What Not to Read- January 2013

This year I’ve started keeping a log of books I haven’t finished, and I’m going to look at them periodically to refine what I do and don’t like to read.  I hope this helps me get out of my reading slumps a bit quicker than usual.

1. No serial killers.  This is my first obvious criteria.  I’ve read enough serial killer plots. They’re either too gruesome (Silence of the Lambs) or too woman-in-peril for me.

2. Books where women are just on the sidelines.  I know that this happens especially with some period pieces, but it just makes me uninterested in a story.

3. Excessive violence, especially against women.  I don’t like gruesome stuff, and casual violence and torture are just not what I like to read about.

4. No Gothic stories.  I might be okay with them if they’re fairly short, but I’ve picked up some long ones lately that just don’t hold my interest.

5. No overly naive characters.  They drive me bananas.

10 thoughts on “What Not to Read- January 2013

  1. Rebecca – First, I love the title of this post! I also agree with you about making conscious choices not to read something. Life is too short and there are too many excellent books out there to spend time on books that are just going to be DNF’s anyway. And I’m completely with you on your choices too. OK, some Gothic stories aren’t bad, but otherwise, I completely agree.

    • Margot- Thanks for the comment! I’m hoping this kind of list-making will save me time because, unfortunately, sometimes I feel like I have to finish a book to see if it improves instead of just giving up after a few chapters.

  2. Absolutely agree – there do seem to be FAR too many serial killer books still being commissioned by publishers (especially here in the UK). I like a book to pass the Bechdel test – strong females characters (preferably more than one). And the gore test – nothing gratuitously gruesome.

    • I totally forgot about the Bechdel test, but it’s definitely something I think about (And I have her book Are You My Mother? on my TBR shelf right now).

  3. I think this is a really good idea. As Margot writes, there are so many wonderful books and I must admit to struggling to the end of some books that I haven’t been enjoying when I could have read something better instead. I think I should start abandoning books more and getting on with others.

    • I try to give up if I don’t like a book after 50 pages, but sometimes I keep on going in hopes it improves. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t. I should trust my instincts more, I think.

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