Seven Things that BOTHER me - in books


Now and then one must grumble and complain and let it allll go out. :-D I suppose you could call this my book-peeves-post. Some things a lot of people are bothered about - such as dog-earing books - I don't really mind. Also, many people, I've heard, don't like it when books about movie-covers, but I rather like it. Also, even love-triangles. I don't really hate THOSE. :-)

But there are other things which bother me. 
A lot.

Of course, there are obvious things I don't like - I don't like books which have tons of swearing in it - I don't like books in which witchery or other stuff are encouraged - I don't like books which make romance un-holy and un-special. So I'm not going to rant about that today. Today it's the other stuff. :-/ Yeahhh.


1. When there's no book blurb on the back.

Only quotes. No blurb. 

Sure, 'The New York Times' tells us it's 'thrilling and life-changing.' Sure, there's Markus Zusak with words of encouragement. But I STILL don't know what the story is about. This drives me flipping nuts. I need to know a BIT about the story, right? I need to have SOME kind of idea? Is it about zombies? Or princesses? What? Luckily, I have Goodreads which gives me a book blurb, but when I'm in a real book store, this peeve can pop up.

No thanks.


2. When the character pictured on the cover is different than s/he is (so clearly) described in the book.

For instance, I've read books where the character is blonde - this physical feature is so often mentioned in the book - and then bam, the front cover features a brunette. This is just weird. I hope they make a rule that all cover-designers MUST read the book. Or does the author not care that this is done? Must she not contact the cover-designer for approval?

Anyway. I find this very annoying.


3. When a book starts with a looooong description.

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those literary spirits who actually enjoys reading description. (As long as it's not ten chapters in succession. I'm looking at you, Victor Hugo.) But when a book starts with a three-page elaborate detailed structure about a flower patch or a sunny atmosphere of a summer's day, I kind of get discouraged. That's why I quit reading Les Miserables. I had enough about the Bishop's bedroom. I didn't care a jot.

I like a story that starts good. Description is welcome, but not as the first thing on the doorstep. Thanks.


4. When a lot of the chapters end the same way.

Or, when authors try to use good page-turning-tricks at the end of chapters.

I haven't had this too much, but now and then I've encountered such books and it's starting to become a serious pet peeve. For instance, I just finished a book which was rather good, but - seriously, every chapter ended with two really short choppy sentences. It just became weird. I also don't like it when a lot of chapters end with several dots. Like this...

They think it's a good page-turn-trick. It's not.


5. When introverted heroines are clumsy.

Seriously? Why is this a thing? Introverted people aren't clumsy. I mean, SOME might be, but not fifty percent of them! Actually, it's not only introverted heroines that are clumsy, it's just heroines in general. Because when heroines are clumsy they accidentally bump into a handsome gentlemen. Or they fall in a puddle and a random potential future husband helps her up and gets reeeeaaal close to her. Or they drop their teacup on the toe of a prince. Love at first drop. 

Blehhhhhhhhhh.


6. When you can't take off those stickers on the cover (!!!!!)

THIS ANNOYS ME SOOO MUCH. Seriously, where to start my epic mini-rant.

In the first place, why do they put stickers on the cover? WHY. Sure, the book may be promoted. Sure, it's a best-seller. But WHY do you have to mention that via un-managable-to-get-off stickers? Why do you ruin entire beautiful covers by flashy yellow circled stickers?!!!

And fine, if I were able to take them off easily, like one is able to easily slide off some kinds of washi-tape, I wouldn't complain. But half of the time YOU CAN'T GET THEM OFF. Or you can start to peel them off, and the half of it kind of half remains and my whole cover is spooooilt. This can make me frustrated to TEARS. Arghhhhhh. (Seriously, once I used a wet hanky to rub all the sticker bits off. I was that desperate to remove the wretched objects.)


7. When the cover features a scene which isn't even in the book.

This one is pretty similar to number (*goes up to have a look which number it is*) two, but I've got to mention it anyway.

