Top Ten Things that Will Make Me Instantly Not Want to Read a Book or Put Down a Book I’ve Started

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I’m a pretty open-minded reader, and I enjoy books in all sorts of genres on a variety of subjects.  However, there are some things that I refuse to read about.  These are then things that will make me not want to read a book or stop reading a book I’ve started.

1. Death of a Child-This was always a rough topic for me, but now that I have children I absolutely cannot handle a book that features the death of a baby or child as a part of the plot.

2. Death of a Dog/Pet-I’ve loved and owned dogs all my life.  I have no intention of reading a book that makes me fall in love with a furry friend only to have them die at the end and break my heart.

3. Demons-I will never read a story about demons or demon possession.

4. Families/Relationships Falling Apart-Families aren’t perfect, but I have no desire to read a story where the disintegration of a family or a relationship is the focus of the plot.

5. Bland Main Characters-Main characters should be intriguing and realistic, not colorless, cardboard stereotypes.

6. Static Main Characters-I’m very irritated by characters that never change and/or refuse to learn from their mistakes.

7. Excessive Swearing-I don’t mind some strong language for emphasis, but when is too prevalent, it loses its impact and becomes annoying.

8. Editing Errors-I can handle the occasional typo, misspelling, or misused word.  We’re humans, and we all make mistakes, but too many pull me out of the story.

9. Zombies-Zombies really, really creep me out.  That being said, I’ve read some good stories with zombies in them, but I generally don’t seek them out.

10. Blurbs with Spoilers-This doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while I’ll come across a blurb that gives away a little too much about the plot, leaving me with very little motivation to read the book.

What will make YOU stop reading a book?


  1. Number 1 and 4 are often closely linked, and I try to avoid them at all costs too. There are so many books geared to my age range that I just don’t want to read about. Interesting family dynamics? Absolutely! But so many books about middle aged women are about loss of a child or spouse, and those are hard passes for me.

  2. I’m not a big zombie fan either, to be honest. Nor will I read stuff with the death of children or animals, generally speaking. #8 too- editing errors. Like you said, the occasional one is understandable, but if there are a lot it makes you wonder where the editor was??

    • Poinsettia says:

      Thank you for visiting! My tolerance for editing errors can only go so far. I once read a story that had numerous errors, but the last straw was when the word cassettes was used when I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be coffins or caskets?! That’s when I put the book down.

  3. Blurbs with spoilers are the worst. I hate it when you feel like you already know where the book will end up. Demons and zombies…I so agree!

    • Poinsettia says:

      I have no problem with vampires, werewolves, or all sorts of other paranormal creatures, but demons and zombies are definitely not for me! Thanks for visiting!

  4. I agree about the spoilers. That is the main reason, I try no to read the book synopsis in advance.
    I don’t even bother reading books with zombies and aliens and otherworldly characters. There is nothing that appeals to me about that genre.

  5. Loss of a pet (or animal deaths in general) is one of the things I really dislike both in movies and books. I must admit that I forgot to mention that one in my own Top Ten Tuesday list.

  6. I very nearly put death of a child on my list. Those are very difficult to read. I think child torture books too, for me. Your #6 is so true! I like to see a main character grow and change over the course of a novel–or even a series.

    Thank you for sharing! This was a great list. I hope you have a great rest of the week!

    • Poinsettia says:

      I’d put abuse/torture of any kind on my list of things to avoid, but especially when it relates to children, or animals for that matter. Thank you so much for commenting!

  7. SO MUCH NUMBER 2. I cannot do deaths of pets or animals in books. It’s to the point where if an animal shows up in a book, I immediately stop reading and search for spoilers to see if the animal lives. They really need to have a book version of the Does the Dog Die? I know they have books on there, but not nearly enough!

    My TTT.

