It’s been a while since we’ve done a Top Ten! I’ve kinda missed it…have you? I was especially excited to see that this week’s was a “rewind”: choose whatever topic you like from the past. And because I like complaining, I naturally chose my Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves.
- Old book smell. You know that musty scent library books are famous for? I can handle a whiff, but when the whole thing reeks of dust and neglect, it kinda makes me question why I’m not watching TV instead.
- Continuing on the subject of library books: sticky pages. Don’t eat while you’re reading. Just don’t. And please refrain from using any public-use books as your personal tissue.
- Dog-eared pages. Chances are there are about five options for bookmark alternatives in your immediate vicinity, at any time. Unless it’s a text book you’ll never use again outside the final, keeping your place by the permanent defacing of the book is just lazy.
- The movie poster cover. This is awful for two reasons. 1) Because it means the book is being re-marketed based on creative liberties taken by the film’s creators, and not the author’s original creation. And, 2) Because half the time the people cast in the book look different and that’s just step one of not being able to imagine things for yourself.
- Generic titles. Lately for me this means one of the following: “Girl in [fillintheblank]” and “The [fillintheblank]’s Wife”.
- Weird character names. I like it when there are one or two unusual names, but when everyone has a name like Bonnet, Shoehorn or Trapdoor, with no rhyme or reason or symbolism, it gets real annoying real fast. Same with the opposite: a book with only Janes, Johns and Marys is probably an indication how bland it is.
- Out-of-control punctuation. Some writers are comma addicts. Some rely too heavily on parentheses. One just wishes those types of things might be tightened up and taken out during the editing phase.
- Inversely, Writers who use 100 words to say what they could in ten. Nothing is worse than a rambling novel, when the idea alone would’ve made a great novella (or even a short story).
- 500-pagers in hardcover. I like fat books until they fall on my face while I doze off in bed. Those are the times I really wish there was some sort of lighter invention I could use to read books. Oh, wait…they’re called electronic readers. But that leads me to my latest, greatest pet peeve….
- Wait lists for e-books. I would like all those libraries with a cyber component to know: there is no reason for this! What is the age of technology for, if not instant gratification?!
Don’t forget to share your biggest book hang-ups below. Now’s our chance to commiserate together!