It was somehow a real struggle to think of my bookish pet peeves, specifically to find ones that I have not mentioned before! I’d previously written about my pet peeves three times (1, 2 and 3), as well as a similar Top 5 Wednesday post about Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About. I spent some time looking through my previous posts to make sure I wasn’t repeating myself too much, and very quickly realized that many of the things that annoyed me before are still my biggest pet peeves! I think the one area that is the newest source of pet peeves for me is when it comes to buying books since that is something that I’ve begun to do a lot more often due to the pandemic. Before last year, I was primarily a library reader and I’m sure I will be again once a few more of the restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, I’ve been buying a lot of books which has opened up a whole new set of pet peeves that never really bothered me before. For some reason, I always have a hard time pinpointing specific tropes that annoy me. I definitely notice them when I see them, but after the fact they can be really hard to remember!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) The very expensive price of new books! – I am very lucky to be in a position where I can buy new books without too much problem, but I’ve definitely noticed a huge increase in prices lately. There are some hardcover books that I want that go for $30-$40 (Canadian), which is just ridiculous. It takes quite a while for prices to drop enough to make the book more affordable, so it’s a challenge if you want to preorder the book or buy them closer to their release date. Even if I were able to afford books at that price, I certainly wouldn’t want to spend that much for just one! I’m also pretty lucky that Indigo tends to have good deals throughout the year where they deeply discount bestsellers or new releases, and I can also get points on each purchase that can be used to get discounts occasionally too.
2) When your preferred format becomes available only after you’ve already bought another version of the book – For me, this one goes hand-in-hand with the high prices. I tend to prefer hardcovers for most of my books at this point, but there have been many cases where it seems that a hardcover just didn’t exist. When I finally decide to just go ahead and buy the softcover instead, inevitably a hardcover version shows up not too long after on Book Outlet! It’s one thing when I know hardcovers exist and just choose to go for the more affordable option, but it’s frustrating when they aren’t even listed elsewhere so I’m convinced that it’s just not possible. I don’t mind waiting a bit to get the version I want, but only if I know it actually exists! This has happened to me so many times this year, where I go ahead and preorder a book as a softcover only to see it show up on Book Outlet a couple of weeks or even months later as a hardcover and for much cheaper than I paid.
3) When a brand new book arrives damaged – I should probably specify that I am specifically referring to new copies only, not second-hand books since I would expect those to have some wear and tear. One of the reasons I mostly switched to hardcovers is because I was finding it irritating to buy brand new books and having them show up damaged. Obviously I expect a certain amount of damage to happen while the book is being shipped, but I’ve also received books that have pages folded in on themselves, slashes across the dust jacket, etc. that could not have happened in the box. This is really just me being nitpicky about condition since as long as it’s still readable it’s fine, but especially when combined with paying high prices for new hardcovers, I do expect them to show up in good condition.
4) Mid-series cover changes – This one only really started to bother me now that I’ve been buying books more often. When I was mostly reading from the library, it didn’t matter much what the book looked like. When I own the series though, I prefer them to match if at all possible or at least be in the same format. It bothers me a lot when I have some books in a series, or even standalones by the same author, that are hardcover and some that are softcover since they are often different sizes and harder to arrange on shelves. In terms of cover art, even though I know it shouldn’t make any difference, it annoys me a bit when the artwork suddenly changes in the middle of a series (especially if any of them change to movie tie-ins!) because it just looks weird to me.
5) Long waits between books in a series – Again, this one really only became a problem for me now that I’ve been buying more books as they come out. I generally prefer to wait until a series is finished and read them all at once, but I’ve also started more new series that have just begun in the past year or two. I distinctly remember finishing Sarah J. Maas’s first Crescent City book and going onto Goodreads to see when the next one is coming, only to learn that it was more than a year away at the time! It was the same for Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House! It can be really hard for me to pick up a sequel so long after the fact without rereading the previous books first since I’m likely to forget important details, but I also didn’t want to wait to start these series!
6) Repetitive words or phrases within a book – I find this one especially noticeable in audiobooks, but there are times where it bothers me in physical copies as well. I’m not even talking about cliché things like the “breath I didn’t know I was holding” line. What I’m referring to is when an author latches on to specific words or phrases and overuses them. Sometimes it’s annoying because it feels like they are hitting us over the head with heavy-handed hints of an upcoming twist, but other times, it just gets annoying because once I notice that it’s being repetitive, I can’t un-see/un-hear it, and then it just irritates me every time it comes up.