    • Poinsettia says:

      I would love it if there was a website that let me know if the dog dies in the book! Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  8. I should have put loss of a pet and a child on my list. These two are two of the hardest subjects for me. I cannot deal with them. My weaknesses.
    Thank you for sharing this list. Awesome list. 🙂

  9. I don’t like excessive swearing in books either. There’s no need!

  10. Oh I see zombies are popular this week, totally agree!

  11. I totally avoid excessive swearing. I’m not a huge fan of zombies either. Great website by the way.

  12. A strong list! I’m not a fan of the death of any one in a book unless it works perfectly in the story. Many times though it is a gimmick to draw out emotions, those kinds of use feel fake to me and I just get mad, not taken in. Why don’t you read about demons? That’s an intriguing one on the list!

    • Poinsettia says:

      Yes, I’m not a huge fan of death in a book, but sometimes it does work well for the story. As for demons/demon possession, I find that subject matter much too scary. Thank you for commenting!

  13. Perfect list – I don’t think I’ve ever sought out a book with zombies, except for iZombie graphic novels.
    Cora ❤

  14. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog says:

    Blurbs that have spoilers are the worst!!! I also am not into zombies. Great list!

  15. I totally forgot about editing errors!

  16. Flat, bland characters can really break a story. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier.

  17. I agree with a lot of points on your list! 4 is a big one as well. I don’t like family dramas. If it’s not the focus of the main story, that is alright, but I don’t enjoy reading about one family having troubles etc.

    Editing errors and blurbs with spoilers make me angry! Or even worse – covers that spoil the action! I had this once…. How can you?! 😀

  18. I’ve read one book where the dog dies and I will never be over it. Editing errors can be really distracting. It’s hard to get through a book when you keep noticing these errors.

  19. I’m right there with you on demons and zombies. I can’t stand anything like that, just completely freaks me out.

  20. I have seen a few people this week who dislike swearing. It is interesting to me because it isn’t something that I notice. I mean, I notice it, but only in the way that it informs character. Maybe, I am just around people who casually swear?

    • Poinsettia says:

      As I said, it only becomes irritating if it goes over the top, like every other word. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  21. I am with you on the bland characters and the missed typos – forgiveable if there a only a couple and on ARCs but too many make enjoying a book difficult because my mind is trying to work out why it doesn’t make sense. Great list!

  22. Blurbs with spoilers really confuse me – why do they do that? I don’t want to know what’s going to happen.

    • Poinsettia says:

      Exactly. I ran into this with a book I was thinking of reading with my child. The back of the book basically laid out the whole plot, including some twists that would no longer be unexpected… Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Yes to death of a Pet or abuse of a pet. I forgot about that one, but it’s a big one.
    I’m also not crazy about zombies either….

    • Poinsettia says:

      There’s just something about zombies that makes them extra creepy. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  24. SO MUCH TRUTH HERE -> “Excessive Swearing”

    I like to call it out as being for “shock value” rather than purposeful – or any kind of “graphic” content. If it has a real purpose to further the story, fine. Otherwise, no thank you!

    Bland main characters and families falling apart are great ones too!

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland this week. I appreciate it. 🙂

  25. I so agree about about bland or static main characters! I feel like the main character is such an important part of the story, they should be super intriguing! And I’m also not really a fan of zombies 🙂

  26. Ugggggh blurbs with spoilers? Could it be a worse circumstance?? I had one book pretty much say “a _____ retelling” and I was like WELL THANK YOU I DON’T HAVE TO READ THE BOOK ANYMORE. So sad.

  27. Oh my goodness, children dying and miscarriages make me so uncomfortable and upset when I’m reading that I have to put the book down for a while, go cry, and then come back after a while. It won’t stop me from finishing but I definitely need a break!

  28. Oh I hate blurbs with spoilers. If you are mentioning events passed the 50% mark in your synopsis, how am I suppose to get surprised.

  29. I hate when the blurb gives away too much, and at a few occasions I didn’t realize just how spoiler-y a book was before reading the book, and being like, “nah, nothing new, I know what’s gonna happen next, because the blurb told me the big plot points for 50% of the novel!”

    Great list!

Speak Your Mind