Pet Peeves


Written on 8/28/2008 04:45:00 PM by Yvette St. John

I have a ton of pet peeves. Things that irrationally annoy the hell out of me. I shouldn’t let them bother me like they do, but *shrug* who can help it?? Now my pet peeves range the whole gambit of life, from idiots that drive under the speed-limit in the passing lane to people that have more than 10/15/20 items in the “Express” lanes to liars, cheats and jerks.

Here though, I’m gonna talk about my book pet-peeves. Those things in novels (or about/associated with them) that just twist me up.

1. Improper spelling/grammar. Of course I know that there are going to be typos. I make a million of them myself. I know that occasionally a person is going to use an incorrect word that spell check simply won’t catch because it’s still a real word. I can forgive small things. Most of the time they don’t pull me out of the story. My problem is when they’re so glaring and obvious – and repeated – that I get annoyed. I can’t get into a story that has issues like this. It jars me out of it, and leaves me hanging. More often than not, I’ll remember the problems and not the story. And definitely walk away with the author firmly in my Never Buy Again list.

2. Inconsistencies. I tend to be slightly more forgiving of inconsistencies in a series. Especially one with a large intricate world, with lots of characters. But it still bothers me. I start to wonder which is correct. For example if I’ve been told for 4 books that a person has something specific and memorable, then suddenly in the 5th book it changes, I get annoyed. Wondering what the story is on why it changed, or if it’s just a mistake. But the inconsistencies that bother me the most are in single novels. 200 to 500 page paperbacks. No more than 3 or 4 main characters. How does a person go from lounging on the floor one moment to (a paragraph later) standing against the wall?? I can’t handle that. The action needs to at least be logical. I can fill in some blanks, but when there was obviously no movement – or there didn’t appear to be – how can I follow. I start to get lost in that instead of the story.

Are we seeing a pattern here? I get pulled out of the story and I get annoyed. LOL

3. This next one doesn’t pull me out of the story, but is my own little issue. I absolutely, positively can NOT read a series out of order. Now, I’ll clarify this slightly. As I usually don’t really get into short stories in anthologies, I don’t mind reading those out of order. But the main novels of a series? Absolutely have to read them in order. And here’s my problem. Series are NOT clearly marked 1. that they’re part of a series and 2. what book in the series they are. This is horrible! For example, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter novels are marked “A Dark-Hunter Novel.” Okay. That’s great. Obviously part of a series that has its own name. Which one is Night Play? Or Acheron? How am I supposed to know when I’m at the bookstore just browsing? (And SK’s books are just an example – there are far too many out there to name them all). So, I don’t buy the book. Or any by that author, because chances are if an author writes one series, they write other series – and how I am to know anything about any of them. I’ll try to write down or remember the author’s name and/or the name of the novel that looked interesting so I could check it out when I get home, but *shrug* I sometimes forget by the time I get there. Which results in lost sales. PUBLISHERS! Are you listening?? I impulse buy books. But I’ll quickly forget them if I get discouraged. It’s not hard to put on the spine: Dark-Hunter 1, Dark-Hunter 2. Wouldn’t take up much space. Honestly. Or even on the page where it lists “Other books by so-and-so” put the reading order. If I pick up a book that’s 5th in the series because it looks interesting, I’ll usually read up to that book at least. That’s 5 book sales lost by not having the damn order listed somewhere convenient.

4. Another thing that annoys me, and it’s a large reason that I don’t borrow books out a whole lot, are people that fold over pages. Or unnecessarily destroy the spine of a novel. Yes, it’s meant to be enjoyed. Yes, it’s meant to be read. But does any of that mean that you have to ruin a lovely item? Books are like … air to me. Precious and necessary to life.

I think I’ll leave it at that. No, this is definitely not an all-inclusive list, but it does cover some of the more Hulk inducing ones of mine.

What are some of your pet-peeves? If they’re something that can be fixed, what’s a possible solution?