Monday, March 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library. ;) This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

1.  One of the things that is an irksome pet peeve of mine about published book content is when a character becomes either a Mary Sue or a Gary Stu.  It's one thing to do that with fanfiction, but there has to be some flaws in a character to make her/him appear more realistic and relatable, not to mention respectable.  If it seems that nearly every character of the opposite sex is falling for the main character while every character of the same sex is either insanely jealous or wants to be said "Mary Sue/Gary Stu" character, then I feel as though I've lost respect for or cannot respect that character.

2.  This has actually improved some, but it's still a bit irksome to find a plastic barcode somewhere in the middle of my manga bought from Borders.  It used to be hard to peel the barcode from inside the manga volume because it appeared as though the page would rip (and sometimes it would) due to the stickiness of the glue.  However, I think Borders has gotten the message from its patrons and now uses a less sticky glue for the barcodes since they are now easier to peel off the page.

3.  It's rather annoying that the library stickers we place on our classic novels, usually those used by high schools for summer reading, have a habit of peeling off after a time.  I suppose that's the case for most stickers since they lose their sticky consistency, but still, it causes covers to stick to each other and can also leave behind residue from the sticker on books shelved together which makes them even stickier. 

4.  I know that books usually go through fazes focusing on certain elements, not that I don't love and enjoy books with these elements, but there are so many books featuring vampires and werewolves.  There are other mystical and mythical creatures in so many different cultures, I see no reason why books can't have more variety.  There are books featuring dragons, fae, and mer-creatures, but compared to vampires (especially) and werewolves, they are so few and far between.  I appreciate up-and-coming books like Abandon by Meg Cabot and The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter and current reads like The Beastly Bride (even though this does involve shapeshifters) simply because they are dealing with other mystical creatures or mythical beings (i.e. gods).  True, I will still read and enjoy werewolf and vampire books, but my friends, isn't variety the spice of life? :)

5.  This has only been found in the paranormal romance books I've purchased, but what is tiresome when I buy a new book is finding the postcard inserts to join a book club or romance league or the like.  What's worse is that they are usually stuck dead in the middle of the book.  Yes, it's a means of getting more sales in the future but not if you're putting them right in the middle of the book, like an infommercial in the middle of a movie.  Please put these postcard inserts at the end or the beginning of the book usually near the front or back cover, not in the middle.

6.  I shall speak as a librarian here...I dislike it immensely when patrons dog-ear any of the pages in borrowed books.  We love our books to stay in good condition for as long as possible.  When a person folds over a page whether marking their place in a novel or to refer back as a reference, it degrades the book.  That's why paper companies created so many beautiful bookmarks to use in this instance and office companies have a wide spectrum of colored sticky notes and tabs to use when marking for references.  Unless it's a book you bought, please refrain from folding the pages.

7.  It worries and miffs me when I start reading a book and really look forward to it because of the prologue. Typically, it's exciting, fast-paced, and really helps to set the overall mood of the book.  However, when you have a story that falls flat following the short prologue rather than taking off, it's just disappointing.  You keep waiting and waiting for that action to pick up...and it doesn't.  I experienced this in a recent read, and I just couldn't spend anymore time on the book.

8.  Characters that have either no development or growth in any way by the end of a book are a worrisome pet peeve.  Even if a main character should go from being a reserved wallflower to the epitome of evil, that shows some development, just negative development.  But when a main character remains the same without having learned anything within 250+ pages, it's kind of a letdown.  A book that takes place within one night can still show some type of development or growth in the main characters, and if it doesn't, the character(s) was fairly weak.

9.  Authors who kill off characters for no important reason beyond because they have that power are a pet peeve.  I can't think of any examples off-hand outside of manga authors (Yuu Watase), but if there is no purpose to a favored character's death, then why bother killing them?  Part of me still questions certain deaths in the Harry Potter series, but I can't say that J.K. Rowling killed them off without purpose.

10. When an author doesn't know how to end a series, it can be rather daunting.  Again, this has to do with manga authors (Rumiko Takahashi), but still, when you invest time and money in 30+ volumes of manga and you reach the last volume, you'd want to have all of the loose ends tied up nice and neat and all important questions answered.  It's a big let-down when the over-arcing story just kind of ends with loose threads not being explained.  I've seen this in some books, but this was usually to set up for a sequel rather than the ending.


  1. Worse then the stickers are the ones that don't come off. At a place I used to work, we had security tags like that -- you stuck them on the inside back cover, and they never came off. It sent conservation into conniptions, and it didn't protect the books either. Anyone who was determined to steal them would willingly damage the book to get the tag off. Still, we had some valuable books there, so you do what you gotta, I suppose.

    Lupines and Lunatics

  2. The Mary Sue one is a good one! Nothing worse than reading a character which is just the author inserted in the story with no actual flaws! I am not interested in perfect characters (ties in with lack of growth too)

  3. Some Good ones here as a Librarian, I so know what you mean - though unfortunately Im one to dog-ear pages slightly. But not these incredibly huge folds like some of our patrons do.
    Old Follower

  4. I often buy older books used, so I'm accustomed to seeing them stickered up -- from libraries, used bookstores, or both!

    Mary Sues are bad enough in fan-fiction, but they've no excuse in "real" fiction!

  5. I also hate it when people dog-ear books :( Especially if its not theirs!

  6. I remember the big plastic stickers in the Borders books(the UK no longer has a Borders). They drove me insane. I'd never dog ear a book that wasn't mine, I do occasionally but only with old battered books, I couldn't do it to a new book. I like Yuu Watase, she did the series with the chick that looked like Sakura... umm... Alice 19th! I have all of those.

    New follower -

  7. Argh Mary Sues! If there's ever a way to get me to not read something or watch something, just tell me it's got a Sue/Stu type character.

    That would be so annoying to find those book club cards in your books. No wonder you listed it as a pet peeve!

  8. Some of these irk me as well. Out of all the items on your list the one that really gets my goat is flawless characters. It didn't actually make my list because I basically took my long-list of bookish dislikes and chose items at random, but it is one of the things that can make me detract points from the rating of a book I am reviewing.

  9. Yay! You mentioned Meg Cabot in your blog :)
    I also like other mythological creatures and wish there were some about Kelpie!

  10. very detailed and I agree on many of them--especially killing of characters when there is no reason. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  11. Oh, yes, Mary Sues and Gary Stus are the MOST annoying!

  12. Definitely yes to #1. I hate when I end up thinking are there any flaws to this character at all? Forgets to put the cap back on the tooth paste? Will only eat the yellow M&Ms and leaves the rest there? Give me something to work with authors!

    I also hate dog eared pages in library books too.

  13. I like your number nine list. Absolutely true. Why kill them???

  14. Great points, thanks for sharing, stop and see mine.

  15. Very similar

    Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight!
    Here is my Top Ten Tues
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  16. Yes, #7! I was so looking forward to The Passage and The Help because of all the hype. But, ugh, what a disappointment they both were.

  17. Great list! Dog-earing books is a huge pet peeve for me!

  18. Yes, I agree with all of these. Hate these limp characters. Aren't we a little more than that?


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