For example, I once read a book (yes, I actually DID. I know. I know. Amazing, right.) which had a couple in an embrace, standing in front of a flying machine. Areoplane, call it what you want. And in the book yes, they do embrace, and yes there are scenes with planes in them - but they don't actually embrace in front of a plane. And suddenly, on the cover, they do. 

It just annoys me. :-P


Okay. Those were seven of my book botherations. I have more, of course. :-) But I'll leave those others to other blog posts. I can't over-swamp you with complaints; that's a bit inconsiderate, you know. Anyway. 

Do these things annoy you? 
Do you have any particular book peeves?

23 comments:

  1. Yay! I was waiting for a post today. :-D (Or tonight. Whatever.)
    Haha, I know, I get super frustrated about that too! "Oh, well, what, do you want me to read the entire book to find out what it's about before I sit down to read it properly?" It's rather inconsiderate, really.
    Yes, I've had that and it annoys me to no end! And I know - wouldn't the author get really frustrated at that?! Surely, if it's their beloved story they'd want a decently accurate picture. It's like a mother getting a portrait of her child done, yet the painter makes the child's hair red instead of brown like it really is. Um, HELLO? Isn't there something wrong with that?
    Yeah, I'm rather hesitant to read Les Miserables, I must say. (And also that fact that I presume it to have inappropriate stuff puts me off also. I'll stick to the movie/musical thank-you-very-much.) With one of my stories, I started off with a description (because I DO like to have at least a brief one at first) but I can't stand to write super long ones. I just can't make myself. I find I just have to get on with the story rather than describe a sunset for the first entire page, haha. (By the way, that picture below number 3 - that girl is ssooo pretty!! :-P)
    Hehe, YES I've had that too! I find that is the case particularly with the books I read aimed at younger children. It's alright every now and then but it does NOT look professional for every. single. time.
    To be honest, I have not come across this as of yet. I can imagine stories like that though, as if the writer can't think of any other way as to how they could meet. Oh, and that line about 'love at first drop' cracked me up. ;-D
    Oh, yes! That annoys me too! (And washi-tape? Hehe. My, that sounds...strange. :-P) I've gone to lots of different extreme measures to remove that bit of sticky stuff left. It's such a torment, it is.
    Hehe, yes I've had that too. Although, sometimes I don't really mind, if it's just a pretty picture of the main characters with something in the background that WAS in the story, even though it's at a different time. Especially when the rest of the book doesn't have pictures. I can forgive that one. ;-)
    My biggest pet peeve EVER is grammatical and spelling mistakes. I'm one of those people that gets frustrated when a book has incorrect spelling or wrong grammar stuff etc. Like, not American vs. Australian (eg. color and colour), but things such as when they write "the" instead of "he" or, even worse, spell something incorrectly. :-P I'm afraid I pride myself on my English a little too much, but when books are faulty in that area, I get super annoyed. I've come to noticing TONS of slip ups in that area when I read books these days, and often feel SO satisfied when a book is perfect in it's grammar and spelling. :-P I find modern books have more errors than old classics, too. I suppose there's less emphasis put on grammar and spelling these days, compared to what it was back then. (No offense or anything, but y'know, I'm quite sure it's true, particularly in schools.)
    Anyhow, I greatly enjoyed this post, Naomi. :-D I'm off to bed to read a lovely, well-written classic, called "Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet". It's perfection. ;-)
    ~Miss Meg March

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  2. Yeppity yeppity yeppity yep! All my own peeves in one place!!! (And I sympathize with you one Les Mis. To finish it I have to force myself to read a certain amount of pages every day. Sometimes it gets interesting and I read more, but oh! Victor Hugo does love descriptive rabbit trails.)

    #7 Isn't such a biggie with me, but it's bad enough. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people go out of their way repeatedly to describe a person's looks (*ahem, The Scarlet Pimpernel, ahem* I-realized-Marguerite-has-tiny-hands-and-auburn-curls-etc-etc.)

