Jerks & Irks XXXIV: Why I Won’t Read Your Book

Folks, today I’m the jerk of this post. For that I’d like to apologize in advance.

I read a lot. I browse Pixel of Ink, Goodreads, and the recommendations and best sellers on Amazon. How do I decide what to download? The same way everyone does, The cover, the blurb, and the reviews. But sometimes a book doesn’t have a Twinkie’s chance in my cupboard (Twinkies are coming back, y’all!). Here’s where the jerky part comes in: If a book doesn’t have a chance of me reading it, it may not be your fault. I have more than a few, uh, quirks:

  1. If your cover is cartoonish, I won’t read your book. I don’t know why. I just won’t even read the blurb. I’ll keep scrolling. An adult book (unless it’s chick-lit, maybe) shouldn’t have a cartoon on it. I feel this way because I’m a jerk.
  2. If your blurb starts off, “[Dude/Chick] had it all…,” I won’t read your book. It’s such a clichéd opening that I assume your plot is also cliché. Because jerks like me assume things.
  3. If your blurb mentions a “ruggedly handsome hero” or “plucky cast of characters” or any other such description, I won’t read your book. Your hero may be rugged looking and your misfit cast may be plucky, but it all sounds so amateur to me. Maybe because I’m a jerk who thinks she’s too sophisticated for your characters.
  4. If your cover has half-naked people on it, I won’t read your book. Nakedness usually indicates a Romance novel, but not always. I don’t read Romance (no offense to Romance writers), so that’s one reason to avoid these books. But if the title indicates non-romance, but still has half-naked people on it, what does that mean? I don’t want to find out. I skip the blurb, nervous that it will lie to me. Because sometimes jerks can be paranoid.
  5. If your cover has actual people on it, I won’t read your book. This one is tricky and probably the most jerky of the bunch. There are covers with people blended into the background and covers with people who look real, but still airbrushed, I guess? Anyway, then there are the covers I’m talking about. The ones that look pretty much like they were stolen from someone’s Facebook page and uploaded with some text layered on top of it. There are other ways to DIY a cover. Better ways. If you were so lazy with your cover, I worry about the content. This is probably because I’m a jerk.

I’m sure I can think of more examples, but I don’t want to scare you guys away completely. Like I said, these are quirks and I’m a jerk (Hey that rhymes!). Hopefully I didn’t make too many enemies. Do you guys have any weird quirks about choosing books to read? (Please tell me I’m not the only jerk out there!)

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29 thoughts on “Jerks & Irks XXXIV: Why I Won’t Read Your Book

  1. I can totally understand everything you’re saying here! Maybe we’re both jerks, haha! I’ve never been interested in romance novels either. And I have to say, I don’t think it’s jerky to not read a book because the blurb is poorly written and sounds cliche. In fact, that’s an EXCELLENT reason to pass on a novel. 🙂 Thanks for giving me something to think about! I was thinking long and hard whether I could apply that criteria to myself and maybe was distancing prospective readers.

  2. I, too, must be a jerk except I will read romance novels if I’m already familiar with the author. I’ll also read books with people on the cover as long as it’s professionally done. If it looks cheesy…then no.

  3. I wouldn’t say you’re a jerk, you just have standards. I think a cartoonish cover can work if the book is a work of humour and I agree about having people on the covers of books. It’s an instant turn off for me if I see a photo of someone on a book cover. Saying that photos in general can turn me off from a book (despite the fact that I am considering using a photo myself, hey I’m a starving writer lol)
    As for blurbs, if it doesn’t excite me I don’t bother with it.

    I think these all go out the window though if we have read the authours work and liked it before.

    Good post 🙂

  4. Lmfao this just makes me like you even more actually. Not nearly a jerk. Frankly if a cover doesn’t appeal to me for any reason I won’t read it. But here’s the difference, you will read a book even if you don’t like it, til the end, I cannot.
    Also should I be worried since my cover has a person on it? lol

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  6. #3. I HATE blurbs that use cliched phrases like ‘plucky cast of characters’ or – my personal bugbear – ‘wierd and wonderful’. Ack! no one says ‘wierd and wonderful’ except maiden aunts for whom the description ‘wierd’ covers evertything from paisley patterns and dyed red hair onwards… :-/

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