I have a lot of them. Especially when it comes to books. For example I hate when I have a series of books and all are paperback, all but one. Just knowing that that one hardcover book doesn’t fit it with its paperback companions unnerves me for some reason. I’m not an overly organized person, so one would assume that those small details wouldn’t bother me. But I found that it’s those little things that bother me most in this world. And often times, I find myself singing (quietly, that is) “One of these things is not like the other.”
I also hate when book covers feature pictures of their characters, yet the character description (within the book) doesn’t fit the cover’s portrayal. I read a book early last year where this was the case. I was reading The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss. The cover portrays the two characters, sisters, hiding in a secret room from the Nazi invasions that have been taking place all over their country. The cover portrays the youngest character as having long, wavy hair. However, when reading her description is different. She’s described as having short, and if I remember correctly (it was a while ago) dyed hair. Originally I thought that the cover was portraying a different moment in the characters lives, a moment when they weren’t in hiding. But after reading the secret room’s description, I felt the cover could have only depicted their hiding spot. This didn’t make or break the book for me, but I couldn’t shake the disconnect between the cover and the actual description. It still bothers me.
Recently, I’ve come across another pet peeve. I don’t particularly like or care when an author puts down a state to compare it to another, supposedly better state. To further illustrate what I mean here is, let’s say two characters are talking about their hometown of California, and one complains that they don’t like living there anymore (the reasons why doesn’t matter) and the other one states “well at least you don’t live in New Jersey.”
I don’t like this in general, but I get extremely irritable when that state being put down is New Jersey. Ha ha I get it, we’re the armpit of the United States, but really Jersey isn’t all that bad. When I read books that do this, my opinion of them immediately plummets downward. I completely understand loving, admiring, and thinking the state that you live in is the best, because it’s provided you with great experiences and memories (hopefully). But other people in other states, states considered less glamorous than others, share those same sentiments.
Another issue that bothers me, and I feel rightfully so, is when a one shot book (meaning it’s not part of a series/trilogy) leaves you with so many unanswered questions. After reading books like this, not only am I left feeling utterly confused about whether or not I enjoyed the book as a whole, but it leaves me feeling like I just wasted a whole lot of time. And I hate to waste time. And as mean as this is, I feel that it’s just shoddy writing.
I know I have a lot of pet peeves (I told you that in the beginning, did I not?), I feel it’s important to say I have even more things I love about books and reading. I have found out within the past two weeks just how much I love finding a book – a really big book – and realizing that it isn’t one book – but all four in the series. A perfect example of what I mean is Francesca Lia Block’s Dangerous Angels. It’s a 400+ page book that contains all the books in her Weetzie Bat series. Personally, I really like these books because knowing they’re all in one book, and knowing I’m the kind of person who can’t put down a book – even if I hate it – means I’m more apt to read the entire series. I have a really bad habit of starting a series and than either walking away from it, or taking a really long time to get around to reading the next.
I also like the series bound under one cover books because they tend to be less expensive than buying all the books separately. Especially if they are paperback, which I found they often are. As someone who loves buying books, but can’t buy every book in creation I feel that this is a good compromise to buying a book and owning every title in a series.
I have also discovered my love for books that include pictures of some sort – and I am not referring to picture books. There are many young adult books that not only include the text of the book, but also pictures, lists, tables, etc.. I am currently reading a book and it features music playlists. I feel that these things really enhance the story, and allow readers a glimpse into the life of the writer. With the music playlists, I found myself thinking “Hey! Maybe the author listened to these songs while he/she wrote this book.” It’s not much, but sometimes you could easily gain a sense of who someone is by their music tastes. I also think it helps bring writers and readers a bit closer. When a reader sees something like a music playlist and spots one of their favorite songs/bands/musicians it’s easy to feel that you and that author have some connection – granted not a big one, but a connection nonetheless. Music is all about bringing people together, and I feel that this really shows that sentiment.
I’m sure that I’m not the only person that has a whole list of pet peeves when it comes to books and reading. And I’m sure that most of your reasons why you love books/reading outnumber the actual pet peeves. I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say.