Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The In and Out Book Tag

Volumes by Karin Jurick

When I saw Cath participate in this bookish tag on her blog, Read-warbler, I knew I had to play along. If any of you feel like joining in, feel free to do so, but if you do, please let me know so I can read your answers. (Inquiring minds and all that...)

All answers to the prompts must be either "In" or "Out"...

Reading the Last Page First: OUT
♦ This is rather ill-advised when you read as many mysteries as I do, but I will admit to doing it when I have a very strong suspicion of whodunit within the first few pages. If the last page confirms that suspicion, I move on to the next book because-- usually-- when whodunit is that obvious, there's little else to redeem the book.
Enemies to Lovers: OUT
♦ I'm not a female who likes reading romance. A very little goes a long way with me, so much so that when sparks are flying between a couple and I know that "Some Enchanted Evening" will soon be playing, I just roll my eyes. 

Dream Sequences: OUT-ish

♦ Actually, I read very few books that contain dream sequences. Of the ones that do, I don't mind them because it's normally some craziness that Inspector Salvo Montalbano is trying to work out of his system in Andrea Camilleri's marvelous mystery series.
Love Triangles: OUT
♦ Boring! Boring! Boring! One of the reasons why I stopped reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries was because of the love triangle that refused to die. Ugh. 

Cracked Spines: OUT-ish

♦ I buy, swap, and read used books, so cracked spines really don't bother me. However, when I buy a brand-new book, I'm a very careful reader. Most readers who've won books through my giveaways can't tell that the book has been read. I just think of it as being considerate.

Back to My Small Town: IN

♦ Being a person who did visit the small town (population 1800) where she grew up, I like reading others' experiences of doing the same thing.

No Paragraph Breaks: OUT

♦ My brain wants those breaks, thank you very much! Reading a book with no paragraph breaks is like listening to someone who can talk forever without stopping to take a breath.

Multi-Generational Sagas: IN

♦ I've read many of these in the past and have really enjoyed them. In fact, one of my favorite series is the 35-book Morland Dynasty series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles which starts in the time of Richard III of England and runs through the 1930s. Talk about a multi-generational saga!

Monsters Are Regular People: OUT

♦ Perhaps it's my reading mysteries which often involve killers, but I just don't think monsters are regular people. They can hide amongst us, but they do not belong.

Re-Reading: OUT

♦ After re-reading three books that I'd read for the first time and had been absolutely head-over-heels about and then having the second time around fall flat, I gave up re-reading. Besides... so many books, so little time!

Artificial Intelligence: IN/OUT

♦ In other words, I can take it or leave it.

Drop Caps: IN

♦ Drop Cap: "A large initial letter that drops below the first line of a paragraph, usually used at the beginning of a section or chapter of a book. " I like them.

Happy Endings: IN
♦ Don't we all deserve some happiness in this life?

Plot Points That Only Converge at the End: IN

♦ Erm... isn't that the point of most books? (Especially the mysteries I read!)

Detailed Magic Systems: OUT

♦ Outside of Harry Potter, I don't really care for fantasy.

Classic Fantasy Races: OUT

♦ See my response to Detailed Magic Systems.

Unreliable Narrators: IN
♦ I like seeing how long it takes me to begin doubting a character's trustworthiness. 

Evil Protagonists: IN

♦ I like seeing evil vanquished and justice done.

The Chosen One: IN/OUT

♦ Doesn't bother me one way or the other.

When the Protagonist Dies: OUT

♦ After what I said about Evil Protagonists, it would follow that I don't like having the good guys die.

Really Long Chapters: OUT

♦ In days gone by, I didn't care, but now really long chapters do bother me. I like stopping reading at the end of a chapter, and I often have sharply defined reading times, so shorter chapters work better for me.

French Flaps: IN

♦ French flaps: "A publishing format of a paperback book with folded flyleafs, or either of the two flyleafs so folded. "  I like them even though I always use a bookmark so those flaps seldom get used.

Deckled Edges: IN
♦ Deckled edges: "having a rough edge; used of handmade paper or paper resembling handmade." I like those, too. For some reason I find pages with deckled edges easier to turn.

Signed Copies by the Author: IN

♦ I like having signed copies of books by my favorite authors like Craig Johnson or J.A. Jance, and I'm fortunate enough to have a local indie bookstore that's phenomenal with author events, but I don't go out of my way to obtain signed copies.

Dog-Earing Pages: OUT

♦ I used to dog-ear pages, but now that I share almost all of the books I read, I prefer keeping them in as good condition as possible. If you're the type of person who likes to break the spines of your books, doodle on the pages, dog-ear the corners, use slices of bacon as bookmarks, go right ahead; they're your books. But if they're not your books but belong to someone else or they're library books, that's a completely different story!

Chapter Titles Instead of Numbers: IN/OUT

♦ This doesn't bother me one way or the other, although there are a couple of authors who write humorous mysteries whose chapter titles can provoke both laughter and anticipation.

Are our INs and OUTs similar or vastly different? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Well, not surprisingly, I agree wiyj nearly allf your opinions. Except two - I don't like unreliable narratorsl I like stable narrators like Bosch. However, if the orotagonist turns out to be the perpetrator, it is okay if it is done well. Also, if there are mysteries about the narrator, I cam deal with that. I don't like alclholic barrators usually. I also do not like jagged page edges, I do not like A.I. Several of these issues are pet peeves, I won't read a book with pages without paragraph breaks, I use bookmarksm and I dislike anyone mistreating a book, even telling a neighbor noy yo put a library book on the floor, Books were always treated with respect in my family's house,

    1. It doesn't surprise me that we agreed on several of these.

  2. Great answers! Amazing how we all differ in tiny details, what bothers one, another doesn't give a hoot about. I did not know that French flaps could be used in place of bookmarks, thought they were just there to be pretty. LOL!

    1. The first time I saw a book with French flaps, I thought it was the paperback's answer to a dust jacket.

  3. I love this idea, Cathy, and I love your choices of IN and OUT. I completely agree, too, about things like enemies-to-lovers and really long chapters. Anything that's too cliché bothers me. Almost as much as it bothers me that ANYONE would dog-ear the pages of a book - Grrrr! And as far as re-reading goes? I only wish I had time for that...

    1. With the experiences I've had in re-reading, I don't even wish I had the time for it. The only time I'd change my mind about that would be if I went back to school and was taking classes.

  4. What an interesting meme and I agree with just about all your opinions, most especially the one about Evanovich. I used to look forward to each new Stephanie Plum mystery but then Evanovich started writing them as romances instead. Bad decision, Janet!

    1. Yep. The first books in that series were so good! I'd sit outside on my lunch breaks at the "employee picnic table" to read, and I'd find myself laughing so much that my co-workers insisted that I read aloud whenever I had a Stephanie Plum mystery with me.

  5. Love reading all your answers! I've got my In or Out post planned for the 30th...then you can see how many of our answers align, and where we disagree. :D

  6. I learned the term "French flaps" from this post. :)

    I'm not fond of unreliable narrators - one of those is enough to hold me for quite a while.

    1. I had to look up "French flaps" when I read Cath's answers in her post. :-)

      And as for unreliable narrators, I don't like a steady diet of 'em either. I tend to prefer steady, reliable, honest narrators.


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