I was originally going to title this post - The Bits of Books That Scare You - but that was a bit of a mouthful, so I decided to make it a little more compact. Though this post is really about the things that when you've found a book in the bookstore and have read a fantastic blurb, make you want to scream when you open the cover and discover all is not as you thought it would be. Kind of like if a dead spider fell out when you flicked to page 1.
The things that have you putting a book back on the shelf faster than Usain Bolt can do the 100m (actually probably faster than that).
I'm the first person to admit that I have quite a few hang-ups/prejudices when it comes to book buying. Some of them I've overcome - the first person narrator I've come to love - others I just can't let go of, no matter how hard I keep trying - present tense narration for example, leaves me feeling like my brain's draining out of my ears.
So, please excuse me if this post and those of the next two days, seem like a little bit of a moan. But I hope that in the comments you'll share some of your hangups, whether you've got over them yet, are still trying or have given up.
Ten years ago, I was reading a lot more books that I am today - probably why I currently have such a large TBR pile. It wasn't unusual for me to buy ten or eleven books every weekend. And I needed to have some kind of elimination policy because I used to browse so quickly. If I didn't have some kind of selection process I could have easily gone to twenty or thirty books.
So some of the reasons I'd discard a book were:-
1. First Person Narration - I don't want to get into the characters head. What if I can't identify with them? How will I enjoy the story?
2. Glossary over 5 pages long. I don't mind a short glossary especially if the book is written in a dialect that I'm not familiar with. But please, if your heroine is called Clodpeppa*, don't try and persuade me that it should be pronounced Chloe, she's always going to be Clod-pepper to me.
3. Character list over 3 pages long. Eeeekkk! Generally I can remember hero, heroine, villain and a few secondary characters. I think one of the scariest and most intimidating things a reader can be faced with is a loooooonnnnng character list.
4. Books written in the present tense. I have read books in the present tense, but I always seem to read them with my brain constantly saying there's something not quite right here. I don't know if it's being used to reading books in the past tense, but this is one hang-up I've never managed to get over.
In my two remaining posts I'll be talking about two of my hangups and the books that helped me get over them.
* - I should add here that Clodpeppa is a made-up heroine. Lol. I'm sure there are plenty of heroines and heroes that fit this description though. Love to hear about your pronunciation quibbles in the comments too.