Book Fears --- Courtney Milan

Do you have any irrational book fears?

Let me give you an example or five. There are times when I will put off reading a book by a favorite author–sometimes for months–because I am afraid I won’t love it. Which is crazy, let me tell you, but hey, that’s the way things are. For instance, I have Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven sitting on my desk, where it’s been ever since it came out. Even though Kay has written one of the few perfect books in this world, I’m scared–my expectations are so high, they can’t possibly be met.

There are other times when I will put off reading a book that everyone else is absolutely raving about for fear that I won’t enjoy reading it. (I think, in fact, I put off reading Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake for two whole months, even though I bought it the day it came out, for that very reason! And I was completely utterly wrong, because it was every bit as good as everyone said–and now I can’t wait for the second one.)

Or you’ll put off reading an author–one that has a huge, loyal following–simply because you’re afraid that you’ll only like her a little bit, but still feel obligated to read her whole giant series (that would be Meljean Brook for me–everyone said she was a must-buy, and I was too scared to try her, even though she sounded right up my alley, until a friend of mine point-blank bought me her first book and made me read it. And of course it was amazing and now I’m completely utterly hooked).

But I’ve gotten over one of my irrational book fears. Back before I started writing, I used to refuse to read authors who only had one or two books out on the shelf–if they were good, I’d have to wait too long to read one of their next books! I’m so glad I conquered this one, because that’s how I’ve found some amazing new authors: Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Vanessa Kelly, Jennifer Haymore, and of course our very own Lila DiPasqua, whose singleton debut will soon be joined by her next book of awesome retellings.

(Also, in completely selfish mode, I do have to point out that yours truly only has two books on the shelf, and you should not be afraid of either one. Really. They don’t bite. Hard.)

QUESTION: So, do you have any irrational book fears? What are they?

Share them in the comments and one of you will win a copy of the extremely-not-frightening-no-really-not-even-with-that-expression-on-his-face Trial by Desire.

Thanks so much for participating in the PRINCESS BLOG PARTY, Courtney! She has generously opened up her giveaway WORLDWIDE!

To win you must:

1. Answer Courtney’s question(s) below in your comment.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. You do NOT have to repeat any extra points you’ve earned if you’ve already stated them in prior posts for this blog party.  Only post NEW points as in new tweets/facebook comments about the Princess Blog Party.

* Winner will be announced on SUNDAY–selected from a random commenter on this post.

NOTE: The more you comment on the posts during the month-long PRINCESS October Blog Party, the more points you earn toward winning a signed copy of the next in the sexy Fiery Tales series, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED…plus SIGNED copies of Nora Roberts’ BLACK HILLS and Eloisa James’ A DUKE OF HER OWN! *Must* be a follower/subscriber (through GFC) to this blog to be eligible to win!


Ways to increase your odds of winning are found at the very bottom of this blog.


  • Courtney, I’m always afraid to try authors that people rave about, that have huge backlists. I conquered this fear by picking up my first Lisa Kleypas about three or four years ago when she already had like twenty books in her backlist. Then again with Lora Leigh. Now they are my two most read authors!

    And I love finding debut authors. Always have. There is something about being new to the industry, a fresh voice, nuances in the writing that might be raw and still freshly carved … love me some debut authors!

  • Hi Courtney,
    I really have only one book fear and that is when I read an Author and love the book, I’m actually afraid to see how long the wait will be before the next especially if it’s a series. I didn’t start to read the Outlander series until there were 7 books out already. But WOW, I got to read them non stop and loved it. I don’t think I cold have handled it if I had to wait two or more years. :)Look forward to reading yours next. Follower and newsletter subscriber.
    Carol L.

  • I have a similar book fear like Courtney’s. Sometimes, i am afriad to keep reading a book by a favorite author if the first few pages haven’t captured me! And I hesitate on books that aren’t your typical (ball & come out) regencies because I am afraid I won’t like them. Silly, I know, but I am an open minded-picky person!! =D

    Great post Courtney!

  • I agree with Tiffany, I love debut authors, though it gets intimidating as I see the writing increase in quality.

