Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Bookish Pet Peeves.

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Hmm, where to start? My list is a mix of complaints about book formatting, editing, etc, plus a few plot points that I just can’t stand.

My top 10 are:

1 – Overstuffed books: Books with such long descriptive passages or a simple lack of good editing that they’re much bigger than they need to be, often at the expense of the plot.

2 – Loose ends: I hate when the conclusion of a book leaves unanswered questions or dangling plot threads.

3 – Sequels without reminders: Especially when sequels come years later, it’s helpful to get little reminders in the text about what came previously. Are we really supposed to remember every little detail after so much time?

4 – Mismatched series covers: Ugh, I get so frustrated when the cover design or the actual book size changes mid-series! I like my series to match, thank you very much.

5 – Audiobook complaint: I love audiobooks, but I don’t understand why they don’t include the author’s notes that might be at the end of the print version of a book. Not every book has these, but particularly for historical fiction, they’re so important.

6 – Not acting their age: Teens acting like adults or adults acting like teens. I know this is broad, but for example, I just finished (and loved) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but every time we’re reminded that the group of lead characters are all in their teens, I was completely pulled out of the story. There’s just no way they’d all be such advanced criminal masterminds at their ages!

7 – Age differentials in supernatural fiction: Enough with the centuries-old vampires (etc) falling in love with teenagers! What would they even have to talk about?

8 – Alcohol as a plot point: I’ve read too many romances lately where the plot turns upon decisions made while drunk, often to the point of not remembering. Just… no. Also, on a related note, I don’t need to keep reading about people’s hangovers, thank you very much.

9 – Unrealistic workplaces: Again, in too many romances, women seem to have these idealized careers where they walk around in professional clothes and attend meetings, but the work environment just doesn’t feel real and they don’t seem to do, ya know, actual work. And on the flip side, it makes me bonkers when a novel’s plot has a woman experiencing workplace harassment and then doesn’t show her dealing with it effectively. I think authors should have their characters model empowering behavior!

10 – Anatomy lessons: This isn’t so much a pet peeve as a matter of taste. I prefer my fiction with implied steaminess rather than detail-by-detail graphic sex. I get that readers’ tastes vary, and I’m not anti-sex. I just don’t need every last little detail!

What about you? What are your bookish pet peeves? Do we have any in common?

If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!

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19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

  1. The “not acting their age” thing really gets me too. I’m almost always pulled out of a story when the characters do unrealistic things for their age!

  2. I LOVE EVERYONE OF THESE!! Unrealistic work environments is a brilliant one and while acting your age is a tricky one bc I don’t want them being immature sometimes it can get ridiculous 😂 One of mine is that I can never keep track of my nice bookmarks (keeping them in a random page as you read is definitely a risky game) and explaining plots to people is always a bit irritating if you know they don’t really care 😢 Here’s my TTT! https://hundredsandthousandsofbooks.blog/2021/10/05/ttt-pet-peeves-maps-in-books/

    • Exactly! I think the work-around some sitcoms and books use is to have the encounter be mutually black-out drunk, implying there was consent and they were both too drunk to remember, but I’m still very unhappy when this is used as a plot device.

  3. Mismatching covers also made my list this week too. Also totally agree on the audiobook point, it’s one I’ve got more annoyed with lately because I’ve been reading quite a few historical fiction books and like you say author’s notes are important there as they’ve usually got interesting information about their research. Also I just generally love the author’s notes and acknowledgements.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/top-ten-tuesday-336/

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