Bookish Pet Peeves

By and large, we book nerds are an opinionated and particular bunch. We can argue until the end of time about the proper way to shelve books (Dewey VS LoC; alphabetically, by genre, by color, by size) or cover changes or the best pop culture adaptation. (The proper way to shelve books in your personal collection is clearly alphabetically by author however you see fit.) Today, I’m going to talk about some of my bookish pet peeves, and I want you to tell me yours.

Inconsistent Book Sizes

There are standard sizes for trade paperbacks, mass market paperbacks, and hardbacks, but there are a bunch of books that eschew the standard for the reason of making my shelves look absurd. The absolute worst size imo is the weirdly tall skinny mass market that Orbit has used on some titles, like some editions of the Newsflesh trilogy. Worst of all, though, is when the size of a book changes slightly for each book in a series. I shit you not; I have seen this happen in a trilogy.

Boring Book Titles

I know publishers/marketing teams/Barnes & Noble generally make these choices, but I’m really continually puzzled as to why they love such generic/indistinguishable titles. If your book has a one word title like, say, Scarlet, it will be one of a million books with that word in it. If a person goes to a bookstore or website wanting a specific one, they might accidentally buy another one if they do not remember the author’s name. They may be unable to locate it on the internet at all because all they have is “Scarlet book.” In this example, a reader could probably turn up Meyer after scrolling past some The Scarlet Letter hits, and they might get to Gaughen, but other books that weren’t so popular can become nigh impossible to locate.

Anthologies where the stories don’t fit the theme

So far, I’ve pretty much only seen this in anthologies with cute, romancey premises, like Summer Days & Summer Nights and Meet Cute. Everything about the anthology’s  packaging and description makes the reader expect adorable, romantic stories, but most of the stories inside really don’t fit the promises. Authors want to do something unexpected, and I get that, but there’s something really unfortunate about it always being the romantic stories that get flipped. It hearkens back to the way people have always looked down on romance because it’s a girl thing, and I hate getting that feeling from anthologies with romance themes, because it feels like friendly fire.

No Chapters or No Punctuation

Get out of here with this.

Why can’t this ship be a couple for a bit?

You may be slightly aware by this point that I love romance. This problem exists pretty much only in YA, because obviously if you wrote an adult romance (outside of certain particular imprints like Amish, maybe) without kissing or a lot more, you would be booed out of town. But sometimes a YA romance ends without kissing. Absolute cruelest is if it cuts off right when they’re about to. Give us a make out, damn it!

Even if there’s a bunch of kissing, I still dislike how many YA romances end with the couple actually getting together in the last handful of pages. I want to see them being a couple but still being themselves for a bit. One chapter is all I ask, but I will take more if it’s on offer.

Oh no! They’re Dead! NVM. They’re fine.

If you want my respect as a reader (which tbh I can see why many would not give a fuck), do not kill a character only to resurrect them consequence-free five minutes later. There should not be anything convenient about death. I’m not saying never bring anyone back to life, but they should always be changed by the experience, or those around them should be. It needs to have a real emotional impact, unless it’s a world where as part of the world building that just happens all the time and no one cares.

Where is the end of the series?!?!?

I’m not sure if there’s a worse bookish pain than falling in love with a world (or at least into obsession) only to have the story abruptly end. Whether due to sales or ill health/death of the author, never getting the conclusion to the story is torturous. In the latter case, you’ll also feel like a dick for being so upset about it, but lbr you will always want to know what happened in the end, and you never. ever. will.

*brb weeping about NANA and The Fixer for the rest of time*

Second Person POVs

It is the devil. It is a million times worse than all those breaths people didn’t realize they were holding, and I can’t wait until this pretentious hipster writing fad dies of an unrealized held-in-breath death.

9 responses to “Bookish Pet Peeves”

  1. lissa says:

    yes, I mean, no to inconsistent book sizes especially if they are by the same authors. how does one arrange books like those? you want to keep the authors books together but they’re not the size. I have to say I organize my books by the height and the different sizes drives me crazy.

    boring titles just tells me the book is boring, well, sometimes exciting titles turn out to be boring books but at least they got the title going for it.

    wether it’s fake or real death, I don’t like the idea of someone dying and then coming back to life, sometimes it works but mostly it annoys me. but one thing I do find annoying is that, the more interesting, likable character gets killed and the boring one gets to live – it’s like the more exciting they are, the more likely they are to be killed.

    I don’t think I have read any books with Second Person POVs but I don’t like it either. I don’t really think about it much.

    I have some pet peeves but for some reason, I can’t seem to think of them right now but they usually comes to me when I’m reading.

    have a lovely day.

    • Christina Franke says:

      I used to organize my books by size in high school because my shelving didn’t support anything else, and those books RUINED me back then, so I feel your pain.

      I also don’t like the death fake outs, along with the coming back to life. Totally with you on the boring character living while the interesting ones die; that’s how I felt about the show LOST.

      These were just the pet peeves off the top of my head. I’ll probably do another post later with new ones I think of. 🙂

  2. Leah says:

    I’ve been waiting almost 22 years for the end of L.J. Smith’s Night World series. It’s still listed on Goodreads. It’ll probably be released when I’m in my 50s.. and I would still read it.

  3. Kimberly says:

    You nailed so many of mine. No chapters or super extra long chapters is probably my number one.

    I also get annoyed with cover changes, especially when the happen for every book release in the series (The Diviners, I’m looking at you) or after a few books are out in the series (Anna and the French Kiss). I like my books to match dammit!

    • Christina Franke says:

      Unless I’m SUPER into the book, long chapters make me feel bored even if the book is good. I just need more mental breaks than that.

      Mid-series cover changes are definitely annoying, though they aren’t quite peeve level for me unless they change to a much uglier cover style. I would feel like a liar putting it on my peeve list just because I don’t really care if my covers match, unless I LOVE the covers.

  4. Nori says:

    I hate when book summaries lie or do a poor portrayal of what the book is actually about. I honestly, sometimes go back to the summary and think, “did they even read this?”

    I don’t like boring titles either. But, I am also so sick of YA books that have such similar titles. Like any title with Smoke, Bone, and Glass in it has just been done too much. I will never remember the accurate title of any of those books because they will blend together for me.
    Nori recently posted…Smoke and Iron by Rachel CaineMy Profile

    • Lenore says:

      You’ll enjoy my new book SMOKE BONE GLASS, then. (jk, that is not a real thing).

    • Christina Franke says:

      OR summaries that spoil a plot twist. Those are the worst too. But yeah, I’ve read summaries that were completely misleading, and sometimes they’d almost stopped me from reading a book I ended up loving.


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