Bibliophile Commentary

Red, Yellow, Green Reads

Do you remember that game, Red Light, Green Light? I used to love that game so much! I was talking about it with my students and when one of my bookstagram friends tagged me to do a Red, Yellow, and Green challenge, I thought about how these lights relate to my reading habits. Which types of things in books give me a green, yellow, or red light?

My Green Light Items in Books

When I am looking through any online seller of books, at a bookstore, or through bookstagram, there are some things that draw me in instantly and I call these green lights. The green light meaning go or in this case, impulsive buy. Here are some of the things I consider green lights. 

  1. Magical Creatures

I am such a fantasy fan and if there are magical creatures in a book description or cover, I am so in. Fairies, witches, and werewolves are my favorites, but if it’s magical I’m sold. 

  1. Ancient Civilizations

I love everything about ancient civilizations. So if a book is based on ancient folklore or takes place in an ancient civilization, I am sold! I’m obsessed with mythology as well and that always is a must read. 

  1. Bad Boys

Oh boy. So if any romance or fantasy contains a sarcastic, badass, witty bad boy, I am sold. They are just my weakness and I feel no shame about it. If he’s wearing a leather jacket and utters a sarcastic comment as his introduction, I’m going to want to know his story. 

  1. Magical School/Academy 

I love magical schools, colleges, or academies. I think it has to do with the fact that I always wanted to go to one so I enjoy reading about since they are not real. 

  1. Serial Killers 

I like that most of America is obsessed with true crime. I love to read about murder cases and serial killers. It makes me feel a little guilty because I am helping to glorify these horrible people, but I can’t help be fascinated by them. I just want to know why they do what they do so it’s always an impulse for me. 

  1. Creepy Children 

If a thriller or horror novel contains creepy children in it, I will always want to read it. I have always said that the worst part of a scary movie is the children. I mean I love children and everything, but they just have a knack for making something simple extremely terrifying. 

  1. Assassin Heroine 

If you have read my blog, you already know this fact about me based on most of the main characters of the books I give five stars. I love to read about female characters that can fight for themselves and others. 

  1. Authors I Love 

I am a very loyal person and this topic really speaks to that fact. If I have already read something from an author and I loved it, I will buy other books that the author wrote. This can be a good and a bad thing, but it’s just a reflex at this point. 

  1. Cursing  

If characters curse in the dialogue, I’m ready to read it. I also love when characters make up cuss words. It is so entertaining to me. 

  1. Enemies to Lovers 

This is an extremely used trope in romances and fiction and I am so here for it. If two characters hate each other in the beginning, their dialogue is hilarious to read. I also love the fact that they grow to love each other because their love just means so much more and makes it a very very tiny bit rational to me. 

My Yellow Light Items in Books

Things that I refer to as, “Yellow Light Items,” are things that make me a little hesitant to read a book. These things make me wait to see what others think about a book before I buy it.  

  1. Vampires 

I love magical creatures so much, but vampires are a hit or miss for me. Ever since Twilight, a lot of young adults and paranormal fiction has been obsessed with writing books with vampires. Some have been amazing, but there have been so many that have been awful so I’m always wary of them. 

  1. Historical Fiction 

So as I’ve mentioned I love ancient civilizations, but every other part of history, I find sometimes can be boring or just plain depressing. Don’t get me wrong I love history, but I am always just hesitant to start a book of that genre. 

  1. Second Chance Authors

I also mentioned that once I love an author, I will forever love an author, but that also works in the opposite way. If I’ve read a book from an author and I didn’t like it, it is very hard for me to give them a second chance. I eventually do it, but it takes me a while to get there. 

  1. Over-Hyped Books 

If I see everyone posting about a book constantly, I am unsure if I want to read it. This is partly due to the fact that I’m scared I won’t like it as much as everyone else. I also am worried I might be disappointed because the hype makes me very excited to read it. 

  1. Writing Style

I have had a bad experience with this lately and I didn’t know how much this affects my reading choices. Sometimes I can power through a book if I don’t like the writing style, but sometimes I will just DNF it. 

  1. Mythology

I love mythology so much! I am fascinated by the ideals of ancient cultures that these myths reveal. However, when I feel a myth is disrespected or it is told in a very incorrect way, I dislike. I’m kind of a snob about mythology so Rick Riodian was kind of a struggle for me. 

  1. Sequels that Switch Perspectives 

I’m sorry, but I really hate this. I just cannot stand when an author tells her series without carrying on the main character as the main perspective. I love when authors add perspectives, but please don’t take my baby away from me. I don’t react well. I will probably not read the sequel for a good while. 

  1. Boring Covers 

Everyone says that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I admit that this is not true and I do judge a book by its cover. I mean we eat and pick things based on appearance and books are no different. A gorgeous cover immediately draws me in, but if a book doesn’t have a good one, I usually will be hesitant to read it. 

  1. Bad Reviews from my Favorites 

I don’t usually read reviews of books, but if it is a blog or bookstammer whose judgement I trust, I will read it religiously. So if one of the blogs or bookstagrams I follow post a bad review about a book, I will question whether I want to read it or not. 

  1. Books with a Male Main Character 

Okay, don’t judge me too harshly on this one because this is not a sexist thing at all. The reason why I consider this a yellow light is based on my childhood reading days. In school, a lot of the books we read only had male main characters and they always used to make me so angry. Now that there are so many books with female main characters, it takes me a minute to warm up to reading a book with a male main character. 

My Red Light Items in Books

Red Light Items in books are things that make me instantly say no to reading a book. If a book has this in it, I will not even bother to read it. There are some exceptions, but it is very rare. 

  1. Spies 

This idea is just so overdone in movies that I just don’t care to read about them. I’m good with sticking to the Jason Bourne movies. 

  1. Military 

Military novels have the most boring action scenes I have ever read so these are usually a straight up no for me. 

  1. Lack of Dialogue 

Dialogue has become a very important thing for me when I read. If a book lacks dialogue and reviewers say there is too much detail, I am instantly turned off to reading it. 

  1. Self-Help 

If you enjoy self-help books, I do not judge you and more power to you. I just don’t like the fact that they all basically say the same thing, but using different phrases. I also don’t enjoy their condescending voice that they have as they read them. They are just not for me. 

  1. Holiday Books 

I don’t know why I don’t like books that take place during a holiday, but I just don’t. Christmas books especially are the worst for me because I just hate how much Christmas is shoved down my throat outside of the month of December. 

  1. Nicholas Sparks

I can’t stand him. I find his female characters annoying and his leading men boring. I just don’t understand the hype at all and I’m okay with never reading a book by him. There are so many other books I would rather read. 

  1. Memoirs of Celebrities 

So there are definitely exceptions to this rule, but most of the time, I will not read a memoir by a celebrity. If I think you are a garbage person or a person that does not have a life worth writing about, I’m good with never reading your book. 

  1. American Historical Fiction 

I just find this part of history boring because I studied it so much in high school that this genre is a no for me. I would rather read about other cultures than review mine. 

  1. Daddy Romance 

So I find when heroines call their significant other daddy in a sexy or romantic way, I want to puke. Just no! It’s not for me and it never will be. 

  1. Zombies 

I just find zombies so boring and overdone so I can live without ever having to read a zombie novel again. 

What are some of your red, yellow, and green light items when selecting books? Make sure to comment in the box to let me know. Thanks for reading!

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