    Irrational fears. Hmmm. I don’t know if mine are irrational fears so much as legitimate fears and a stubborn nature. Legitimate in that I will avoid an author’s book (which I KNOW I will love) because I have other things that need to get done and I know I won’t want to stop reading. *cough*you AND Lila*cough*. Stubborn because I don’t want to be a “follower” so when people are raving about an author, I tend to avoid them. I did this with Harry Potter until after the first movie came out. On the flip side, when I do finally get around to reading the books that create the hype, there’s more than one, and as fast as I read, that’s a good thing. :D

    Thanks for the post. It’s got me thinking…

  • Hi everyone! Thanks for joining in!

    *waves* at Courtney–Hi Courtney! Thanks for being part of my Princess countdown party. It’s great having you here. :)

    As for irrational fears, I think Tiffany reflects my sentiments exactly. I, too, am leery about trying an author who has a long backlist. It’s totally irrational. I haven’t been disappointed yet!

    Oh, and I LOVE trying debut authors, too. It’s so hard to get published nowadays. These are the authors who have done something “different”. I adore discovering what that is! :)

    Hugs, all!

  • I am guilty of a couple of the fears like putting off reading a favorite author’s new book. This happened over the summer with Loretta Chase’s new story. I shouldn’t have though since I enjoyed it very much.
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  • I don’t really have any fears except I’m one of those readers that likes to stick to certain kinds of books and then the author you read about has changed in a different direction. Going from historical to paranormal or etc. I wonder if I will like reading the other as much as I do the historical.

  • Victoria

    I guess this is on the same thread, I cannot stop reading a book once I start. Even if its not interesting, I’m afraid I’ll miss something from a slow start. It does happen. I forced myself 3 times to move through Outlander and it ended up one of my favorite books.
    Love your book cover, he looks like he’s been “caught” at something wicked.

  • Hi
    I don’t think i have any fears when it comes to books but if i had to pick one i’d pick trying new authors a lot of the time i stick to authors that i know and love and am a bit weary about trying new authors even though when i do it i find out i love them!

  • Hi Lila & Hi Courtney,
    I’m glad I found your blog! Irrational fears?… for me that would probably be when an author has exceeded my expectations on previous books I’ve read by them and now they have a new book out and I’m afraid that it won’t live up to the rest, especially when it’s part of a series. I’ve invested myself in that series and to see the writing suffer is disappointing to say the least. It’s happened before unfortunately, on a series of 10+ books. Good question though, I’ve never really thought about that being a ‘book fear’ let alone an irrational one:)

    Have a great Friday everyone!

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  • Hi. My irrational fear… well I’m not sure if it is a fear is that when a new book comes out expecially in a series I like I hate reading the book and then waiting for the next one to come out or if its the last in the series I dont want it to end. Especially with what they are doing with the twilight movies!!! Sorrry got off topic. I cant figure out how to be a google friend follower. I don’t see a button on the blog.


  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I am also afaid of trying a new author when they have a huge backlist. I know that if I adore their book, I HAVE to get everything they’ve written.

    Starting a series in the middle is a pain too and I am scared of starting one because of the same thing.

    in Germany

  • Hi Courtney! I’m presently reading Proof of Seduction and loving it, thanks!

    My book fear is being disappointed with a novel I had high expectations for …when I’ve already read several chapters and have to surrender and stop reading it so I don’t waste any more time. Dreadful feeling.

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  • Hi Courtney! I have to admit to being guilty of not wanting to buy a new author in case I love the book and have to wait for the next one. Having said that, sometimes I’ll buy a book by a favourite author but wait for the next one [as long as it’s a reasonable time and I can bear just looking at the book I have] and then have both to enjoy. Fortunately, with Lila’s books the wait isn’t too long. And I will overcome my fear to buy yours.:) Carolyn

  • Anonymous

    My only irrational book fear is not having at least 5 books on hand to read. After all I live in New England, land of hurricanes and snow and ice storms! To make up for this I usually have “to be read” books taking up two shelves of my bookcases -just to be sure I don’t run out.

    To me there is no such thing as a book I won’t read. Granted some of them are put off until that fatefull day (see above) – that I actually do run out of books!

  • I agree with that fear that I won’t like the book as much as others. I also worry that it won’t have a definitive ending, cliffhangers can be cruel. I also will be upset if a trope–such as secret baby–shows up in the storyline. It definitely ruins my pleasure of the book.

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  • Hey everyone! Sorry I just got here–the day job caught up with me and just spat me out. I’m glad to see I’m not the only who is irrational about books.

    I do have a fear about reading books in series that may not end. I used to be a huge Robert Jordan fan, and I was crushed when he died before he finished his Wheel of Time series (although Brandon Sanderson and his wife, who was his editor, are doing a bang-up job of finishing it: he left detailed notes and a partial draft of the end).

