We’ve all got them – those little things about books that drive us mad. I reorganised my bookshelf recently and whilst doing so I noticed some things about some of my books that frustrated me to no end, so I compiled a list of them. And since I’m in the mood to do some ranting today I thought I’d share my bookish pet peeves with you. In the first half I will focus on all the physical things that piss me off about books and in the second half I will talk about the content and story related issues I have.
Let’s get ranting shall we!
#1: Cover Changes
Why just why do there have to be cover changes in the middle of a freaking series? Now I know I am not alone here! You guys hate this just as much as I do! I’m very anal when it comes to my books and I want them be pretty and look the same on my shelves and cover changes or spine changes prevent that from happening! Which immediately brings me to my next pet peeve:
#2: Book Heights
Is it really so hard to publish books that are a universally standard height? Publishing companies why are doing this to me? If I would be a hardcover enthusiast this would not be that big of a problem since those are all pretty much the same height. You have your standard size hardcovers and your tall hardcovers. However I’m a poor student and hardcovers are expensive so I only buy paperbacks. And with paperbacks you have every single height imaginable. Let me show you what I mean:
THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! This looks like shit on my beautiful bookshelf and it PISSES ME OFF!
#3: Stickers on the Cover
Those “easy to remove” and “leave no residue” stickers are LIES! Vicious, vicious lies!
See – LIES! That ain’t coming off without a fight.
Another cover related pet peeve of mine. If you have a character that CLEARLY isn’t white in the book and yet on the cover they are portrayed as being white, that really irks me. And publishers will literally tell you, that that’s because books with a white person on the cover will sell better. *yells* RAAAAAAACIST! What I also find immensely annoying are POC characters whose skin is described as a food or beverage item, aka “The Starbucks Skin Scale”. Just stop!
#5: Movie Covers
Now generally I have no problem with movie covers. It does however become a problem when the movie editions are the ONLY editions available.
Now let’s move on to the pet peeves I have about the content and story. I’m going to focus on YA literature because there I find the most things that make me really angry.
#6: Glossing over Swearing & Sex
This just makes me roll my eyes. Swearing and sex is always glossed over, but graphic depictions of violence are a-okay! And this not only happens in books, but also in moves and TV series and the sort. Showing graphic violence is totally fine, but don’t you dare say any naughty words or, God forbid, talk about *whispers* sex. It really annoys me when I read a sentence like this: “I swore under my breath and then ripped his throat out with my bare hands and his warm blood splattered all over my face.” Apparently murdering somebody is no big deal, but saying “fuck” is.
#7: Insta Love/Romance
I have no words on just how much this pisses me off! There is no such thing as instant love! I can understand instant lust, yes, but I don’t want to hear about how the two characters will be with each other for all eternity after having seen each other for about two seconds and before having even said hello. This just bugs me so freaking much!! And to continue with the romancy things that bother me:
#8: Love Triangles
I can’t stand them! They drive me completely insane! Especially when they are poorly done and just pop out of nowhere. Or if it’s clear from the very beginning which character is going to be chosen in the end. Just stop it, please!
#9: Romanticising Abusive Behaviour
It happens a lot in YA fiction that abusive boyfriends are portrayed as being perfect and oh so swoon-worthy. NO. So many YA and even adult books have emotionally abusive boyfriends and every female thinks they are perfect and that‘s really worrying. REALLY worrying!
#10: Dragging out Stories
EVERYTHING is a trilogy nowadays! This annoys me to no end, not because I dislike reading trilogies, but because I feel that not all of these trilogies need to be trilogies or even longer series (I’m looking at you “The Mortal Instruments”). I think most of these series could be compressed into one single book, but apparently trilogies and series are the main money-makers these days and it works – I’m not going to stop buying trilogies just because it’s a trilogy! Wow that was a lot of use of the word “trilogy”.
#11: Weird Names
I don’t really know why this even bothers me so much, but it does. It seems to me that authors, especially authors writing YA dystopian novels, give their characters such crazy names in an effort to make them more memorable. That’s nice and all but how the hell am I supposed to know how to pronounce said crazy name? Example: I recently read “The Murder Complex” by Lindsay Cummings and the two main characters names where both quite unusual. We have the female lead whose name is Meadow, which is weird and girly but I kind of like it and then we have the male lead, whose name is Zeyphir. What? Please don’t!
#12: “I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding.”
What even? I didn’t even pay attention to this until it was pointed out to me. Nearly every book has some kind of variation of this phrase and now that I’ve seen it I can’t un-see it and it drives me crazy! Keep an eye out the next time your read a book. I promise you – it’s there!
Phew. I got a little carried away here. Apparently I get annoyed very easily. It would be interesting to know what some of your bookish pet peeves are, so please let me know!
— Alina xx