Picture this: you’re on the subway, scrolling away on your phone and refreshing your newsfeed, when out of the corner of your eye you spot the most beautiful human being you’ve ever seen. They're just sitting down, minding their own business, and reading a book. You think, "they're beautiful and they read? Could they be any more perfect?” Naturally, you immediately start planning your wedding and thinking of possible names for all the children you’ll have together, when, all of a sudden, you catch a glimpse of the book they're reading, and your entire fantasy life with this person comes crashing down. No, it can’t be. Not that book! Yes, they're reading Infinite Jest, the book everyone between the ages of twenty and forty has read and holds up as the book you have to read. Suddenly, they don’t even look that appealing anymore.
Although you might not have given that much thought, there’s probably a book or two out there that you can’t stand, and anyone who likes this book is automatically denied access to your pants. They might be cool people and you share a lot of things in common, but the fact that they like this book is enough to turn you off for good. Maybe it’s because you find the style is pretentious or the plot is stupid. Or actually, it could even be that you find the author’s followers insufferable. Whatever the reason may be, you and this person are not happening.
Here’s a list of ten books that can make even the sexiest guy or girl undateable:
1. 50 Shades of Grey: It’s okay if they just read it because they wanted to know what all the fuss, and whether it was as kinky as everyone was saying. But to actually like it is something else. The writing is notoriously bad, while the story reinforces seriously outdated gender roles. And to top it off, the sex scenes aren’t even that hot.
2. Twilight: Who doesn’t enjoy a story about first love? By now, everyone on the planet has read or heard about Edward and Bella, and their forbidden romance. However, is it good literature? No. The writing is bad, the love story is almost unbearably cheesy, and the farther you get into the series, the worse the story gets. Anyone who actually admits to liking these books is probably not as cool as you thought they were.
3. Infinite Jest: I will confess I haven’t read this novel yet, so I don’t have any real opinions about it. But I’ve met way too many men who have read it and talk about David Foster Wallace as some sort of prophet or god. They then double down by assuring me that I won’t know anything about anything until I read it. Just go away, please.
4. Lolita: Nabokov is a great writer, and Lolita is a great novel. However, if someone can’t stop talking about how amazing it is, I’ll start worrying a little about them. I mean, it’s a story about a middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with a 12-year-old girl. Any discussion about the book should revolve around how disturbing it is to read everything he thinks and says about the girl, right?
5. The Catcher in the Rye: Another classic novel ruined by men obsessed with it. There’s nothing wrong with The Catcher in the Rye. Teenagers around the world have to read it at some point of their high school education, and most of them love it. But, should you cringe a little when someone tells you it’s their favorite book and Holden Caulfield is their hero? Yes. Holden is an awkward, moody, and melancholic teenage boy. You don't want to date a grown man who still identifies with him.
6. Anything by Dan Brown: Dan Brown’s books are fast-paced, fun, and very hard to put down. Still, if you ask someone about books they like and they choose to tell you that they like anything by Brown, it can be a turn off. Why not tell you about a really great book they recommend? It’s like if you asked them what their favorite food is, and they tell you they like frozen pizza. I’m not saying it can’t be good, but really?
7. On The Road: Hearing that someone likes this novel makes me think of them as the typical “intellectual” who talks about how everything was better in the sixties and how they can’t wait to leave everything behind and go live in a van.
8. Self-Help books: It’s great that they’re trying to change things about themselves and grow as a person, but there’s just something about seeing a self-help book on a potential date’s hand that will make me lose interest fast. Is it because I don’t want to deal with their problems? No, if I like them, I’ll have no problem helping them on their journey. The problem is those cheesy titles and those pictures on the covers. Just no.