Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves (all those things that annoy you in a story, with book covers, bookstores, etc. My (Jamie’s) personal pet peeve–stickers on my books!)
I love this week’s topic!! I only came up with nine, though. Here goes:
- GRAMMATICAL ERRORS! I hate, hate, HATE grammatical errors. I was on the high school newspaper for three years (the feature editor the last year) and then I was a history major in college (lots and lots of papers to write). I am a huge stickler for grammar. I am almost always guaranteed to find an error if there is one, and I am very quick to point that out in any review that I post. Now, the ARC’s and other uncorrected proofs that I have been able to read, well, I take somewhat of an exception for those – I will notice the mistakes, but I always hope that they will be fixed before the final product is released. I should have been a copy-editor, pretty sure I missed my calling there 🙂
- My local (national) bookstore (I will refrain from calling them out) is terrible for having the most unorganized shelves. Books will be strewn on the floor, in the wrong spots, upside down on the shelves, it’s just a total mess. And this is not just during the mad rush of the holidays, this is 365 days of the year. It makes me feel as if they do not even care for their books. It’s really a shame, actually. It really makes me hate going into that bookstore, and I love bookstores! Just not that one.
- Dog-eared pages. My grandmother does this with every book she reads and I have been known to do it once or twice in my life, but it actually pains me to do so. The page will never lay flat once it has been dog-eared. It just irritates me.
- Stupid women characters who are blinded by lust. So yeah, I’m not much of a romance reader, and part of that stems from the fact that most of the women characters that I have encountered in romance novels are irritatingly stupid. They get all caught up by some man who sweeps them off their feet, and then they proceed to put themselves into increasingly dangerous positions. I want my women characters to be smart and witty, not dumb and blind.
- Flowery dialogue. What do I mean by that? Well, I am a “just the facts, ma’am” type of gal. I don’t need a lot of fancy words and lyrical paragraphs. I want it straight forward and blunt. I find that anytime I read a book that could be considered “lyrical”, well I tend to skip over paragraphs after the first line because I don’t care. I don’t want all that description. Just spit it out.
- Books that are hyped up. I fight the urge to read those books because I know, invariably, I will be let down. Take The DaVinci Code. I read it 3 years after it came out. The first Harry Potter book – yeah, read it after about the 3rd movie came out! For whatever reason, I just never want to read the “popular” book. I rebel against them. And you know what? About 98% of the time, I end up not even liking the book.
- I read a lot of books that are part of a series (actually, I’m slightly addicted to series reading) and here lately I’ve been reading a lot of books that are part of a series pretty much back-to-back. In doing that, you notice a lot of things. Here recently, I read the first three books in the Diane Mott Davidson Goldy Schulz series. In the first part of the second book we are introduced (briefly) to a new boyfriend in Goldy’s life – well at the end of the first book she was involved with the cop. It didn’t appear that much time had elapsed, but I didn’t understand where the other boyfriend came from. It was from left field, and it actually irritated me. Also, last year I read a lot of the Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta books (though I’ve now given up on that series) and I noticed that Ms. Cornwell was almost always setting her books around Christmas: why?! (Oh and don’t even get me started on what she did with Benton Wesley’s character). Little intricacies like that a reader notices, and things like that tend to bug me.
- Books that are too long. Yep, you know these – the books that are 500 pages long, but honestly, some editor could have cut at least 100 pages out. I’ve even had a book like that already this year! I guess it boils down to my preference of having short and sweet dialogue. I don’t know, but it does annoy me to no end.
- One of my biggest pet peeves: having to re-read a few paragraphs just to figure out who is talking! Transition sentences, people! Transition sentences (and sometimes paragraphs) was pounded into my head as a history major in college, they are so important! But it appears that they are not important in fiction. And honestly, I can understand why, but really? If a reader has to go back a few sentences and count out “he said, she said, he said, she said” just to figure out who is talking – it’s pretty bad. That should never happen.