    But there are authors *cough*georgerrmartin*cough* who may never finish their series. And that’s their choice as an author, but it does really make me get scared about investing myself in another series where I will never get the closure I want.

    Can you call those fears irrational? I guess not.

    I was also afraid–hugely afraid–of J.D. Robb! I eventually read the first book on vacation, and got sucked in, and now I can’t stop.

    As Noelle points out though there are books that you put off reading because you want to wait until you have enough time to just get sucked into it.

    …and then, on the other irrational end of things, there are the books that are so good, and so anticipated, that you call in sick on release date.

    Why, have I ever done that? No! I wouldn’t!

  • Sometimes, I want to find out the ending before I read the book. Case in point: “Mockingjay” – I love the first two books (“The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire”), but I decided to wait on this one until I read more about the ending. I didn’t do this with Harry Potter.

    Actually, this is an ongoing fear, that once I read the last book in a series, then that’s it for all the characters I had come to like. I have a couple more books that are last in a series that I haven’t read yet because of that.

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  • Hi, Courtney! Best wishes for “Trial by Desire”! What an interesting question you have presented! I have always been a bookworm. For a while, life matters pushed reading into the background, and that made me very unhappy. For the last several years, however, I have been able to once again get lost in books. My biggest fear about books? I’ll never have enough time to clear my TBR pile–also known as “the avalanche” : )

    I consider my books to be my treasures. I collect old books and new releases. I haunt thrift shops, yard sales, and used book stores for “finds”. I buy romance reads from as far back as the 60s, and many of them are excellent. I like to alternate reading older books and newer releases. During this time of my reading renewal, I have boldly stepped out of my comfort zone, expanding my reading horizons and changing the perimeters of my fiction box. Whoo-hoo, I’m having one heck of a good time! I’ve made some discoveries along the way. Hype doesn’t always equal worth, and taking a chance on an unknown author can be a revelation. I have a lot of respect for authors and their work. I greatly look forward taking longer and larger literary leaps ; )

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  • I used to put off reading new authors books until I saw many, many reviews. Now I will give them a chance more often then not. I really got sick of the same kind of books that were coming out by well known authors so I started looking for new authors and books.

  • I have the same fears. Especially with new to me authors that have several books in a series. Right now I have a fear with one of my fav. authors who writes a series about a family and the new book is about two character who are not directly related to the family. I’m worried I won’t like them. Silly, I know! It has been sittin on top of on my TBR pile all summer. Normally I would of read it in one day! Thanks for sharing!

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  • carina

    Hi, Courtney, interesting blog topic.
    Hmmmm, they only fear I have when it comes to readng romance is that I won’t be able to put the book down once I have started reading it. Also, if the book is THAT good, my fear is that it will end far too soon.


  • I have an irrational fear, thar I will run out of reading material. Therefore, I get way too many books.

  • My book fear is sort of similar; I always start a book and can’t help but think what would happen if I didn’t enjoy it. Books should be fun to read, not something that you drag along in!


  • Pam S (pams00)

    I’ve also delayed reading a book for fear it wouldn’t quite be what I’ve been anticipating. Usually though I fear it will be really great and seem like there should be other releases tied in but it never comes. or I get hooked on a series and have to wait a long time for the next release.

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  • Pam S (pams00)

    I’ve also delayed reading a book for fear it wouldn’t quite be what I’ve been anticipating. Usually though I fear it will be really great and seem like there should be other releases tied in but it never comes. or I get hooked on a series and have to wait a long time for the next release.

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  • Pam S (pams00)

    I’ve also delayed reading a book for fear it wouldn’t quite be what I’ve been anticipating. Usually though I fear it will be really great and seem like there should be other releases tied in but it never comes. or I get hooked on a series and have to wait a long time for the next release.

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  • I am afraid of authors with huge back lists. I am scared because what if I do like them and cant find all of the books. Or if I do buy them and then dislike them.

  • Irrational Book fear #1 – reading a popular author because their popular
    Irrational book fear #2 – reading a book out of order of a series

  • My irrational book fear is that I won’t live long enough to read all the books I want to read!

    Tracey D
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  • I have the same book fear and it truly sucks when it actually comes true. I don’t really hold back from reading the book, but the fear lasts a while until I’m deep into the book.