Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bookish Pet Peeves

This week's Top Ten Tuesday wants me to list by Bookish Pet Peeves. If I sad here long enough I could probably come up with a hundred. I seem to be able to bitch pretty well. However, for whatever reason I'm coming up a little blank at the moment. But I'll sit here long enough...

1. Poor opposite sex characters. This really bothers me. I, of course, notice more in female authors, simply because I know something about the way men think. But really the problem manifests itself in the limited range these authors paint their oppo. sex characters. For the crappy male author, his women seem to be cut from two pieces of cloth - 1) the tough (more man like?), hard-as nails but sexy as hell female or 2) the nerdy, bookish, shy woman. For the crappy female author, she also relies on two stereotypes 1) the overly sensitive, possibly gay, guy who just begs to be the shoulder to cry on and 2) the overly hetero oaf that is a bumbling idiot.

2. Shifting point of view mid-scene. This is jarring. It is like watching a film where the camera is jerking back and forth. I don't mind point of view shifts (even from 3rd to 1st person or vice versa), just do it at a scene break or better yet at a chapter break.

3. Pages and pages of italics text. It's hard to read.

4. The fact that an ebook cost just about the same (and often more) than a trade paperback book. This is just stupid. I must not be enough of a gadget person to stomach this nonsense. I like my Nook just fine. But given the choice I'll take thee real thing. When it's not cost effective to stray from the real thing...you get the point. Deep breaths, now.

5. Serial killer stories. Overdone. Generally, they remove the most compelling part of a crime book -- motive. Dude or dudette is a sick-o. End of story.

6. Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson. WTF?

7. Readers who fold the cover of their book ALL THE WAY BACK when reading. This ain't the Sunday paper! I refuse to lend books to my Stepdad again for this reason. Dude wrecked some really nice, really old John D. MacDonald paperbacks of mine.

8. People who ask what I'm reading and then say, "Oh, that's one of those brainy books". This is a weakness on my part. I should just say, "Yeah, I actually like to use my brain once in a while." Instead, I defend myself by explaining how the book isn't that "brainy". I don't know what I'll do if I ever do read "Ulysses."

9. People who ask your opinion about a book, and then want to debate the subject to prove you wrong. I like discussing books. I even like hearing dissenting opinions. It's interesting. But I'm not going to completely change my mind (this is so similar to political debate, What is the point?), and trying to do so is just going to piss me off.

10. Constant reporting of how "nobody reads anymore." To me this is right up with complaining about how much worse the generation coming up behind you is. Thanks to Ms. Rowling and Ms. Meyer (both whom I've never read) we just may have a new generation of readers. The glass is half full, people.



  1. Your number 7 makes me cringe. I can deal with people writing in (their own) books but bending back the cover like that bothers me regardless of if it's their own copy or not.

    I'm also with you on the eBooks. I want to see some sort of cost analysis that explains the pricing on those. So far the only eBooks I've bought have been cheaper than their real-life counterparts.

  2. My own list was a casualty of a hectic schedule this week, but I’m loving all the great pet peeves. I would not recommend reading Ulysses. I like brainy books as much as the next person, but I actually lost brain cells during the reading... Number 7 also drives me crazy!

  3. My girlfriend is completely savage with her books. I always find them opened, face down against the table, or with the cover bent at your describe. This is annoying indeed.

    9 & 10 are also really good. I'm glad to see I'm not alone with those pet peeves

  4. Everyone - thanks for stopping by

    Two - every time I hear someone to stay away from Ulysses, I become more determined to try it. :?

    Ben - my wife is a reader too, she isn't as careful with her books as me, but I wouldn't call her a savage...at least not within earshot.

  5. I'm totally with you on 7 and 10. I'm sick of hearing that the reading novels is dead.

  6. heh, i agree on 8! I've heard e-readers are popular with a particular group: people who are embarrassed by their favorite books, whether that be lurid romances or brainy classics, because no one knows what you are reading! I normally don't try to explain how a book isn't hard or smart, i just try to shrug off with "i just like this kind".