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LOG
12-31-2009, 12:29 AM
What sort of things will turn you away from certain books while you're browsing the shelves?
For me:
Bad covers and titles; they need to be attractive in some manner, if the title is uninteresting, and the cover evokes nothing, then it is not very likely I'll even bother reading the summary.

Certain words in the summary:
Any words or phrases that preclude to a hot, dark, sexy man, or woman. Especially in the paranormal genre. So many books with those sorts of descriptions just end up focusing on the sex. Like the rest of the story is just an excuse to get these people together. Unless it's an erotica, the sex should be an addendum, not a center of focus.
Lately I've also gained an aversion to anything referencing female paranormal investigators or vampires. Ever since Kelly Armstrong and Stephenie Meyer those particular sub-genre have been filled with crap.
Halfbreed; Half-angel/half-demons in particular, mary-sue every single time. Unless there's a hint at some real issues concerning their heritage, it's practically just screaming OPness to me.

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 12:34 AM
Weird flashy names that sound way too trite and cliched - like a P I named 'Stone Barrington'

female MC's that are described as spunky

anything that features an MC that is dead and the story is told from their POV.

talking animals

vampires -

dancingandflying
12-31-2009, 12:36 AM
I will only pick up books with interesting spines. I'm terribly biased when it comes to covers and titles as well. I like clean designs, simple fonts, bright colors. Anything besides that will make me put the book back on the shelf.

d&f.

DeleyanLee
12-31-2009, 12:38 AM
Vampires (any genre)

A Fantasy set in medieval-like times that isn't actually Historical

Unintelligible writing when I flip open the book

On the inside front pages: Cover quotes praising the author's work instead of a snippet

LynKay
12-31-2009, 12:43 AM
Covers that are too bright, too colorful, or that have way too much going on.

Some of the titles that are too cliched or simply idiotic

If the first page begins with something like "It was an extremely cold, and dark night, and I knew something was going to happen..."

Mary Sue and Gary Stu's...

Anything Tolkien like [yes, I know, my 9 year old is in awe of The hobbit and is looking forward to reading the rest of the series, unfortunately that's a series that I don't particularly like]

Harry Potter like books

backslashbaby
12-31-2009, 01:06 AM
Weird flashy names that sound way too trite and cliched - like a P I named 'Stone Barrington'

female MC's that are described as spunky

anything that features an MC that is dead and the story is told from their POV.

talking animals

vampires -

I read the first two and was cheering with agreement, but my WIP includes the last three :D So I hate you.

It's a satire, btw ;)

I'll add a few: amateurish writing. Too repetitive or overly-explaining things (;)). Trying to sound literary and coming out purple.

stormie
12-31-2009, 01:10 AM
I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover...but I do. The cover and the title. Then the blurb on the back.

Shadow_Ferret
12-31-2009, 01:19 AM
I think I read a book with a Stone Barrington. It wasn't bad.

But what turns me off is, if I pick it up and read the first page and it doesn't figuratively grab me by the throat. If I'm not absolutely in love with the writing or the character by the second page, I put it back.

gothicangel
12-31-2009, 01:21 AM
Crime novels with 'psycopaths' on the loose.

How about some motives guys?

blacbird
12-31-2009, 01:35 AM
Garish and cheesy covers. Loud obnoxious music in the bookstore, of the sort you get assaulted with at any Best Buy electronics store.

caw

fadeaccompli
12-31-2009, 02:32 AM
Blurbs with too many Capitalized Nouns. Any non-essential physical description of a character in said blurb. (If you have to tell me the protagonist is falling in love with a sexy redhead, that usually bodes ill.) Pull quotes from authors I don't like. Too many exclamation points. Blurbs that are nothing but pull quotes of praise instead of telling me what's in the book. Blurbs that start by recapping the awesome things that had already happened in a previous book.

Covers with anyone in leather pants. The author's name being a lot bigger than the title on the cover. (Books with very long titles get a pass on this.) "Book X of the Y series" where X != 1. (Though if the book looks cool, that just means I'm going to go look for Book 1 first to see if it looks interesting on its own.) Pictures of space marines looking manly. (If there's a picture of a space marine looking womanly, I'll at least check out the blurb.) Pictures of women wearing highly impractical clothing and striking porn poses.

