28 July 2011

Just One Word

I'm curious - when you decide to read a book, what do you base your decision on? The summary? The cover art? The rating? The reviews? All of the above?And...are there certain words in the summary that tip the balance either for or against? For example, I have an historical romance on my library hold list. I hope to read it at some point next month. It's the first in a series of books by the author - I have read one series by this author and the first book of another series (I then didn't go any further). So, being a 'completist) [read OCD] and realizing the second book had been published, I went to read the summary. And there I read the word 'beautiful'. Just one word to describe the heroine. And that one word has decided me against the book. (I'm sure you all know my views on heroines, so I won't bore you by getting on my soapbox.) But...that one word would decide me against a book... I guess I'm feeling overly judgemental and not in a good way (if one can be overly judgemental in a good way?) and that has rather horrified me. Am I the only one who does this?

Edited to add: I've amended the Settings, so hopefully those of you who have had issues in the past posting comments here won't have them any more :)


  1. There are definitely words that will push me away from rather than toward a book. Of course, my mind's completely blank at the moment, unable to recall what even one of those words might be! *clutches travel mug of soy mocha*

  2. It's usually the summary that gets my attention. Every now and then, a cover will draw me in, but if the summary sucks, the cover isn't enough to make me spend the money.

    This may sound weird, but I almost never read books by authors who have just one name. They need to leave that stuff to Madonna and Cher. I'm sure some of these folks are great writers, but I have to see that some of my trusted friends have enjoyed the authors' works before I can give the one-named folks a try.

    Also, porny names turn me off. If the author's name sounds like it should be on a DVD with XXX after it, I tend to give the books a pass.

  3. Oh I love your comment form change! Yay! I can now post easily - {{big hug}}!:)

    *ahem* Anyway, The cover may catch my eye but really it's the blurb that I go by. BDSM normally is a turn off for me but if it's highly recommended and I see that it's BDSM "lite" then I'll try it. Infidelity is another one. If I know that the spouse is cheating then I usually don't read it. Sometimes they slip it in there under the radar but if I KNOW it will happen? No thanks.
    I'm not a fan of revenge plots either - I'm just tired of them.

    I can't think of any one word that grabs my attention and makes me want to read the book but I'm sure there are some.

  4. Chris - sorry sweetie. There's nothing worse than being put on the spot! Enjoy your soy mocha :)

    Eyre - it's the summary for too :)

    Tracy - YAH! So glad you can comment! *hugs* I'm not a fan of revenge plots either. Oh, nor stalker plots. If I see the word stalker I run - fast! *grin*

  5. How funny/strange - I haven't read a stalker plot in forever but I just started one last night. I'm only a few pages in (it's a 2006 Harlequin Blaze) but so far so good. :)

  6. I think it's more often a word (or phrase) that will turn me off than turn me on to a book. (Like Chris, none come to mind at the moment.)

    Though, as KatiD brought up on Twitter the other day, there are some titles that will do it, too. Cutesy titles or ones that are "punny"--especially for pnr/uf often turn me off. And, don't even get me started on the covers!

  7. Tracy - SNAP! LOL!

    Renee - I hear you on titles. Some are just...very off-putting IMHO. As for covers? *shudders* *grin*

  8. I can't really say what puts me "off" a book w/the blurb, although if I see one mention of a boat or high seas adventure... it goes back on the shelf. Also, I don't mind the punny titles ;)

  9. Patti - so no pirates then? *grin*

  10. Usually the summary is what interests me. I might pick a book up based on the cover, but I won't actually buy it or check it out if the summary doesn't sound good.