Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Monday, March 21, 2011

This week's Top Ten, hosted by the lovely bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish, is your bookish pet peeves.  And I know that every reader has them.  Reading is a very personal experience.  While some of us can read anywhere, others need the environment to be just right.  While some of us don't mind a crumpled, marked up old paperback copy of some book we've always wanted to read, others need clean copies.  Not to mention the actual literary pet peeves that readers have (see my post on stream-of-consciousness writing).  So, what are some of my pet peeves?  I've only got seven, but I feel them strongly!

1.  Being asked what I'm reading-There is nothing that bothers me more than sitting somewhere reading, like in a hotel lobby waiting for a conference to start, and having someone I don't know or barely know ask me what I'm reading.  Partly I'm annoyed at the interruption, but mostly I'm uncomfortable because I don't know what to say.  Is this person a reader?  Will they know the book or author just from the title?  Do they want a synopsis?  If I give them a synopsis, will they be annoyed because they were just asking to be polite?  Yep, hate this when it happens.

2.  Reading snobbery-there are very few things that annoy me more than snobbery in general, but I have lately become very  sensitive to book snobbery.  People who read literary fiction looking down on people who enjoy genre fiction, non-fiction readers looking down on fiction readers-I saw an analogy from another book blogger not long ago (sorry I don't remember which one-either the Ape or The Literate Man, I think), that your reading diet should be like your food diet-balanced.  Eat what you like, just try to make sure that you eat more "good" than "bad".  And there is good in every genre (even romance, I'm sure-OK, so I'm not completely immune to book bias).

3.  Overuse of adjective, metaphor, and simile-Anne Rice, I'm talking to you!  I don't need 12 pages of description to know that it is hot, humid, and sultry in New Orleans.  Look, I said it in three words!  Really, I had the idea by page two.

4.  Books written from movies-Do I really need to explain this?

5.  Mass-market Paperbacks-It's not so much the print as the binding.  I hate having to hold the book open all the time.  Makes it much more difficult to snack and read!  I realize that this would be solved with a Kindle, but with over 400 books in my house I have not yet read, I just can't justify the expense.

6.  I'm not bored, I'm reading!-Do you ever visit friends or family, and sit down to relax with your book, only to have them immediately suggest an outing, since you must be "bored"?  Maybe you are lucky enough to only visit other readers, but this has happened to me more than once.

7.  Chapters that start with long poems or song lyrics-Not gonna lie, I generally skip them.  I know they're supposed to add to the meaning of the story and all, but I'm impatient...


  1. Ok seriously, thank you so much for this post! I am literally laughing out loud because I agree with so many of them!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Books Are Life,

  2. You have four hundred books in your TBR? That's nuts.

  3. Haha fantastic list! Good luck making through that TBR list by the way

  4. I know, 400 unread books is nuts-I blame my mother. She reads three times in a year what I do, and then passes most of them on to me. How can I turn down free books? from my MOTHER? That , plus my recent Goodreads bookswap addiction, have caused me to be practically buried in yet-to-be-read books. Perhaps during spring break next week I can punch a hole in that pile.

  5. Haha, I loved reading your list. I haven't experienced a lot of those things but they were funny to read. Also when you said people think you are bored because you read, I thought you were going to say people thought you were "boring" which some people think about readers. Also I don't ask people what they're reading because I don't want to interrupt or be rude but I always try to sneak a peak at the title because I'm always on the lookout for new books! :)

  6. @booknympho-I guess it's the "I don't really know them and therefore don't know how much information they are looking for" that is the problem. I have no issue with people I know are readers asking me what I am reading. I've always got an answer for them!

  7. Oh, I see by the picture at the end of your post that you discovered my morning face :D Great list! I actually don't mind if someone asks what I'm reading (despite being interrupted, which I agree can be annoying) but it's a great opportunity to talk about the book. That is if someone's genuinely interested & not just trying to make petty conversation :/

  8. I definitely enjoyed your bookish pet peeve list! We even share a few! But honestly, I could not stick to just naming ten!


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