In the first few pages: the protagonist being exceptionally full of herself. (If your first two pages are telling me how the protagonist is suffering terribly, but sneering on all those miserable cowards who aren't putting up with the suffering as well as she is, I am not reading further.) Clunky prose. Anything that sounds too Dan Brown. (World-renowned <insert profession here> <insert name here> <insert dramatic action here>...) Teenagers acting like whiny gits. Adults acting like whiny teenagers. God damn dream sequences. Any explanation of why the protagonist is just the coolest thing since sliced bread and beloved by all.

...it's sort of a wonder I ever buy books at all, at this rate.

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 02:44 AM
I'm reading a novel now, on my Kindle, that is SO bad it's damn near laughable. I stopped reading, then I decided to keep going, just to pick apart all the crap writing.
misspellings throughout. Overwrought purple prose.
it's hilariously bad. I won't say the name of the author or title, but really, it is BAD.

kaitie
12-31-2009, 08:10 AM
"Girly" covers. Yeah, yeah, I know. Silly, isn't it? But if it's got a pink cover with some girl on the front carrying shopping bags and she's wearing heels and what not, you can bet there is no way that book is going home with me. I have on occasion read girly books, but that's either because a friend gave them to me or I ordered them online. Sorta funny, because I have no problem carrying underwear through a store at all haha.

litgirl
12-31-2009, 08:19 AM
I read mostly YA and midgrade, and I don't know if this is something you see in adult or not, but--no flap copy. Random House and its imprints are especially bad about this. Either they have nothing, or a few lines from the book (but not particularly interesting ones), or they have editorial praise for a different book by the same author. But nothing to say what this book is about.

Whenever I find a book like that, I put it right back on the shelf.

Claudia Gray
12-31-2009, 08:33 AM
An author (invariably male) who introduces every single female character by mentioning what her breasts look like. (This is a LOT more common than you might think.) I got a book for Christmas that does this, and although otherwise it's fairly good, that alone ensures I won't seek out anything else by the author.

kaitie
12-31-2009, 08:37 AM
I read mostly YA and midgrade, and I don't know if this is something you see in adult or not, but--no flap copy. Random House and its imprints are especially bad about this. Either they have nothing, or a few lines from the book (but not particularly interesting ones), or they have editorial praise for a different book by the same author. But nothing to say what this book is about.

Whenever I find a book like that, I put it right back on the shelf.

I hate when you can't figure out the summary of the book! I've come across quite a few myself where the places usually reserved for a blurb just have some ranting about how great the book is, or "from the author of blah blah blah." I'm trying to figure out what the book is about people!

Xelebes
12-31-2009, 09:04 AM
I avoid:

At the bookstore:

Thin books - I can just get them at the library and see if I like them. If I really like it, I probably won't be skimming it over in the bookstore now would I?

At the library:

Thick books - I won't have enough time to read them at my pace.

At either:

Covers that tell you everything you need to know about the story through images. Especially when they are entirely loud, busy and crowded with colours. I like it simple and minimalist. Patterns and solid colours are good.

Anything with Private Investigators. I just know that they are going to harken back to something really archaic and fear what's coming up; a total lack of zeal for anything coming up. Usually American-centric too in the same vein as Heinlein.

Anything that is a romance or romanticist. I like my spec-fic where the "boy" doesn't get the "girl" or the "girl" gets the "boy". (In quotation marks to leave room for the ability to interchange genders where one sees fit.)

Character-driven epics. I can handle short stories and short novels that are character driven but anything that's long and character-driven just screams long-windedness to me and makes me shrug at the characters.

benbradley
12-31-2009, 09:25 AM
Those pages that say "Error 404."

Oh, you mean the old-fashioned kind of browsing.

I try to "keep an open mind" about titles and covers, though covers usually indicate genre and there are some I'm just not interested in. There are several big-name authors I've tried to read, but haven't made it through one of their books yet.

The cover of "Einstein's Bridge" says "A novel of hard science fiction" which turned me off because you shouldn't have to SAY it's hard SF (also it was saying redundantly it was "A novel of ... fiction"). I'll read it and decide if it's hard. I had it hanging around for six months after getting it (I think it was from paperbackswap, and I forget where I found the title and what initially got me interested). When I finally did read it I REALLY enjoyed it.

