As readers, we all have things we see in a book that make us roll our eyes or want to immediately put it down. This week, I was inspired by Nate Philbrick’s 20 Bookish Pet Peeves to write my own list. It’s Monday, so why not bitch about it?
- Covers that change mid-series
- When paperbacks are released six months after the hard cover
- Ebooks that cost as much (or more) than a paperback
- Highly sexual book covers
- Poorly done photo-manipulated covers
- Publishers who give authors super short print-runs
- Love triangles
- Characters will oddly apt names, like a werewolf named Luna Woolf
- When side characters are more interesting than the main characters yet get very little screen time
- The “tragic queer” trope
- Invisible people of color (when characters are only revealed to be PoC by the author AFTER the book has been published and widely read, yet there’s no textual evidence in the book)
- Complex female characters being called Mary-Sues because they can think and act like a capable human being
- Books that flat-line in the middle in terms of pacing
- Unlikable characters only being “bad guys”
- Lack of diversity in many genres (in terms of race, sexuality, gender-identity)
- Books with no back blurb, just “reviews” by big name papers or authors.
- Authors who put out one really great book and never write again
- Certain genres being seen as lesser or more important than others
- When the dust jacket won’t stay on your hard cover
What bookish things do you bitch about?
9 thoughts on “Bookish Bitching”
Oh wow, everything here is so freaking true. Nailed it!
Yes yes yes on terrible photo-manipulation covers. Huge purchasing turn off!
Yes! If I see it, I question what’s wrong with the story itself.
Yes on the “no back blurb”! I don’t give a rip if [Big Famous Person] thinks this book is the greatest thing ever; I want to know what it’s *about*!
And yes on the dust jacket slipping off hardcovers. Hate that.
Many of my hard covers end up naked while I read them for that reason.
Yes. And books that are for more than reading once (i.e. cookbooks or textbooks) I tape the dustjackets on, library-style.
Great list! As I read it, I was like 😬 hoping I don’t make any of my own books. I probably do, but it’s a good list to keep in mind and my next novel. Here are a few of my book pet peeve:
1. Books with a great first chapter they’re real UN and then screech on the brakes for 50 pages of boring backstory.
2. Books full of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and any other means of giving me the story other than showing the story dramatically on the page.
3. long meandering flashbacks
4. Full pages of simple, declarative sentences with no effort at structure variety or literary art.
5. Books that are slow-kill me now! 😀
6. Books that become completely different books with completely different plots halfway through
7. Books where the movie is better than the book – you had one job! 😜
I agree. I don’t like anything in a book that greatly slows it down. It’s one thing to add tension or linger on an emotional/poignant moment, but don’t make the action come to a complete screeching halt.