7) Adaptations that radically change the content of the story – I have never understood why production companies agree to adapt a book into a TV series or movie if they don’t actually like the direction that the story takes. I can understand adding minor things or fleshing out certain plot points or characters a bit more than in the book, but it bothers me when they radically change the ending or major parts of the plot. It ends up pulling me right out of the adaptation because I’m left wondering what I forgot or what I missed when I was reading and that just distracts me from actually enjoying the movie or show. The worst is when they completely change the ending, especially if it is done without the author’s input. There are definitely changes or additions that can add a lot to a story, but in some cases it essentially changes the overall direction or message of the book and it just makes it seem like a strange choice to even adapt it in the first place.
8) Annoying narration in audiobooks – To be fair, I don’t listen to a ton of audiobooks since it’s not really my preferred format, although there are some great ones out there! However, there are some cases where I just can’t get into the audiobook because of the narration. Sometimes I just don’t mesh with the author’s voice or speaking style, but sometimes it’s because the narrator tries to put on a different voice for certain characters that just doesn’t work. For example, I listened to the audio version of the the middle book of the To All the Boys I Loved Before series, and I really hated the way the female narrator put on a voice for Peter since it completely changed how I viewed the character. It takes a lot for me to really get invested in an audiobook in general, and the wrong kind of narration will easily throw me off.
9) Misleading synopses – I think I touched on this one in a previous post where I mentioned synopses that were incredibly vague or way too detailed, but this time I’m thinking mostly of books where the synopsis is pretty different from what the book is actually about. There have been several books I’ve read in the past year or so that have been described as thrillers, but they were more like literary character studies and not at all what I’d consider a thriller. It’s not even that I didn’t like the book, but it’s frustrating to be in the mood for a certain kind of story, pick up a book thinking that’s what you’re getting, and ultimately reading something completely different. I’m a huge mood reader, so it the worst thing for me is picking up a book that I might otherwise enjoy when it’s not what I feel like reading.
10) Version-exclusive content – This is something that has always annoyed me, even when I used to buy CDs and see that different countries would sometimes get different songs! It has always seemed a little unfair to me that people might get exclusive content just because of where they live or access to specific book subscription boxes. I’m thinking specifically of things like bonus chapters, short stories, etc. that add content to the story itself. Other things such as merchandise, author Q&A, etc. are nice additions but I personally don’t care too much if I miss them. I think the biggest one that bothered me was when I read the Folk of the Air series and realized that there was another verison which contained Cardan’s letters to Jude, and I didn’t have them! I really don’t think content should depend on where or how you buy the book.
I agree with you about the price of books! I think that’s why I rarely buy myself new books. Book Outlet can be such fun, either in person or online. But I agree it can be frustrating to find a book there for a lot less than you paid elsewhere.
As to being upset when your books arrive damaged, you have every right to feel that way! You know books with slashes on the cover or folded pages wouldn’t be sold in the store. Unless it’s the scratch and dent section at Book Outlet, but then you know the book is damaged. And also at a considerable discount!
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
Actually, Book Outlet doesn’t even have a Scratch and Dent section anymore, at least not online, and when they did, I specifically avoided that section because I didn’t want my books damaged. I have to say their customer service is very good though! I had a book arrive with a huge slash across the cover, and they replaced it for me.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Version-exclusive content is… something, and not my fave. On the one hand, I have to admit, it’s hard to say that I’d rather that content not exist at ALL when its existence is, in fact, awesome…but it tends to be harder for people to GET a copy with that “extra” stuff, even if they haven’t already shelled out money for the first edition (or are willing to buy it twice), not least because fewer of them exist in the first place, and the feeling of missing out genuinely hurts.
Oh, it should exist, but it should be equally accessible to everyone! I don’t want to have to buy the same book repeatedly just to get an extra chapter or short story. If it was important enough for the author to include, then I’m sure all fans would want to read it.
Yes, especially numbers 1 & 2!! Here is my link if you’d like to stop by: https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/2021/10/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-pet-peeves.html