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  3. Yes. I hate it when the illustrator/cover designer has obviously never read the actual story . . . I think when I get my own novel published (yes, WHEN, not IF, Jessica, have confidence in yo-self) I shall insist that the illustrations be accurate. I have a blonde heroine and I could not STAND to see her pictured with dark hair. If I'd wanted her to have dark hair I would have said so. Mmmmphf.

    :)

    The other thing I really don't like is when certain authors try to be "original" and describe everything in new and different and "clever" ways, but clever description is obviously NOT REALLY THEIR THING and so they just end up sounding really, really weird. Using phrases such as "ethereal as a mosquito" and all that jazz. Mosquitoes are NOT ethereal, peoples. If you want to talk about something ethereal, just say fairies or morning mist or something like that. I don't care if it's un-original and a million authors have used it before. The point is that it WORKS.

    It's not that I object to clever description when it's well-done; Chesterton, for example, had a truly amazing talent for that sort of thing. It's just I think too many authors these days are trying to "copy" that kind of style, and it's not working for them.

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  4. #5 Yes, yes, yes! Not everybody is clumsy, or at least not all the time. And the heroine trips and the hero is *always* right there to catch her. Sure... I recently re-watched a modern version of Pride and Prejudice. They made Lizzy look clumsy. Argh!

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  5. I'm with you on the long description thing. Those can totally be discouraging when you haven't gotten into the story yet. A short description is okay, but not a looooong one.

    Page turning tricks? Haha! The best page turning trick would be to have a GOOD story. :) You don't need anything more than that.

    Hahaha! The clumsy heroines! Of course. They HAVE to be clumsy. How else are they going to fall "head over heals" in love with the hero? Ha! Falling into a puddle so the hero can help her out and stand reeeeeaaaaal close? What even! Who falls into puddles, anyway? You made me laugh when you mentioned the tea cup dropping onto the toe of a prince. "Love at first drop." HAHA! That was great! :D

    ~Miss March

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  6. These are all so perfect! No book blurb drives me CRAZY!!!!

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  7. Great post, I agree so much!
    Oh, the agony of a lack of book blurb - I don't care that the reviewer thought the book superb, I want to know about the plot!! (The only thing worse, is if it's the second book in a series and all the quotes are about the first book)

    True, exaggerated description scenes definitely kills the mood!
    I don't mind clumsy heroines in themselves - but it is a bit clicheed that a first meeting must include spilled beverages or dropped items.
    THOSE STICKERS - I hate that as well, especially when it's a paperback and you're kind of afraid that taking of the sticker will ruin the cover as well.

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  8. I actually often seriously dislike the book blurbs as you call them on the back. They are often tacky misinterpretations and/or full of spoilers!!!!

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  9. Rubbing alcohol will get those pesky stickers off! Put some on a paper towel and scrub gently. :D

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  10. I hate when they never give the book description on the back, too! It's so annoying! Something that bugs me about books, is when they make multiple prints, and give the protagonists different faces/models/hair color!!! I have an old version of Princess Academy, and they made a new cover and I'm like NO! That's not how the protagonist looks!
    Great post- I agree with you on everything!

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  11. Great post, Naomi!

    #2. I soooo agree with you. That just drives me crazy. I am an artist myself and seeing cover art that doesn't correspond with the book descriptions just Makes Me Mad. The author went to the trouble to tell you the hair colour because it was IMPORTANT to the story, not because they had a headache that morning and couldn't think of anything else to write!! Sheesh.

    #3. Oh, yes. When description is too long it gets on my nerves - of course, good description like Chesterton and Willa Cather I appreciate, but usually, I think less is more.
    And that girl in the picture right below #3 is pretty! You know, she actually looks scarily like the princess in a short story I'm writing (just for fun, apart from the novel I'm working on :D)

    #4. I hate page-turning tricks! They are SO ANNOYING. Either I'm invested in the story, or I'm not. Either they're a good author, or they're not. I don't need all those gasps of horror and what-not, to make me turn the page!!