If the title or a recognizable I've-read-before author or even the alleged genre gets me interested at all in a book in front of me, I try not to let anything else bias me against it, even endorsments by JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. I open it up, page through, read a paragraph here and there and see if it really interests me. DJ flaps can be misleading because I might like the premise of the book but then not like the author's actual writing.

Weird flashy names that sound way too trite and cliched - like a P I named 'Stone Barrington'

female MC's that are described as spunky

anything that features an MC that is dead and the story is told from their POV.

talking animals

vampires -
The talking animals thing was done well in "Animal Farm," but I guess that wasn't so much about talking animals.

I'm reading a novel now, on my Kindle, that is SO bad it's damn near laughable. I stopped reading, then I decided to keep going, just to pick apart all the crap writing.
misspellings throughout. Overwrought purple prose.
it's hilariously bad. I won't say the name of the author or title, but really, it is BAD.
Care to at least name the publisher, especially if it's one we'll recognize? Is it also available in hardback/paperback? Enquiring Minds want to know how it got published.

Wayne K
12-31-2009, 09:33 AM
Teh only thing about a book that turns me off is bad writing.

XxDethmetalxX
12-31-2009, 09:39 AM
As shallow as it is-bad covers

BigWords
12-31-2009, 10:09 AM
Idiot shop assistants following me as I look for titles I want / need immediately raises my anger - to the point where I couldn't (even if I wanted to) buy anything. There are some book shops which assume everyone is going to be stealing their books... Really, really annoying.

NeuroFizz
12-31-2009, 05:00 PM
What turns you off while browsing?

The cellophane wrapping on the magazines...

Tara Stone
12-31-2009, 05:39 PM
I hate when you can't figure out the summary of the book! I've come across quite a few myself where the places usually reserved for a blurb just have some ranting about how great the book is, or "from the author of blah blah blah." I'm trying to figure out what the book is about people!

I agree. If I pick up a book that doesn't have a summary on the back (or on the inside dust jacket flap if it's a hardcover), it's going back on the shelf. I don't care how many glowing reviews it got; if I can't figure out what it's about, I'm not going to buy it.

Cartoon covers also turn me off. Yes, I do sometimes judge books by their covers.

Descriptions of how sexy one of the characters is.

Mentions of shopping.

Fantasy novels that sound like they were written from a Mad Libs template - same plot, different characters.

The Victorian time period, unless the book looks really interesting otherwise. Just my personal preference.

"In the tradition of [an author whose books I don't like]"

Marian Perera
12-31-2009, 05:50 PM
An author (invariably male) who introduces every single female character by mentioning what her breasts look like.

Some female authors do this too, and it either turns me off or brings out the snark in me. The latest such example was where the hero noticed the heroine had "a pair of well-shaped breasts". Me : Oh good, you wouldn't want her to be a uniboob.

Lady Ice
12-31-2009, 06:19 PM
Stupid titles
Creepy/embarrassing covers (once I pretended to be fourteen in order to use a book token. The book I wanted to get was 'Giovanni's Room', and it had a topless man lying in bed, so they might start to question me age there)

LOG
12-31-2009, 08:30 PM
Describing breasts isn't a point against the author for me. But it's not a point for them either.
If they're human and female, unless their breasts are somehow noticeably disfigured, then there really isn't a need to go into it. With some exceptions.

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 08:40 PM
the book i'm reading that is SO bad has one passage in it where two friends (guys) whom I'll call A and B, are in a bar.
The waitress comes over and A flirts with her, and as she is walking away A and B discuss how A really likes her and A says he wishes he could get her into bed.

Then B notices A imagining himself getting her into bed, and then we're told about B imagining A and the girl in bed.

NO (hetero) guy will do this! the LAST thing I want to do is visualize my buddy in bed with any woman, much less some hottie we are both ogling in a bar.

kaitie
12-31-2009, 08:40 PM
Was it written by a woman?

