Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bookish Pet Peeves, aka What Grinds My Gears

When I first read this week’s topic for The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday, I wasn’t sure what I would come up with. Then I thought about some recent occurrences and got a bit mad. So, in no particular order, here’s some stuff that really Grinds My Gears.

1. Stickers on books (that don’t come off). One bookstore I frequent will sticker its sale books, but the stickers easily peel off. There are other stores I go to, where I end up leaving the sticker on the book because it would look messy if I tried to remove it. Example: I just picked up a copy of Infidel from Costco. It was on sale and I couldn't’ resist.

2. The early release of romantic/sexual tension in a story. This came to mind because of the book I just finished. Example: A World I Never Made

3. Books where the boys do all the “hard” stuff because they’re boys and the girls have to sit around and be girls. Example: The Lion The Witch & the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.

4. Stereotyping. If I get too into it, I get mad. Example: see 2.

5. Authors who don’t use quotation marks or some other means of indicating when a character is speaking. It could be dashes or line breaks, but for goodness sakes give me something. Example: Girl meets boy.

6. Calling “Young Adult” a genre. It’s not a genre. Genres exist within Young Adult. Example: Twilight and Eragon are both Young Adult, but they aren’t the same genre.

7. Calling “Graphic Novels” a genre. It’s not a genre. Genres exist within the graphic novel medium. Example: I’ve been reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower graphic novels and they are not in the same genre as 300 or Sin City.

8. A synopsis of the book that doesn’t actually tell you what the book is about. I’m not saying give the plot away, but with a certain book that I’ve already mentioned, on little word would have told me I didn’t want to read it.  Example:  I didn’t want to harp on this book but again, A World I Never Made.  If in the synopsis it had just said “terrorism” or equivalent, I would have said, no, thank you.

9. Dirty books (and I don’t mean erotica. If I have purchased a used book or taken one out of the library, I know there is a chance that it will have dog-eared pages or notes in the margins. I don’t do those things myself, but I can get past them. I just don’t like turning the page and thinking, “What is that?” I drink tea pretty often when I read, but I don’t spill stuff on my books. Example: A copy of The Time Machine I took out of the library. Ick.

10. Notes at the back of the book. I’m a much bigger fan of footnotes than endnotes. It happens mostly in older books. I just feel it breaks up the flow of the story when you have to flip to the back of the book to find out what something means or to what it refers. I much rather glance down to the bottom of the page, quickly find what I need, then continue with the story. Example of endnotes: The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf. Example of footnotes: Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Side Note: Thanks to Family Guy for a phrase that never gets old with me.

What bugs you?


  1. I like 6 and 7. I never really thought of it that way but you are right.

  2. History majors have to include notes when writing papers, but we were told we could use footnotes OR endnotes. I choose footnotes to inflate my page-count (;-)) but I also think them more useful for the reader for tracking down the source for specific facts.

    I like to re-read book synopses after finishing the book and see how accurate they were. Usually they're very...generic.

  3. Ugh...I hate gross food stains on library or used books :P He he...I thought of Family Guy when I saw your subject line, too :)

  4. First off, I love that you called it "Grind my gears". I kept thinking that when I was writing up mine!

    Love the things you came up with, especially 6, 8, 10. I never check endnotes, I'm far too lazy and I lose my place in the actual story.

  5. I hate endnotes too, and stereotypes. What really makes me mad is when I get a book that I'm reading dirty myself, by dropping it in the bathtub, or spilling coffee on it. I'm always tempted to buy another copy.

    Here is my list: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/03/top-ten-tuesday-i-hate-that.html

  6. I'm with you on avoiding use of the term genre when referring to YA books or graphic novels. Hadn't thought much about it as I hadn't seen it done all that often, but I'm glad that you called our attention to it.
    Entirely with you on 2,3, and 4 as well.
    Thanks for an insightful list, and for your thoughtful comments on mine as well.

  7. Brenna, Laurie, It wasn't something I thought about either until I started reading YA and graphic novels. I've actually seen it on a lot of blogs and from booksellers.

    smellincoffee, I'm find with vague-ish synopses, but I don't like being surprised in a way where if I knew this was a part of the book, I wouldn't have picked it up.

    Teacher, Red, I love Family Guy.

    LBC, I know what you mean about wanting a new copy if the one you have is dirty.

  8. I, too, really dislike stereotyping and I agree with you about 8. I'm not going to touch the genre wars, though. ;)

  9. This is a great list. I totally agree with most of your points.

    Also, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I'm a new follower of yours.