Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday: each week, Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by the excellent blog “The Broke and the Bookish.” This week’s list is top ten book-related pet peeves. Click on the link above to see everyone else’s lists. Here is my rant (and I’m afraid I left a lot out…)

10) The proliferation of vampires in recently published books

Enough already. I can appreciate trying to cash in on the Twilight Series, but there’s more to life (or death!) than vampires! So, stop the madness already. Please!

9) Not knowing until “too late” that the book you’re reading is part of a series

I guess the blame for this goes to the reader (me) for not doing his homework. But I prefer to know this up front. An example last year was that The Warded Man by Peter Brett was the first of a trilogy, and the third book isn’t out yet. Sometimes I like book one so much that I want to read the others “immediately” which is impossible in this case. I also recently started Anthony Trollope’s The Small House at Allington, which I find out is ‘part of a series’ as well. (I’m pretty sure it can be read independently though)

8.)  Struggling with the decision on whether to keep going forward with a book you’re just not “feeling” or giving it up and moving on.

I almost never abandon books, and it’s true that the further you go the harder it is to give up. (one hates to think that time investment was for nothing, I suppose). I fear I may face this decision soon with The Small House at Allington. Thirty pages in and still waiting for “something to happen.” On the flip side, though, I remember having to start Hardy’s The Return of the Native (oh, those interminable bonfire and furze scenes at the beginning!) several times before it “took,” and it has become one of my all time favorites.

7) Stickers on books. (Hey, this isn’t a problem with e-books is it?)

Especially “An Oprah’s book club selection” stickers. I’ve had to painstakingly remove a couple of them – I mean, what if someone saw me reading it and assumed I am a supporter of Oprah and every pseudo scientific woo-peddler she gives uncritical acceptance to on her show. I cant have that.

6) The high price of books.

Why are they so expensive? I know e-books are cheaper, but I would’ve thought they’d be MUCH cheaper. When I first started buying e-books, the new ones were almost all 9.99, but now some are 14.99. Where is the cost to the publisher that justifies that price? Come on! Thankfully I like a lot of classic literature, which is generally less expensive. I’m not just talking about e-books either. What are new hardcover editions now? 27.99? That’s “outrageous!” (channeling my inner Lionel Richie there…)

5) Book blogs with white text on a black background

Am I the only one whose eyes really struggle with this? It almost physically hurts. Let me just say this, if your book blog features white text on a dark background, and I have visited it more than once, your content must be really good. 🙂

4) The use of “eye-dialect.”

I understand it’s necessary for credibility, but it’s just so dang hard for me to read (a recent example which I whined, er, posted about was Kathryn Stockett’s The Help; I also struggled with Sir Walter Scott’s insertion of Scottish-written dialect. Maybe I was born without the gene that allows one to adapt to reading eye-dialect.

3) People in book clubs who “won’t” read. (throwing this in here in case any of my fellow book clubbers are reading).

My first club disbanded because we couldn’t get enough people each time to actually finish the book and SHOW UP for the meetings. My latest book club is much better, but there is still resistance to longer books (two people showed up for our Pillars of the Earth meeting) in addition to many showing up who haven’t read the book. Admittedly, I’d rather have them there than not, but come on, it’s a BOOK club! 🙂

2) Literary snobbery

Okay, I often wonder if I am guilty of this myself (I know… I am), but it galls me to hear others discouraging reading by their fellow citizens. Where I am sometimes guilty is that I often cringe whenever I go to the local secondhand bookstore and realize that 90% of what my fellow customers are reading are “trashy romance novels.” Hey, many of those readers call them that themselves, it’s not just me…

1) Hidebound traditional readers who express “hostility” to e-books and e-readers:

What the heck everybody? I can respect the fact that you prefer reading an actual, physical book. I’m NOT trying to take that away from you. I’m not going to show up at your house in a fireman’s uniform with Guy Montag and the rest of the gang. I LIKE that you’re reading real books. I LIKE that you’re reading at all. I read both physical books and ebooks. I like them both. I like the convenience of e-books and their portability. I have about sixty books with me right now at the coffee shop. Only one is a traditional book (Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut is in my backpack). I often see readers in coffee shops with a traditional book, but i have never gone up to one and said, “I see you’re reading a ‘real book.’ I could never do that; I’d miss the feel of an e-reader in my hands!” The reverse has happened to me several times, however. How about you just “live and let live?”

So that’s it. Yes, I am a bitter man! 🙂 What pet peeves do we share? Am I “wrong” about any of these?

Sent from my iPad


  1. Book Nympho said,

    March 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I didn’t know it was called “eye-dialect,” I’ve got that on my list too. I learned something new today! 🙂


    • Jay said,

      March 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

      “I cannot tell a lie” … credit for “eye-dialect” (which I just learned myself) goes to Jane ( ) who increased my vocabulary in a prior comment.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Bibliophile said,

    March 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Great list.

    No. 9 is an especial annoyance of mine. If I am going to read a series where each book can not be read independently of the others, I wait until the series is completed before I begin.

    No. 2 makes me see red.


    • Jay said,

      March 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks for the comment & visit!

      Yes, there’s nothing like having to wait “an eternity” for the next book to come out…


  3. Falaise said,

    March 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I’m completely with you on most of yours but especially vampires and snobbery.