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 08:41 PM
No.

also, I guess I should add, that no gay man would imagine that either. LOL

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 08:45 PM
This was a Kindle edition book for $1.49

published by: Klordny Productions; 2nd edition (April 17, 2009)

I don't know if that makes it a self-pubbed book or not. But I have found hundreds of mistakes in it. and loads of bad, bad writing.

my apologies if the author sees this. but hey. seriously.

ishtar'sgate
12-31-2009, 09:18 PM
What sort of things will turn you away from certain books while you're browsing the shelves?


I generally pass right over anything with a bland cover. When I'm scanning shelves I don't see titles right off, I see colors. I refocus to a title when the colors attract my attention. As to subject matter - definitely vampires and dead MC's or covers depicting voluptuous women clasped in the arms of perfect men. Even in romances I don't like those covers and gravitate to covers that hint at a story and not just sex.

benbradley
12-31-2009, 09:43 PM
This was a Kindle edition book for $1.49

published by: Klordny Productions; 2nd edition (April 17, 2009)

I don't know if that makes it a self-pubbed book or not. But I have found hundreds of mistakes in it. and loads of bad, bad writing.

my apologies if the author sees this. but hey. seriously.
I had to look, there appear to be a grand total of two (Kindle-only) books by that publisher (and the same author), and bought the more expensive one.

Here's a portion of a review for the other novel (you're not the first to be so critical):

The author mentions that the book has some sexually explicit content, which it did. I have no problem with that if it moves the story forward, which I feel it did, but he should try to spell the words right.
:roll:

Amazingly, the author responded to the review (!) and pretty much agreed with it (sorry, not much drama here).

Also, isn't it ironic that with all the errors both of these are labeled "2nd edition?"

sheadakota
12-31-2009, 10:06 PM
Mostly bad writing, but I will admitt I hate covers with photographs instead of artwork- weird i know, but you asked.

Brindle Chase
12-31-2009, 11:31 PM
A cover design that is unattractive
Uninspiring blurb
Author I recognize, whose style doesnt appeal to me

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 11:36 PM
in the 'sex' scene in this (so-called)novel he is telling it from the woman's POV and the man gently carresses her breast. . .and then 2 sentences later, he grabs her 'tit'

and she grabs his 'torso' then she grabs his 'ass'

I am only reading it now for the amusement of the bad writing.

and he does misspell a lot. I noticed last night that annointed is anointed. That's just one I remember.

LOG
01-01-2010, 02:48 AM
It almost makes me kind of hopeful. If a book that bad can be published, why not one of mine.
I stay away from sex scenes, never tried to do them, probably never will.
I have lecherous characters from time to time, but I don't try to get into their heads. And lechery is just a side-thing, it's never the main focus of a scene.

MGraybosch
01-01-2010, 06:02 AM
The latest such example was where the hero noticed the heroine had "a pair of well-shaped breasts". Me : Oh good, you wouldn't want her to be a uniboob.

What if she had two pairs? :)

MGraybosch
01-01-2010, 06:13 AM
talking animals

I've got a talking cat, but his language seems to depend entirely on the inflection with which he says "meow".


vampires -

Yeah, they went from suck to blow in Anne Rice's hands. And then there's Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, whose vampire is a priest of Imhotep and a cunning linguist. Brian Lumley used to do good monstrous vampires.

DWSTXS
01-01-2010, 07:11 AM
I've got a talking cat, but his language seems to depend entirely on the inflection with which he says "meow".



Yeah, they went from suck to blow in Anne Rice's hands. And then there's Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, whose vampire is a priest of Imhotep and a cunning linguist. Brian Lumley used to do good monstrous vampires.


well, thats okay. My two cats talk too. LOL

C.bronco
01-01-2010, 07:13 AM
AW friends are not listed as "Author."

Nivarion
01-01-2010, 07:42 AM
When I open the book and the pages are thin enough to see my fingers through.

Book covers that are all black, with a 1 inch sliver of non-discript picture.

Hard backs with cheap dust covers that will fall apart easily. I take them off as soon as I get the book but I want them to look good on my shelf.

When I have to follow back a chain of "Sequel to" for 20 minutes.

As for the breast issues. Its really only appropriate to describe them when their either disfigured, freakishly large or C freakishly small. Or if there are more than two. Or less than two that matter.

