Book Hang-ups I Need to Get Over

Posted April 1, 2013 by Stormy in Blogging, Books / 23 Comments

Do you have book hang-ups? You know, you read something on the back of a book and you immediately put it back on the shelf? Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with alien books, so you see the word and run around screaming, or hate any British literature you’ve ever read, so you only read American authors? Perhaps you’re more well-adjusted in your reading life than I am, but I definitely have some book hang-ups that I wish I didn’t. To me, having a book hang-up is different from just not liking something. For example, I don’t like mystery as a genre. There’s some very well-written mystery books, but they’re just not for me. A hang-up is more of having a prejudice against something in a book because of a bad experience in a past(that’s going to me my definition, anyway). After all, just because I dislike certain books with those traits doesn’t mean I’d hate all books that would fit in that category. A few of my book hang-ups are:

1. Books set in the south–where setting plays a role

I blame Faulkner for this one. I had to read a collection of short stories by Faulkner for school in the ninth grade and since then I have actively avoided anything labelled “southern literature”. Faulkner is probably my least favorite “classics” author. I just don’t like his stuff. I changed my schedule one semester during college just to make sure I didn’t have to take an American Southern Literature class. I almost bought Beautiful Creatures on Amazon when it was a daily deal, but the synopsis emphasized the southern influence and suddenly I had no desire to read. This one’s quite a silly hang-up because I am southern. I’m a Texan, for goodness’ sake!

2. Paranormal Creatures

OK, yes, I was neither a fan of Twilight nor of Hush, Hush, but that doesn’t mean all paranormal books are bad. I’ll probably never be interested in “paranormal romance”, which isn’t so much as a hang-up but me just realizing it’s not the genre for me, but I have nothing against paranormal creatures in general. I like movies and TV shows with paranormal/supernatural creatures, so it’s not fair for me to say I don’t like all books with paranormal creatures.

3. Christian Fiction

I’ve only read Christian fiction a few times, and for the most part it hasn’t been a good experience. I find most of it too cheesy and sentimental for my taste, especially since about 75% of books published in this category feature a woman wearing a bonnet on the cover. Also, sometimes the underlying theology makes me cringe. However, there have been a few times when friends have given me books that would definitely fit in this category and I’ve enjoyed it, so clearly it’s not that I dislike the genre as a whole. I just have a mental block when I see this genre labelled.

4. Love stories

I decided to call this one “love stories” rather than romance, because I don’t find the romance genre is for me as a genre, which is fine. However, even when non-romance books–like Young Adult books– are labelled as “love stories” I tend to turn away. I ended up loving The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but I had to get over this hang-up first.

These are my biggest book hang-ups, though I’m sure I could find more if I thought harder. I know it’s possible to overcome book hang-ups, because I’ve done it before. Yes, I admit, I use to be one of those people that looked down on young adult literature. It was cool with me if other people read it, but I didn’t want to read it myself. As I’m sure you can tell from the rest of this blog, that’s one hang-up I’ve gotten over!

Do you have book hang-ups? Ever overcome any of them?

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23 responses to “Book Hang-ups I Need to Get Over

  1. Keeping Up With the Blogosphere!

    […] you have any book hangups that immeditately make you hesitate to pick up a book? Stormy from Book. Blog. Bake is talking […]

  2. As far as Christian Fiction (I would never intentionally read it) but couldn’t Miranda Kenneally’s Stealing Parker and Things I Can’t Forget be considered Christian fiction? I really liked both of them (never read Catching Jordan), but the church and God are important to the main characters. The church the characters attend is like the one in Footloose, but the general concept of church is positive in the books (in Stealing Parker, she simply chooses a different church). I liked these books because they show that these girls are good girls who have made poor choices and learn to overcome the consequences.

    • I have heard that about Stealing Parker & Things I Can’t Forget, but I’ve never read one. I’ve heard good things though, and I think they’re on my TBR.

