I thought I’d do a bookish pet peeves post, since it’s so fun to think about stuff that annoys you…
Books that don’t match. I absolutely must have my books matching in size and cover, or I start getting really annoyed. I get so very frustrated when I can’t get them to match… I haven’t bought a copy of Dark Dawn yet, because it hasn’t been released in the smaller mass market paperback size. Ditto for The Silkworm. I really want to read it but there’s no way it’s happening until I can get a copy to match The Cuckoo’s Calling!
Trade paperbacks. Why do these awful things exist? They’re the worst format. They annoy me even more than hard covers… They’re weighty and an awkward size, but don’t have the hardcover prettiness. Plus, for the “pleasure” of reading in this format, you pay up to $10 more. I’d rather just wait and get the mass market when it gets released.
Deckled edges. I absolutely HATE them. I feel so sad when I pick up a book with a pretty cover and it has deckled edges. The make me physically cringe! They feel so rough and unfinished to me, but so many people absolutely love them!
Book snobs. I know I go into snob territory sometimes, but I don’t go out of my way to make someone feel terrible about their reading habits or preferences. I have my own “embarrassing” favourites, so I’m in no position to tell people what they should and shouldn’t be reading. We should be encouraging people to read, not drag them down because they enjoy reading mysteries or exclusively sci-fi!
I mean, if I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t enjoy the books people get a superiority complex over having read. They’re usually not as fun or entertaining… Of course, people should challenge themselves, but it’s okay to read for fun! Books are meant to be enjoyed! I don’t see the value in thinking you’re better than the person reading Confessions of a Shopaholic while you’re torturing yourself by attempting to read Finnegan’s Wake, then pretending you understood it because you’re just so clever and superior.
Bad grammar, punctuation and poor research. I’m lumping these all together because they often go hand in hand. I get so frustrated when I come across a spelling mistake or total grammatical fail- I was so tempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey with a red pen in my hand! Was the editor thrown in prison?
I find bad research really jarring. I usually pick it up when it’s a book written about an era I know well, but sometimes it’s just so glaringly obvious it’s funny- take The Anatomist’s Wife for example. It had all three of these issues!
But worst of all is when the lack of punctuation is intentional… oh god. I can’t even attempt to read books like that. So many “literary” authors do it, so I flip through their books before buying them to check… It makes me sad, since I’ve missed out on stories that would otherwise appeal to me because of this, but I know the style will drive me up the wall. Hilary Mantel, Richard Flanagan and Tim Winton come to mind straight away as authors who write like this.
When people think they’re being oh so literary and try to make themselves look smart or belittle other people by using book quotes. To me, that’s insulting. You read Moby Dick and can quote it? Claps for you, well done! But don’t try to make others feel small by doing so, coz that’s not cool.
Conversely, when people think they’re being oh so literary or so deep by using a quote and get it WRONG. It’s hilarious but so frustrating to me!
*story time!* I met a girl a couple of months ago who was proudly showing off her The Lord of the Rings tattoo and telling everyone what a mahooosive fan she is. It was meant to be the quote: “Not all those who wander are lost“. Her tattoo read: “All those who wander are not lost“. She couldn’t see how it was incorrect or how it changed the meaning of the quote! I don’t know about everyone else, but when I got my tattoos, I checked that they were right about a million times!
She also had no idea that my tattoo is written in Tengwar- she couldn’t identify the script and didn’t know that Elvish was a language. She thought it was made up for the movies. Massive fan right there!
I’m somewhat surprised that I could limit myself to this many!
Do you feel the same? What bugs you the most?