  4. Alley said,

    March 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    First off, thanks for knowing what eye-dialect is. It also annoys the hell out of me and I can never figure out what’s being said without reading it out loud.

    I’m with you on most of your list but 9, 6, 5 and 4 especially


    • Jay said,

      March 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for the comment and visit. As I admitted above in another comment, I only recently learned myself that it was called eye-dialect.

      “I’m on a have to avoid those books in the future…” 🙂 I think this eye dialect (“on a” instead of “going to”) was used several times in The Help. Bugged me to no end…


  5. trish said,

    March 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Yes, the dialect thing! I can manage a little bit of dialect, but I had to abandon The Help because there was just WAY too much of it.

    And enough with the vampires already!


    • Jay said,

      March 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Trish,
      Thanks for the comment. I struggled with The Help for that reason, but was able to finish (my book club would’ve never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t finish a book. 🙂


  6. Megan said,

    March 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    When I read the topic of your list, I thought that it sounded like something right up my alley and that I’d write up my own tonight. And then I read your list and realized that I don’t have to write my own because you’ve basically already done it for me!


    • Jay said,

      March 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Megan.

      Yes, it was a fun list to do. I’ve read some of the others that have made me wish I’d spent more time on my top ten.

      P.S. I’m still waiting for the call from Jeopardy! (I hope it comes after that current champion is gone, though. He’s tough!)


      • Megan said,

        March 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

        I did end up writing my own, and I took way more time than I should have. The sad thing is that I could have gone on and on. I’m so grumpy. 🙂

        No Jeopardy call for me, either. I did get invited to an in-person interview a couple years ago, but nothing ever came of it. And I’m so far behind in my Jeopardy viewing that it’s embarrassing. We Tivo them and I think at this point we have something like 130 episodes waiting for us. One of these days we’re going to have to go on a nothing-but-Jeopardy TV diet and rip through them all!


      • Jay said,

        March 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        Hi Megan,
        I visited your list. You certainly put a lot of effort into that one – and made me wish I’d been more deliberate in my choices.

        I doubt Jeopardy will ever call. It sounded like, with the last online test we took, many more people pass that test than they have room to invite so even if you pass the test, your name just goes into a smaller hat that they draw from. Dang. There goes retirement $$ plan C…



  7. Dale Barthauer said,

    March 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    While I completely agree with you on #7, I would rather “she-who-won’t-be-named” put stickers on her books as opposed to republishing the book (especially a classic like her Dickens pick in December) with a giant letter on it that won’t come off.

    I can’t think of a book where the dialect thing bothered me. But it makes a difference if the author is using it to be more realistic (Mark Twain, perhaps?) or is using it as a gimmick. While I liked The Help, I couldn’t help but think the dialect thing was a gimmick.

    I know I missed the Pillars of the Earth meeting, but I did read it …in 12 days if I remember correctly.


    • Jay said,

      March 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Dale,
      Ooh… that’s right about the republishing. I couldn’t purchase a book with a giant “letter that shall not be named” on it.

      I wish more people had made it to the Pillars of the Earth meeting. That was one of my favorites we’ve read so far.


  8. Darlyn said,

    March 24, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I completely agree with you about the vampires/fallen angels/werewolves/ALL SPARKLY CREATURES IN GENERAL.

    And, yes, the high price of books! I’m a college student, so my budget is a little tight. I guess that’s why I frequent secondhand bookstores. I no longer care if a book’s cover is in tatters as long as I can read it and all the pages are there.


  9. Jay said,

    March 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Darlyn,
    In my budget-challenged college days I read several books that were falling apart, but you hit the nail on the head: as long as all the words are there that’s the most important thing.


  10. March 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Definitely agree with you on #3. I’ve attempted a couple of book clubs and found that mostly they just wanted to gossip and socialize – which is fine but sort of defeats the purpose of a BOOK club. Which is why I’m thankful for the internet where I can find folks who actually want to discuss literature – rather than just the latest local scandal.


    • Jay said,

      March 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

      My regular club does some of that too (not so much gossiping, but a lot of socializing – which is fine), but we talk enough about the book to make it worthwhile.

      I too am very thankful for the extra interaction I get from the book blogging community. That fills the gaps for me that my in-person book clubs don’t satisfy.


  11. Alex said,

    March 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Regarding number 6, two words: Book Depository.

    Regarding number 9, have you noticed how recently, books that were written a while ago with no intention to become a series, all of the sudden become one? Milking the cow, I guess…


  12. Jay said,

    March 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Yes, nobody it seems (no “new” writers anyway) is working on just ‘a book’ any more. Everyone seems to say, “it’s the first book of a planned trilogy,” etc., etc. I wonder when that will stop…

    On #6, I do buy a lot of books at library sales & other cheap options. It’s when I need to get something “right now” (e.g. for a book club selection) that sometimes I have to pay more than I can stomach…

    Thanks for the comment!


  13. Stacey S said,

    April 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I have to respectfully disagree with the Vampire one, because many of my series that I am reading/have read were published long before Twilight ever came out.


    • Jay said,

      April 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Yes, I guess it’s kind of redundant to say vampires “have been around a long time” (lol!) But nonetheless I’m ready to move on to some other genre… 🙂



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