I think I’ve mentioned my bookish OCD on more than one occasion – it plays a fairly prevalent role in my reading habits and, of course, my pet peeves. From my meticulously organized bookshelf which I spend hours rearranging to my books themselves, I’m extremely picky, which is exactly where my bookish pet peeves come into play.
#1 – Plagiarism
Whether it’s copying someone else’s character(s), writing style, or plot, plagiarism is my biggest pet peeve, by far, particularly if it takes material from one of my favorite novels. For me, literature has always been about sharing your own creativity, not about taking someone else’s idea and adapting it to “make it your own.” If you can’t create your own original plot and characters, maybe you should consider persuing a different career. After all, the original is always better than the copy.
#2 – Open-Ended Conclusions
I can’t stand endings that are left to reader interpretation, particularly when it’s the final book in a series or a standalone (cough, cough, Requiem). I need some sense of closure and answers to the driving questions of the novel or series. If there’s some sense of resolution, particularly regarding the characters, I’m a happy camper! Cliffhangers, on the other hand, are a bit iffy, even on a good day…
#3 – Folding Down Page Corners Instead of Using a Bookmark
I’ve already posted a full-fledged rant on this, so I won’t go into it again. If you’d like to view the rant, click here.
#4 – Snobby Authors
We’ve all seen examples, particularly in recent years, of authors retaliating against low ratings and reviews of their books. While, I will admit, sometimes the fault is that of the reviewer for criticizing the author rather than the book itself, a genuine 1 star review that is backed up by concrete evidence has been known to evoke some unpleasant interactions with the author. These situations never tend to end well, and there are often hurt feelings on both sides. I think any writer has to be willing to accept criticism and constructive feedback on his/her work – quite frankly, it’s part of the job. Any one author will not be able to please all of his/her audience and must be prepared for a few lower ratings and harsh reviews.
This is somewhat related, so I figured I would include it in this section: I can’t stand when authors either:
a) try to shove their book down your throat by endlessly promoting it, contacting you repeatedly, etc.
b) attempt to falsely elevate their book’s average rating on Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon by asking all of their friends to post raving, 5 star reviews (I’ve even see a few authors create fake acounts to post reviews about their own book(s))
Why would an author be so concerned about the average rating? Couldn’t they just let the work speak for itself?
#5 – When Covers Change Part-Way Through a Series
To this day, I still have not been able to figure out the author or publisher’s intent for completely redesigning covers midway through a series. When I arrange my bookshelf, I attempt to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, but books that don’t even look like they belong to the same series (when, in actuality, they all belong to the same series) make this rather complicated. I would much prefer if a new cover design was applied to all of the books in the series, while the old cover design was also continued for the remainder of the series. Perhaps this is just my OCD kicking in, though…
#6 – Indecisive Characters Who Are Involved in a Love Triangle
This role usually falls to the over-emotional and extremely conflicted female protagonist, irking me to no end. Often, 99% of the book is dedicated to this character flip-flopping back and forth between her two (or more) love interests, trying to weigh the risks and the benefits but never really getting anywhere. And if a decision is ever made between these potential suitors, the female continues to be plagued by doubt and confusion regarding the individual(s) that she did not select. Make a decision and move on with your life!
#7 – When Books Aren’t Arranged Properly, Either at a Library or in a Bookstore
My local Barnes and Noble arranges books alphabetically by genre, or at least they claim to. In actuality, I can rarely find a particular book I may be looking for because the books aren’t arranged in any identifiable order, above and beyond grouping together works of the same genre. The same concept holds true at libraries: inevitably the one book that I’m searching for hasn’t been properly filed and I have little to no hope of finding it. When I’m in a hurry, I don’t want to go on a scavenger hunt to find a particular book!
Everyone has their fair share of bookish pet peeves – so what are some of yours?