Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

This week’s TTT topic is:  Things that make me instantly NOT want to read a book.

Last week we talked about things that made me instantly want to read books and now, what are the things that are off putting?

The hero is smoking in a romance book

Sorry but kissing an ashtray is so repulsive! My husband had to quit smoking to court me. One book that completely disgusted me because the hero smoked just right before kissing the heroine was

In French we say “Beurk, beurk, beurk, beurk!!!” that can be translated in “yuck, yuck, yuck”.

Filler sex

I love romance books and what I love is the romance! When a book is so full of sex that nothing seems to be happening I get bored. That’s what happend with

Sex needs to be an accessory, not the main plot. Except in porn of course.

Authors milking a series

When an author was set to publish three books but then suddenly goes for a long series AND publishes books with no content, just “filler books” I really get mad! I feel they are milking it and disrespect their readers. And it can spoil a series for me, like what happened with this series


Except if the spouse is evil and is cheating and raping etc I can never stand cheating in books. EVER.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like love triangles and reverse harem (with one exception)


That one has me bashing my head against the wall! It goes usually with unnecessary drama! Drama that could be avoided if the characters just talked with each other! The most recent example was

Books that make me feel stupid because they are pompous and pseudo scientific

When I read a book, even fantasy or scifi and the author comes with so far fetched theories, exposed in a bombastic style that just leave me miffed and puzzled, feeling like the greater idiot on earth… I don’t like that at all.

The last book that made me feel like that was

Graphic abuse of children or women

I can read mentions of abuse but not graphic details, play by pay retelling of the act. Especially if it happens to children or women. But even abuse on men have me nauseated and so distressed that I have to stop reading at once.

Unlikable characters

I don’t talk about villains or morally grey characters but unlikable characters. Characters I can’t connect with. I can’t understand them, I can’t walk in their shoes. I don’t care about them. I am a character driven reader so that’s a major problem for me.

That’s what happened to me with this book

The last one is borrowed from Lindsey of Lindsey Reads: all dark bleak hopelessness

Go read her post HERE. She really wrote what I feel. I think real life and daily news are already so depressing. I need hope and some light at the end of the tunnel in my reads.

Slow books with lots of depiction and nearly no action or dialogue.

I really struggle with lengthy books filled with depiction or landscape, garments, towns etc and little action or dialogue. I feel like going nowhere. I need something to further the plot. That’s probably why I needed three tries to finally read Lord of the Ring, because the first 100 pages don’t see that much action.

Thanks for reading.


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  1. You named several on my list, Sophie, but miscommunication is a big one. I get so frustrated, and all it takes is the characters talking to each other.

  2. I agree with so many of these here. I can do smoking in books but it has to be lightly placed in. But most of the time I just don’t want to see that or drug use in books. Such a turn off. I rarely am okay with cheating, only in cases of the partner being abusive or a psychopath and its where they can’t just leave the relationship easily type of situation. (you see this sometimes in dark romance). But other than that, I don’t want cheating at all its why I don’t like love triangles and why I avoid them like the plague. I only am okay with miscommunication if it makes sense and isn’t placed in just for effect for added conflict or drama. Just a natural part of learning each other and is more of a smaller aspect that gets resolved quickly and isn’t drawn out. For me its either politics being preached or soap boxed or emotional abuse is a big turn off for me and will most likely get me to DNF.

  3. Thanks for the shoutout! Oh, I also really despise smoking, IRL and in books! Also completely agree with your other points, filler sex, filler books, cheating, miscommunication,… it’s all so annoying.

  4. Miscommunication is the worst! I avoid it all cost. Smoking is a big turn-off. And a series that becomes nothing but filler books and it’s obvious that the author is milking it? Ugh, so annoying.

  5. We are absolutely the same, and even have the same saying!! No ashtray for us ahah although idk if i’d be that repulse in a book.. but mention of smoking before kissing does sounds yuks. Who thinks that’s a enjoyeable thing to do??!

    Also relating for the slooow yada yada talking & filler sex.