Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.
May 9, 2017: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) — things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!
This week I’m flipping the topic. I read all sorts of books, and have a TBR that is already impossibly long. What do I want more of, I don’t know. But I can tell you what I want less of, and what I’m really tired of seeing publishers do to make a buck. So if anyone in the publishing industry is listening here’s what I’d do away with in books.
10 7 Things I Want LESS Of in Books
- Shirtless men – Seriously stop with this, there are way too many book covers that have guys with airbrushed abs on them. We always talk about objectifying women in ads, magazines and etc, but what about objectifying men in books? I won’t even bother with the book description if it has a shirtless man on the cover.
- Graphic Sex scenes – Goes along with the one above, but it’s just so unnecessary and often detracts from the story. I just read a book like this with great a great setting, a building mystery, good characters and then the sex… ugh the Golden Spider why did you have to go and do that to me? (And I was so looking forward to reading the Silver Skull, which I had already read an preview for.) Plus in this case it just didn’t fit with the Victorian setting, you can’t pretend that everyone is all prudish and then have your main characters drop their inhibitions (and clothing) at a whim.
- Instalove/Triangles – Seriously, time after time other bloggers have pointed out that as readers they are so disgusted by this but yet it’s in pretty much every other book. Even in my most recent read, The Waterfall Traveler, the author had to include a kinda-sorta of love triangle, even though it was played down. But really the story didn’t need it, the characters would have been fine without it, it’s not like there is some law saying you have to include it. Just stop with the love triangles and instalove.
- Confessions – Just tell your story, stop with all these first person confession fiction pieces. I understand that they are probably easy to write, after all a confession can be just as disjointed as the thoughts of the person confessing. It feels like the Readers Digest ideas of “13 secrets your plumber won’t tell you”, has gotten made into a novel and they expect it to work.
- Straight to Kindle – Nothing bugs me more than getting a book that feels like it’s gone straight to Kindle and skipped the editors desk. When I first got my Kindle I stumbled into this a lot more often. Now I am more selective in the free books I add to my reading list. Really just have your book edited by a professional, at least have someone catch all the times you call characters by the wrong name.
- Every Series Needs More Books – Not all sequels are equals. Publishers think that if they keep squeezing more out of the same ideas that those ideas will make good stories. Frankly, I could write a whole blog about this. Too many times what should have been a stand-alone novel or a duelogy gets turned into 3 or 5 or 8 novels, and by the end the books are dry repeat plots. Please publishers just stop doing this.
- Pastors Must Write A Book – It seems that in order to be seen as a successful pastor of a large church you have to publish a book. Often these book are HEAVILY padded. One book I read had lots and lots, a ridiculous amount of lists. Others have just gone over the same point time and time again. There may be enough material for a great sermon series, but that doesn’t mean it will be a great book. Sadly, this is why I don’t request Christian non-fiction ARCs any more.
So that’s it, I could only come up with seven this week. What is one thing you’d like to see less of in books? If you could wave your magic wand and make publishers change something what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.