Things That Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

I am happy to say that this week’s post was much more difficult for me to put together than last week where we shared the things that make us want to read a book! I am pretty much open to trying anything as long as it isn’t problematic, so I struggled with this because I have enjoyed books that fall into these categories. That said, I think it is a harder sell for me if I hear a book has one of these things!


The number one thing to know about my reading taste is that I am a character-driven reader. A book can have very little plot, but if the characters are memorable and stick out to me, I will enjoy it. On the other hand, I don’t care how exciting a plot is, if the characters are bland or underdeveloped, I won’t get invested or care what happens to them.

Fast-Paced Thriller

I am definitely more of a slow-burn mystery person vs a fast-paced thriller one. I want to get to know the characters and the setting and for there to be a lot of foreshadowing. I don’t love cat-and-mouse-type thrillers where we know who the villain is and we are just watching our character try to survive.

Insta Love

I think my dislike for insta-love comes down to the fact that I prefer slow burn in all aspects of my fiction. I want that tension and build up and for our characters to not just jump into a relationship and the rest of the book is them navigate that. I don’t want to first smutty scene to happen until the latter half of the book!

Long Series

I am getting better at finishing series, but it will be difficult to convince me to read a book if it is part of a long series, unless they are cozy mysteries. I have yet to read anything by Brandon Sanderson or Robin Hobb for this reason. I feel like their book universes are just too big and intimidating for me!

Dark Romance

I have tried some dark romance because a lot of people love it, but I have just come to the conclusion that I prefer light romance. That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate some heavier themes in my romance, because I do, but I will never seek out books that are marketed as dark romance.

“I am pushing you away because I am bad for you”

It is hard to know if a book has this trope until you read it, but it is something I have come across a lot lately and it always gets under my skin. You have spent the entire book making this person fall in love with you only to push them away during the third act breakup because you realized you are bad for them? Um no! Let that person make that decision for themselves or have a conversation about it instead of manipulating them!

Time Travel

I always like the idea of time travel and a lot of books that use time travel sound so good, but I am often left feeling disappointed by them. I think for me it is because the rules of time travel seem to be pretty much set in stone, so a lot of the books end up feeling predictable or repetitive to me!

Groundhog Day Trope

I have read a few books with the groundhog day trope and I just find them tedious! I get so bored reading about the same day over and over again, even if there are slight changes. I have tried this trope in a variety of genres and the only book I have ever loved that has it is The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Fated Mates

I am not someone who believes in soulmates and something about the whole idea of fated mates gets under my skin. I think it has to do with the lack of free will and choice! I want to see my characters choose to be together and not just give in to fate. Are there books out there with fated mates where the main characters choose to be with someone else? That I would read! I do have to point out that the Mead Mishaps series is an exception to this because those books are just so ridiculous and fun and the fated mates aspect leads to some hilarious moments!


I am not a fan of journey stories in any genre! I don’t like fantasy where the characters are on a quest that leads them on a journey and there is a lot of travelling. It is monotonous! T. Kingfisher is the exception, of course. I also don’t vibe with road trip stories for the same reasons!

What is something that will stop you from reading a book?

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27 thoughts on “Things That Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

  1. It’s funny, the Groundhog Day trope is one of my favorites! I can’t get enough of it. I think it stems from that season 4 episode of Stargate SG-1.

  2. I completely agree with plot-driven, “pushing you away,” and insta-love. Those three are big for me to not read a book. I like to see character growth, slow burn romance, and who is someone to tell someone else that they’re bad for them? Let the other person decide that!

  3. It starts with the cover for me. I hate anything to flowery and twee. Like you though, I am character driven and if the characters don’t work for me, the book leaves the building (to the charity shop)

  4. Omg I can’t deal with this romantisy subgenre that has taken over fantasy!

  5. Reading is so personal! Time loops drive me crazy! (Looking at you Recursion!) so…I guess I can’t entice you to read West With Giraffes? A unique road trip story! I like that you mention that there are exceptions.

  6. Interesting list you have. I would have never thought of some of those but could see why they would make you not want to read the book. Also, I feel you on the long series. Once it gets past about 3 books, I get iffy…after 5 I am not even picking the series up.

  7. I feel the same way about time travel and the I’m not good for you. If both sides of the time travel novel aren’t compelling, I get fustrated. I agree that it’s wrong to activitly peruse someone for half of the novel. Then create unnecessary drama to convince that person to leave you. Like what?

  8. I dislike time travel in books too but for a different reason. The whole time travel thing just doesn’t make sense to me when it comes to how changing a thing in the past affects the future self.

  9. With the exception of plot-driven, groundhog day, journeys, I actually agree with most of these! And I’m very picky with plot-driven and journeys, so even those are fully dependent on the book itself! It’s fun to see what you hope a book DOESN’T have!

  10. LOL, there are a lot of these I do like (time travel, road trips, plot-driven stories), but I agree with a bunch too! I don’t mind being involved in long series, but the idea of starting a series that already has many, many volumes is pretty overwhelming. I had the idea to read all of Discworld a few years back, but didn’t see it through, and yes, there are certain authors I’d like to try but have no idea where or how to start because they already have SO many books!

  11. Those “I am Pushing You Away Because I am Bad” troupes really STRESSED me out! And it’s full of unnecessary misunderstanding most of the time *sobs*

  12. Ugh yes, long series intimidated me too! I tend to enjoy time travel, especially those that ended in a bittersweet note when the characters have to go back to their original timeline. The time loop one can be boring though!

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