Or when they go to great expense to describe how hot this certain character is. Just say they're hot. the reader will fill in the rest.

kaitie
01-01-2010, 08:02 AM
When I open the book and the pages are thin enough to see my fingers through.

Book covers that are all black, with a 1 inch sliver of non-discript picture.

Hard backs with cheap dust covers that will fall apart easily. I take them off as soon as I get the book but I want them to look good on my shelf.

When I have to follow back a chain of "Sequel to" for 20 minutes.

As for the breast issues. Its really only appropriate to describe them when their either disfigured, freakishly large or C freakishly small. Or if there are more than two. Or less than two that matter.

Or when they go to great expense to describe how hot this certain character is. Just say they're hot. the reader will fill in the rest.

Your sequel thing made me remember something else. I'm turned off by a book that is clearly part of a series, but that doesn't have the other books (or the order) listed anywhere on the book! I've come across this a few times, and I always put the book back instead of taking my chances that I'm buying the wrong one first. If I have to go look it up online to find out the order, my chances of buying that book have just decreased dramatically.

William Haskins
01-01-2010, 08:17 AM
What turns you off while browsing?



authors with ethnic names
books that are more than 15 pages
when only the adjectives are in large print
any passages with the word "than" in them
when the author photo depicts "it" hanging out

XxDethmetalxX
01-01-2010, 08:20 AM
Stupid titles
Creepy/embarrassing covers (once I pretended to be fourteen in order to use a book token. The book I wanted to get was 'Giovanni's Room', and it had a topless man lying in bed, so they might start to question me age there)
You should definitely check out Carlton Mellick III!

benbradley
01-01-2010, 08:29 AM
What if she had two pairs? :)
How many pairs do you want her to have?
http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Adder-Signet-K-Jeter/dp/0451164857/
I still have that somewhere, I need to read it, it was a little too freaky for me several decades ago.

charlotte49ers
01-01-2010, 08:36 AM
Cheesy covers, and crappy design in general.

Writing that is superfluous in description right off the bat. I can't stand that. I just want to read and don't feel like wading through description of a pineapple. Some things don't NEED to be described. They are what they are.

LOG
01-01-2010, 09:13 AM
authors with ethnic names
books that are more than 15 pages
when only the adjectives are in large print
any passages with the word "than" in them
when the author photo depicts "it" hanging out

...I can't tell, are you joking?

William Haskins
01-01-2010, 09:19 AM
i don't joke. life is far too short for humor.

LOG
01-01-2010, 11:11 AM
i don't joke. life is far too short for humor.
That would certainly explain your rule on book lengths.

I started and finished three books today. Each one in the mid two-hundreds or above in page length

Mr Flibble
01-01-2010, 02:09 PM
Crappy covers. This includes any shades of baby pink through to hot pink. NO PINK! I am not a pink person. I do not wish to read pink books. Just a personal preference. But crappy covers in general. And I hate those new Terry Pratchett covers, all 'stylish' and black. Bring back the covers with all the colourful characters running all over the shop - they really suited the books. The black ones look like they should be arty thrillers or something. So, yes, covers that bear no relation to the story or are just bland.

A title that makes me go 'meh'

I'm with people who hate the 'This book is soooo amazing' all over the back instead of blurb. Let me know what the book is about!

A blurb that makes me go 'meh'. Or includes vampires, zombies, or friendly dragons with teleptahic powers ( not that I hate dragons, just I've read too much of them. I'd love to read about a friendly dragon that suddenly decides to throw off its niceness and eats everyone though :D) Or includes anything I'm sick of reading about.

A premise that makes me go 'meh' See above.

A first page that doesn't grab me.

So yeah, anything that makes me go 'meh'

BigWords
01-01-2010, 08:10 PM
when the author photo depicts "it" hanging out

That reminds me - I need to get some photographs of myself for my blog. :D

LOG
01-01-2010, 09:07 PM
friendly dragons with teleptahic powers ( not that I hate dragons, just I've read too much of them. I'd love to read about a friendly dragon that suddenly decides to throw off its niceness and eats everyone though :D) Or includes anything I'm sick of reading about.

I'm working on writing, what I think will be a short story, that--if I get my way with the agents--will be titled, 'The Cruelty of Dragons.' Wanna take a mad guess what's going on in it?