Hello again my Stylish Bows. Many of you may not know that I am an avid reader of books, of all shapes and sizes. But although I firmly believe in that good old phrase "don't judge a book by its cover", which I was always told by teachers growing up, the way a book is presented by its cover, synopsis etc. can have a strong effect on how a person will perceive it from a first glance. Thinking about this the other day, I decided to compile a list of a few things that can put me off a book. Although not all of these have to do with the aesthetics of the book, I still feel that you can identify them quite quickly.
1)Portrait on the cover
By this I mean, when the cover has a photograph of a person's face to represent a character. Now, when it is just a illustration or photograph of a person from the back or from the shoulders down I am absolutely fine, but I just hate already knowing what the characters are supposed to look like before starting the book. Personally, I think one of the best parts of reading a book is forming your own unique idea of what a character looks like from the authors description, but when you have already seen a picture it taints your own perception to some extent and the two images tend to conflict as I read.
2)Characters that are hard to relate to
Usually, I can only get an idea of how relatable a character is going to be after the first few pages, but I still wanted to include this point in my list. If a book is well written, even the most out there of characters can be relatable. But when a main character is frustrating, annoying, boring and/or troublesome it can be really hard to relate to them as they can often be like their own worst enemy through the story. For a character to be relatable I think they need to be 'human'. What I mean by this is that they need to show a mixture of good and bad qualities, and are able to grow as a person through the book. This counts even if they are an alien, vampire, werewolf, etc.
3)Slow moving plot
Usually this point takes a chapter or two to identify, but it is probably one of my biggest book pet peeves. Now, in no way am I a 'fast-paced all the way through with action and car chases around every corner' kind of girl, but even the most mellow of story lines needs some progression and movement. When it takes about 4 pages just to describe a pair of curtains, I think its about time we picked up the pace a little. Personally I think the speed of progression of the plot should have a natural flow, that dips, levels out and peaks at appropriate points in the storyline.
4)Unrelated cover design
An irritatingly common occurrence, is when a book has a cover design that, for example, has symbols of romance, when the book is actually an intense mystery thriller with only a 2 paragraph romantic encounter. Unrelated cover designs drive me crazy as, although we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, it should still give an indication of the theme of the book and should by no means be completely misleading.
I hope you have enjoyed this little rant of mine, and if you have any book pet peeves of your own I would love to know.