Ever since making the original post on this topic the other day, I’ve started noticing more and more of the pet peeves that really bother me while reading. Some of these are annoyances that I had in mind for the original post but forgot while writing, and others are things I realized while reading recently. Here’s part 2:
Tiny font – I find it really irritating when books try to condense the entire story into fewer pages by using a really small font size. I’ve found that this is often the case with older books, but sometimes the font is so tiny it is really hard to read especially when reading later at night when I’m already tired! I don’t know if it is a budgeting issue or some kind of limit on how many pages a book can have, but I’d much rather have a longer book that is actually easy to read.
Text walls – I mentioned in Part 1 that I tend to get very easily distracted when there is too much going on while reading. However, on the opposite end of the scale is the text wall — a book that has solid blocks of uninterrupted text, including excessively long paragraphs. In certain cases this style is very fitting for the story, but a book that consists of nothing but text walls is often very dry and slow to read.
People who throw books away! – It really bothers me when people want to throw away perfectly good books. I can understand it when the books are in poor condition and literally falling apart, but I can’t stand when our local library wants to throw out perfectly good books just because they are older or not so popular anymore. At least donate them, or put them up for sale! I also have a really hard time giving away my own books from my childhood. There is a lot of sentimental value (like the Darkwing Duck book here) attached to them, so I don’t quite feel right donating them, especially to my workplace where they are likely to get ripped up. And they are still in great condition, so it pains me to throw them out!
Diversity for the sake of diversity – Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for books having a diverse cast of characters and representing people from a variety of backgrounds. What bothers me is when the diversity element seems to be thrown in for the sake of claiming diversity, such as “token” characters who are presented in a stereotypical way. It’s irritating when the author makes a show of pointing out what makes a character diverse, such as constantly mentioning their disability, race, etc. However, it’s just as annoying when the characteristics that make the person diverse are the only defining trait of the character.
“Between the numbers” books – This has only recently become a pet peeve of mine as I’ve started reading more series. For those who don’t know, a “between the numbers” book is a prequel or sequel that is intended to come between two books that already exist in a series (The Lunar Chronicles, for example, has quite a few of these). Occasionally, the books are published after the fact as a prequel to the entire series. My main issue with these books is that they don’t often contribute much to the story. Some of these books re-tell specific scenes from a different perspective, or add in perspectives from characters who were missed out in the original book. Instead of working to craft one solid story that covers everything they want to say, the book gets very fragmented and not always with good reason.