    #5. Yes. This one really gets to me. I am a serious introvert myself, and the one thing I'm NOT, is clumsy . . . ARGH.
    Hahahaha, love at first drop :)

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  12. 1. Yes!
    2. Yes!! Or when the illustrations inside are SOOOOO wrong!!
    3. Yes!!!
    4. Yes!!!!
    5. Yes!!!!!
    6. Yes!!!!!!
    7. Yes!!!!!!!

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  13. "Love at first drop. Blehhhhhhhhhh."

    That made me laugh out loud. :D

    Anyways, yes. All of these are annoying.

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  14. Answer comment tiiiime! :-)

    Miss Meg March, I know, the cover-makers must do their job right. If I were the author of a published book I would be VERY picky about the cover. It's just so important. :-)
    Oh, I don't mind short descriptions in the beginning. It's just that SUPER long ones demotivate me. I don't think I'll EVER finish Les Mis. :-P
    Really? Have you never? Well, I have read MANY books with clumsy acts. I find it very annoying, as you know. :-D (Um, a washi-tape is actually a thing. I didn't invent that.)
    I have found grammatical errors too, but seriously not often at all. But yes - IT IS ANNOYING. But I do sympathise with the authors because I'm TERRIBLE when it comes to typos. Don't staaart.

    Elsabet, I knowww. Victor Hugo DOES intimidate me a lot. :-D One day, though, I want to conquer Les Mis. ONE DAY MORE. :-P
    Oh yes! That's annoying too! I DON'T NEED TO KNOW SHE'S BLONDE I KNOW IT NOW. I've had that too. :-D

    Jessica, Good girl. When, not if. :-D
    Hahaha! That's true - it can be very weird, that. I DO like it when writers try to be really quirky and original, but I can see why it can be irksome. Yeah, it's annoying when writers try to 'copy' desperately. :-D

    Kerry, I know. If I'm clumsy (can't remember when I was) no-one catches me. And if someone does, it's normally my sister haha. :-) Oookay. P&P05 problems. :-P

    Miss March, I agree completely - I don't mind a short description at all to start with. :-) Right? Just focus on the story. :-D
    Heehee, I'm glad my 'clumsy-heroine-rant' amused you. I enjoyed writing it. :-)

    Lois, Thanks! I know. :-)

    Rose, Oh YES! When the second book ONLY TALKS ABOUT THE FIRST BOOK. Like, I know it's book number two. UGH YES. :-D
    I wouldn't mind clumsy heroines as long as they aren't over-done. And they are SO over-done in the world of literature. Don't like it anymore. :-P
    UGH YES. STICKER PROBLEMS.

    Livia Rachelle, Well, I can see what you mean. I have never had *too* spoilery book blurbs, though. But sometimes they are TOTALLY not in the spirit of the story. That's a nuisance.

    Amy, Oh, oh, thaaanks! :-D But I don't always have alcohol lying around, that's the problem. (I don't know if wine works. :-P)

    Morg, OH YES I HAD THAT ONCE. It was pretty awful. Why do these things happen, man! :-D

    Rosie, I KNOW. EXACTLY. Hair-colour and protagonist looks are important. Cover-makers, take note. :-D
    Yes, I do like a good description - but just not RIIIIGHT at the beginning. I know - good authors shouldn't need 'page-turn-tricks.' The story should be able to do that. :-D
    I know. You're NOT clumsy. :-D

    Erudessa, Wow, we must be book-peeve-twins! :-D

    Melody, Haha, I'm glad it amused you. I had fun writing it. :-D

    ~ Naomi

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  15. Oh, I don't mind ALL the time when writers try to be quirky and original--just when it seems like that's really not their thing and yet they're trying it anyways just to be "cool." Personally, I'm making sure to avoid that sort of thing in my own writing because I KNOW it's not what I'm good at. I'm not terribly good at physical description in general, actually, although I'm trying to get better. What I AM good at is describing the character's thoughts/feelings, so I try to capitalize on that.

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  16. Oooooh, yes! Let's talk about things that annoy us! I love being negative!!