  3. It might be a weird thing, but whenever books are about either one of the world wars, I usually put it right back on the shelf (Here in Belgium you learn so much about those things in school, it just turned me off this topic)
    I’m not a big fan of any kind of Christian literature in general. I don’t have anything against religion, anyone is allowed to believe whatever. I just don’t like reading books that are explicitly stating lots of Christian morals or where Christian figures (such as priests) play a pertinent role in the book. So if any of those things are mentioned, back to the shelf it goes!

    • I would read a book with a WWI setting, since I haven’t read many of those, but I definitely normally put books back on the shelf if they’re set in WWII. They’re just so many of them! I did like The Book Thief though.

      • I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t know if I would mind it in that book. Everyone tells me it’s great and that I should read it. But the setting is holding me back! Is it very prominent or more like a painting, interesting to have there but nobody really looks at at?

        • Hmm, it’s been awhile since I read it. I’d say it’s probably somewhere in the middle–the setting’s important, more so than a painting, but it’s not the FOCUS like a lot of WWII books are. Like, five years after having read it, I don’t remember WWII being even one of the 5 most prominent things from the book, but I definitely remember it as the setting.

  4. I’m with you on the Christian Fiction, have never tried one, never intend to. This is not what I want from a book. I used to have a problem with paranormal but not anymore, Twilight helped get over that and some of my favourite books are now paranormal. One of big hang ups is a really shallow one, if I hate the book cover, I’m slow to give it chance. Silly but true.

  5. I have a few of the same hang-ups. I read Christian fiction in high school and enjoyed it, but as I grew older and stopped agreeing with the principles upheld in these books it just set me against it. And books set in the south, from authors that don’t live in the south. I’m fine with books with books set in the south, especially small towns, if the author actually knows what they are talking about and it’s not all offensive use of cliches.

    I’m actually all about the paranormal and love stories so those two are very far from my hang-ups, but I am with wrkreads I simply cannot read books with zombies. They are so uninteresting.

    • Good point about books set in the south from authors who don’t actually know that much about the south. I’ve read many that were just filled with cliches.

    • Oh, that’s another hang-up of mine! I totally forget. I actively dislike zombie stories. I don’t think I’ve ever read one all the way through.

  6. Haha two of your hang-ups are my biggest drawers; paranorml stories and love stories. But for the record, I wasn’t a Twilight fan, and Hush, Hush is absolute garbage. Christian fiction is definitely a big hang-up of mine; I don’t want a really preachy book.

    I’m also very unlikely to read a book with multiple cliches in the synopsis; you know, love-triangle, bad-boy vampire, absent parents, outcast girl MC. I also tend to stay away from books with really young protagonists.

    Great post!

    • Maybe I haven’t read any *good* paranormal fiction. Well, except for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but that’s always read more fantasy to me.

  7. Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

    I don’t care for love stories all that much, either. And it’s not that I’m against them so much as the fact that I don’t find them necessary for my to enjoy a book. And with YA, there’s also the fact that not all 16-year-olds are out to find their future spouse and baby-daddy, so the over-prevalence of “soulmates” in the genre bothers me.

    Christian fiction is a tough one. You go into the story and it’s all either about Amish people or cowboys, with Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti on the side. (Okay, maybe I exaggerate.) One Christian author I remember really liking as a younger reader was Angela Elwell Hunt. Her novel The Awakening was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty about an agoraphobic woman in NYC. It was surprisingly well-written and not at all preachy (God was hardly mentioned, I don’t think.) Of course, it’s been years and years since I’ve read that book, so I’m due for a re-read. 🙂

    • Yeah, that’s the thing with YA love stories. I get that people fall in(and out) of love in high school. Some people do. But some people don’t! I sure didn’t, and I was never pining away for a soul mate either.
      Yeah, I don’t understand the presence of Amish Christian fiction. But that retelling of Sleeping Beauty sounds potentially really interesting!

  8. I’m not a big paranormal fan either. The only vampire book that I liked explained vampirism in the biological sense rather than something magical or supernatural. Then again, I just started reading Unearthly, and I love it so far 😛

    • Vampirism as something biological sounds a lot more like something I’d normally read. I’ve heard really good things about Unearthly–definitely going to give that one a go!

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