy character miscommunication and it’s weak.

aspiring author
It’s not that miscommunication doesn’t happen in real life or that it can’t be used well in a plot, but too often it comes across in books/shows as if the writer ran out of ideas for plot twists or excitement or cleverness. It’s cheap drama (this ties into my rant on overblown romantic drama). I loath when writers use cheap nonsensical or easily avoidable miscommunication to further a plot in books, movies, TV, anything (it’s particularly prevalent in lame TV shows). It’s weak and annoying. (Except in the show Friends where it’s usually hilarious)



If a book is going to make me cry a lot, I will not read it (intentionally). If it’s going to rip out my heart and crush it, I will not read it. If the protagonist we get to know and bond with doesn’t get a happy ending, I will not read it. I don’t care at all if it’s the best story ever written on this earth. I. Will. Not. Read. It. (Or watch it, because this applies to movies too. I was blindsided twice and it still haunts me – Listen to Your Heart (2010) & Million Dollar Baby (2004)…yes those movies are so good! But still…)

dracula no

Words Built from a Global Alphabet Soup

When a book is chock-full of names and words I cannot even begin to pronounce and there is no glossary and/or pronunciation guide in the back to help me. Because when there are a thousand-and-one characters, places, objects, holidays, technological devices/terms, etc. written in weird fantasy languages, or even real languages, and there’s no pronunciation guide when these words/names are clearly very different from whatever language the audience is reading the book in, I close the book and back away. I’m happy to learn, but I’m not about to spend hours and hours trying to decipher a book that has me stopping to look up pronunciations or meanings every other sentence unless it’s a work assignment. I want to sink into a story and simply enjoy it.

This is mostly just an issue with high fantasy/sci-fi novels. Requirements: map, character list, pronunciation guide. THANK YOU.

no zootopia

Idiot Protagonists

A) When the protagonist, or any major character, is just a fool. They say dumb things, they do dumb things, they think dumb things, they seem incapable of any good sense. I can’t stand those types of characters.

B) Another annoying issue is when the protagonist is an idiot and/or useless. I’m totally cool with a protagonist feeling disoriented, disadvantaged, unwillfully ignorant or uninformed or unskilled or yeah, plain useless (because let’s be honest, that would totally be me in a book haha). But then I need to see them striving to become better, stronger, smarter, etc. Don’t just float around looking like a deer in headlights because you know nothing and take no initiative to do anything about it. Don’t constantly rely on other characters to fill you in or save you. Train, study, rage, demand help, something.



I personally hate this genre in ALL mediums. I love to have my spine tingle and my palms sweat and my head spin and my breathing halt with a good psychological thriller, but I will not read/watch anything in the horror genre (or with any gore) much to some of my friends’ dismay. (If forced to do so be prepared for a loud running comical commentary that will not end until the movie does. I will also require a large pillow to hug/hide behind).

tracy jordan no

So, what are some of your bookish (or movie/TV) turn-offs? It was kind of fun sitting down and brainstorming my own because I’d never really thought about it so specifically before. Twas interesting 🙂 I found that I’m very…picky. Lol. And yet there are exceptions to all of those things I listed. Except gore/horror. That’s a permanent NO.

hermione no

16 thoughts on “BRN #15: Bookish Turn-Offs

  1. Glorious!!! I cannot believe – and I am close to tears here – that I found someone else who dreads love-triangles! I am just as picky as you are when it comes to books and movies. I definitely judge a book by its cover and if I don’t like it I won’t read it. Superficial but I don’t care.
    The dumb main characters! YES!! “Don’t just float around looking like a deer in headlights because you know nothing and take no initiative to do anything about it.” Best thing I heard all week. I would be a totally useless main character as well but I am not in a book and can point and complain about the ones that are. 😀
    The miscommunication trope has become overused and stupid. It could work so well and be hilarious if done right. Mostly, however it is the Chosen One not telling anyone anything because it is them that will save the world and they don’t need no help and stuff.

    Great post! I love it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks!! I’m so glad you feel the same way with these because honestly sometimes when I’m reading a disappointing book I just look around like am I crazy?? UGH the Chosen One keeping secrets gets so old so fast! And yes, despite making terrible main characters if thrown into a book, it is definitely fun to complain about them when they mess up or act foolish 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post made me laugh, and I agree with a lot of things on here =)

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and am very impressed by your blog. I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks!

      Cool! Welcome to the book blogging world 😊 Hmm…some quick advice I’d give you would be to find a few blogs, instagrams, & twitters you like that have a similar interest/focus and get involved via their posts. By commenting, liking, and/or following them they will likely do the same for you and you’ll grow your audience that way. You already have a twitter and Instagram which is great for promotion and building your visibility, plus your blog looks cute and simple. Keep your blog focused and easy to navigate and you’ll be golden. But basically it’s a social game, the more people you introduce your blog to the more they’ll notice it and be willing to follow it.

      Best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this list! I agree with most of the points (except for the love triangle thing, which I think can be well done if the characters aren’t idiots or assholes to each other). I especially agree with your point about not dragging out a series. If the story is really that long and compelling the whole way through, great, but every single book needs to be stellar.

    I think the worst is when you fall for a character (or a pair of characters together) and they don’t get a happily-ever-after. Yes, I know real life doesn’t always work that way, but I’m reading the story to escape from real life, thanks very much, I don’t want to waste hours of my precious time to end up empty and heartbroken at the end of the book. (The worst example of this for me recently actually had to do with a love triangle. That book was a good argument against love triangles, so I definitely see both sides on that point.)

    Thanks for the fun blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree, I read to escape real life too! Some people like to read brutal stories and while they might be good or more realistic I prefer to read great books where, yes, they get a well deserved happily-ever-after. I enjoy falling into a world where good wins, the impossible happens, and love succeeds, even if they have to go through a lot to get there (perhaps especially so).

      You’re probably right, I think love triangles could be done well. I guess it’s just with the books I’ve read they usually aren’t because like you said they act like idiots or assholes lol. Also sometimes I find myself falling in love with a character only to have the author choose the other person in the end. Ah well…

      Thanks for reading! 😊


  4. I love this list and whole heartedly agree with your first point. I followed a 5 book series only to be devastated at the end when the main character died. It was a stupid, senseless death that to me wasn’t necessary and spoilt my enjoyment of the whole series. Still feel cheated of that happy ending years later!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This made me laugh. Like you have the answer, and if you told someone, everything would be fine, but you don’t and everything gets screwed up bc the MC is an idiot. Big pet peeve of mine. (Cough Kestrel Cough)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, yes, YES to all of these points! I refuse to read anything where the main character dies…it’s just so final 😦 There’s no chance of a sequel, only prequels and they’re painful because you know their demise is coming in a few short books.

    With you on the authors being “cotton-headed ninny muggins” (that is an awesome term, by the way). Or when they’re just plain ol’ not nice. I follow a few authors on Twitter and while a majority of them are super friendly, some have a serious superiority complex. There’s a saying; “Never meet your idols” which can be modernized for the 21st century…”Never follow your fave authors on Twitter!”

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks!
      Right?? The crushing finality of a main character’s death is just a big ‘no’ for me. And I totally know what you mean with some authors on Twitter *eye roll* Haha and I like your new saying!

      Liked by 1 person

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