Today's Top Ten Tuesday theme, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish, is sure to bring out the curmudgeon in everyone...at least it did in me.
While I won't not read a book that I want to read because of any of the following gripes, if I am casually browsing, looking for a book to read on an airplane or while away time in the dentist office, these are not the way to sell me on a book's virtues.
- Anything described as "instant classic" - honestly, there's no such thing and the hype makes me gag. It's not a classic if it's under 50 years old, so let's let the test of time weed out the duds.
- Books described as "xx meets xx" - as in "Jane Eyre meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - this doesn't tell me anything about whether I will like it, just that the publicist is trying to appeal to every demographic there is.
- Movie tie-in books - for the most part, I want to read the book first and not because there's a movie along with it, and I tend to like my covers to not have photos with the leading characters from the movie version splashed across them.
- Back covers and inside front covers that have quote after breathless quote endorsing the book without a single line describing what the book is about.
- Bookclub seals - ala the Oprah Book Club. That's not to say that Oprah doesn't usually pick good books, but I don't want her seal on my book, just like I tend to not wear clothes that have Izod alligators, Polo ponies, or Nike swooshes.
- Hardbound only - I tend to prefer my books paperback. Easier to read, less to fuss with (i.e., dust jackets).
- Footnotes on most pages. Really a big turnoff for fiction, but almost as annoying in non-fiction. I like notes at the end of chapters or clustered at the end of the book. They get in the way of the narrative otherwise and make me feel guilty for not reading them.
- Hard to read type - it can't be too small or too ornate or too archaic (using a typeface to generate a mood is a bad idea, imo).
- Too many non-English phrases - I will suffer through occasional French, Spanish, German or whatever phrases, and even look up translations, but pages of non-English text will send me back to the stacks. Ditto pages of long poems or song lyrics. I skip these for the most part.
- Black and white photos - I like non-fiction illustrations to be in living color.
Do any of these resonate with you? Any that I missed?