BookBlogWriMo prompt: Book Pet Peeves
My book pet peeves can be divided into two categories: (1) having to do with the physical object that is a book, (2) having to do with the story inside the book.
Category 1: having to do with the physical object that is a book
For example I have a love/hate relationship with spines. Before they’re broken (especially in hardcover), it’s nearly impossible to read…but the minute the spine is broken I will focus on it like there’s no tomorrow.
Books aren’t waterproof. While it would probably only take one hand for me to count how many of my books have water damage…that’s still too many! And it’s not like if you dry it, the book returns to normal—the pages are forever wrinkly and bumpy, and have a rough texture. NO.
Hardcovers are heavy, paperback is flimsy. My copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is so heavy, I’ve never read it outside of my house. I can’t carry it anywhere! Meanwhile, paperbacks can get torn, bent, peel, the covers begin to curl away from the perfect rectangular form. There is the happy intermediate that is used in the “hardcover” version of Room, where the cover is this thick card-paper. It’s not heavy, it doesn’t curl away, and it’s amazing. Still water-susceptible though.
Number those series! Throughout my childhood I would start reading a book, only to find out that it was the sequel, or in the middle of a series. I experienced this when I read Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, and then I learned 50 pages in that this was the third book—and only because Max broke the fourth wall and said something along the lines of, “if you didn’t know what was going on at this point, you haven’t paying attention.”
Blurbs should be spoiler free. And when it comes to blurbs, spoilers include anything that happens after the first third. Don’t tell me that she becomes a vigilante…if she becomes a vigilante 100 pages before the ending. I’ll be waiting for the entire book to read what I read on the back, and when it hasn’t happened yet I’ll get frustrated and impatient and just not happy.
Photos of people on the covers. Just don’t. Don’t do it. Please. I want to imagine what this character looks like…don’t show me! Especially if the photo on the cover does not match the description.
Category 2: having to do with the story inside the book
This is mostly on me, but when I don’t finish a series, either because the story got weird, or I got bored, or I couldn’t find the next book, and so I haven’t read the series in months and I didn’t finish it….ugh! (I know Maximum Ride ends horribly, but I still have his nagging need to finish it. Also Divergent, and Looking Glass Wars, and Softwire, and Uglies…)
Also, authors, end your series well. You’ve dedicated so much time to your story, your readers have dedicated so much time to your story…so end the story well. I don’t need an epilogue telling me about their families twenty years later, I’m okay with an open ending, but dear god, make that ending make sense. Make it worth the build up and the anxiety.
Actually, that last one should stand on it’s own. Things have to make sense. If something important is going to happen, give me foreshadowing, give me a reasoning after the fact—one that is logical and believable. Don’t pull a scene out of no where and say, this is a key plot point.
Also, predictable plots. If I can figure out what’s going to happen next, the book is not worth reading.
And finally, authors who try and fail to be metaphorical. Paper Towns, The Outsiders, and The Giver are books with metaphors done well. And I know some authors want to strive for that. But when they fall flat on their face in the process, it makes a book really hard to read. We’ve seen it, we’ve read at least one book like it, and we all know what it sounds like: preachy, unemotional, cheesy.
So internet, what are your book pet peeves? Let me know in the comments!
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