    (Heehee. I'm kidding. But only a little bit.) ;-P

    Well, it can be annoying when there's no blurb on the back, but I don't usually mind it so. Sometimes it can make a book seem more mysterious and special if you can't tell a thing about it from the outside.

    Oh my goodness! I get SO ANNOYED when authors end their chapters that way! With several short, choppy sentences in succession -- I know exactly what you mean!!!! And I bet I can guess which book it was you just read that was like that: the one by Nancy Moser? Masquerade, or whatever it was called? Cause in Mozart's Sister she does the same thing and I CAN'T STAND IT. (That's partly why I haven't read Mozart's Sister yet.)

    It's the height of frustration when you can't get a sticker off the cover. I know that feeling all too well. ;-P When I was little, I bought a beautiful green Beatrix Potter story collection from a lady at a homeschool book sale, and she'd put a sticker on the binding with the price tag. When I ripped the sticker off, it took off part of the binding, and still left part of the orange color on there! I WAS SO MAD! (I'm not even joking. I wanted to sue the lady.) Usually, if I get just a bit of cold water and rub it really hard, that takes the stickers off most surfaces. But yes, I understand -- the struggle is real.

    Hmmmm....particular book peeves. Well, I have so many it'd probably take an hour to list them all! You probably know most of them anyway, I'm guessing. ;-D

    ~Emma

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  17. Hallelujah! Someone else who understands my bookish quirks!! XD

    I DESPISE the quotey-thingys on the back of the book. Give me a blurb!! Oh, and the stickers... *grrrr* Darn those sticky little things. :P

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  18. #1 bothers me SO. MUCH. That is one of my worst pet-peeves alone. Ugh. And besides, half of the books I see get great reviews on the New York Times.
    And the same thing with movies. When they go on and on about the actor, and how great they are, but I don't know what the movie is about.

    And #4, too! AHHH. This is especially annoying with the Nancy Drew books. I am re-reading them all just for fun, and all the chapters end with:
    "If it was (insert suspect's name here), they'd be ready."
    It's even worse when it's just NED. (Her boyfriend). Or some other event happens which isn't even exciting. Really, ghost-author?

    ~Lydia~ <3

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  19. Oh, I'm so glad you don't hate love triangles! ;) (you know...because of my book. haha)
    YES #1!! So irritating. I want to know what the book is ABOUT. Not who liked it!!
    Oh, #2 is annoying, too.
    Heehee. "Description is welcome, but not as the first thing on the doorstep."
    Ooh....#4 was so good to hear. As a writer, I have a hard time ending my chapters sometimes without being overly dramatic. I knew I tended to do that, and reading your thoughts on it was a good reminded for me. ;) I have to remember that if my reader has stuck with my book this long, they'll stick with it to the next page-whether the chapter end is a cliffhanger or not!
    Basically, I agree with everything else you said. :)
    ps. Sorry for talking about my book so much--the things you mentioned just reminded me of it! :D haha

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  20. Hahaha, YES!:D

    Dog-earing books doesn't really bug me, either! It's a useful way to keep track of quotes and stuff you liked, right?

    The quotes instead of the blurb ARE SO ANNOYING. Like, da heck. Haha, "Markus Zusak with words of encouragement." XD

    Repetition in books can really get on my nerves, too:-/ I know what you mean:)

    THE STICKERS!!! Ugh, yes! And you start trying to get them off and then you CAN'T and then IT'S WORSE and you're just like "UUUUUUURRRRGGGGHHHH!"

    I'm really kind of picky about covers, too. Do you have favorite publishers? Like, for me, I like Signet Classics most of the time because the covers are simple and elegant and feel nice:D

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  21. I completely agree with you about the stickers on book covers. Just...why? I cannot stand to mess up a book cover merely because there was a large circle of stickiness on the front.

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  22. The stickers! The stiiiiiickerssssssssssssssssss!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!! There's a wonderful used bookstore that I love that has FINALLY figured out how to make stickers that peel off easily like they ought to without ruining the cover or leaving parts of themselves behind. Finally.

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