Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

October 5, 2021 Top Ten Tuesday 20

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Bookish Pet Peeves.

I love books, but there are a few things that I find really irritating. In no apparent order:

  • Mid-series cover redesigns, or changes in book size, so the series doesn’t match
  • Books with typos or grammatical errors that should have been caught by the proofreader
  • Books with factual or continuity errors (like a main character having silvery-blue human eyes in books 1 and 3, and yellow cat-slitted eyes in book 2 [*cough* Mage Storms trilogy *cough*])
  • Lack of research, especially in historical fiction (Don’t try to sell me telephones in 1870, or railroads in 1815 Britain.)
  • Series that remain unfinished (Cozy mystery series are notorious for this. So is Patrick Rothfuss, much as I love his writing.)
  • Series that drag on too long or decline in quality (We’ve all read or heard of series where the author really should have put it out of its misery three or four books ago.)
  • Misunderstandings or conflicts that could be cleared up in five minutes if the characters just talked to each other. (I mean, really. If it’s not well-written it comes across as contrived, and even when it is well written, I want to shake some sense into them.)
  • TSTL (too stupid to live) characters who blithely go into situations that are likely to get them injured or killed. (Cozy mysteries are notorious for this, too.)
  • Love triangles written solely to provide conflict or that read like author wish-fulfillment, especially when the girl can’t choose between two hot guys. (If you’re going to have a love triangle, there better be a really good and compelling reason.)
  • When they reissue the same book with a new title, so you think it’s a new book
  • When they reissue the same book with a new cover I don’t like (the new ACOTAR covers…)
  • Books that are a little too tall to fit on the shelf. (Where am I supposed to put them?!)
  • Books where the pages are poorly secured and start falling out after one or two readings
  • Borrowing my books and not returning them them (I will come after you. Don’t think I won’t.)
  • People who damage or mistreat my books—or library books, for that matter

OK, that was fifteen, not ten, but they are the first ones that jumped to mind, which means they all really annoy me. I could try to cut it down to size, but it’s 2:00 at night, and I’m calling it a list.

ETA: Whoops, I forgot one: Audibook narrators who mispronounce words or names. (How hard is it to ask the author how to pronounce the names?) I’m still not over hearing the narrator of the Lady Darby books pronounce skeletal as “skeh-LEE-tuhl” multiple times in the same book.

20 Responses to “Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      (Edit – Whoops, my first reply was aimed at the wrong person. Let me try again.)

      Yes, I have become a lot more cautious about lending out my books, too. I do keep an extra copy around of some favorite titles, just in case I want to loan it out.

  1. Angela

    Typos, yes!! That bugs me so much. And also reissued books with a new title – for the longest time I thought Kate Morton had more books until I realized that in other countries, they just had different names.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m kind of used to the different titles in different countries thing, enough to know to be cautious with it. Goodreads is pretty good about grouping the same book together, even under different international titles, so that helps. But it’s annoying as heck when the publisher reissues a book in the same country with a different title and cover, so it looks like an entirely new book.

  2. Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)

    Not returning borrowed books makes me mad, too. My BFF still has one of my books…but I think she forgot it was mine and got rid of it. Or left it at her ex’s house. I’ve forgiven her, but it still bugs me.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, ouch. You’re a good friend to forgive her. Good friends are more important than a single book… but it’s still frustrating.

  3. Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits

    Ugh, these are great complaints! I’ve seen the cover change issues on multiple lists this week (including my own). But author wish-fulfillment love triangles is one I wish I’d thought to include! Too many authors include poorly written love triangles. Also series that run on too long. Even series where the writing quality doesn’t decline can go on too long! I usually would much rather have the series split into two (or more) related series (Valdemar does this well) so that there’s conclusion to the series arc.

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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I can handle the occasional well-written love triangle, if it really stems out of who the characters are. But too often, it’s just a plot device or wish-fulfillment, and it comes off as unnecessary.

      And yes, the Valdemar series does a great job of breaking up the series with miniseries. McCaffrey did that to a lesser extent as well. Katherine Kurtz did it pretty well, with her Deryni books, and Tamora Pierce with both her Tortall and Emelan/Circle of Magic series. Even some romance writers do it, writing multiple series set in the same “world,” so that even though you have switched series, there is some character crossover.

  4. Lark

    I hate when books are too tall to fit on my shelves, too! I wish I’d thought of that one for my list. And people who don’t return your book, or who return it damaged…let’s just say I never loan my books to them again. Great list. 🙂
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  5. Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    I actually DNF’ed a book earlier this year because of the lack of communication between the romantic leads. He left her standing at the door the night of her senior prom with no explanation and disappeared for 10 years. They run into each other at a conference and instantly start with the hate. It’s been 10 years; either let it go or ask him what the heck happened! I was three chapters in and couldn’t take it any longer.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
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  6. Katherine

    I don’t lend books unless I’m perfectly good with never seeing that book again because I can’t handle the stress! I’ve bought people copies vs giving them mine. Hate the continuity issues and poorly glued paperbacks. I can’t read them but it doesn’t make me mad if this happens with an old book but this happening with a new book will have me ranting!

  7. Greg

    Too tall editions… yes. It’s funny how often that happens. Unfinished series or too long series too. Ice and Fire by Martin comes to mind… I mean, honestly, why doesn’t he release what he has? Seems like it would buy him some breathing room and placate fans… a win win? I guess it’s more complicated than that… 🙂
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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I suspect that Martin’s series will never be finished, at least by him. I am beginning to worry about the same thing with Rothfuss, and that would be a shame, because his writing is brilliant. It’s hard on some authors, when there is so much pressure and expectation; I can see how it could cause you to “choke” or get writer’s block. But it’s disappointing and frustrating for fans, too.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I mean… if a character is smart enough to solve a mystery, surely she’s smart enough to avoid situations that are likely to become dangerous?