This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about my Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves. There are a few typical ones, some which might seem a bit unfair, but they bother me nontheless!
1. Spelling mistakes/grammar mistakes in a book – granted, this is just bad editing, but it can be jarring when you come across a spelling mistake and it interrupts the flow of reading!
2. People interrupting me for unnecessary things when I’m obviously deep into reading a book. It makes me snap at people – I apologise, but imagine if someone kept interrupting when you were at the cinema when all the best bits are showing.
3. Too much repetition throughout one book without a particular reason. Its hard for a writer to come up with different words and ways to describe things, and to try and avoid their ‘pet phrases’ – but this is what redrafting and editing is about. I appreciate when a phrase or word is repeated to achieve some kind of impact or recurring image, but it is annoying when it happens without reason!
4. Strange smelling books – I buy secondhand sometimes (not that often – my bad…) and although most books smell fine, there have been some that smell awful. Like, stale cigarettes or some other dubious smell…
5. Overly hyped up books/bestsellers – sometimes the bestseller list is good but sometimes I’m wary of it. There are some bestsellers I’ll read when they’re not bestsellers anymore, because I’ve decided to read them in my own time rather than when everyone else is reading them…if that makes sense? I read things like His Dark Materials, Twilight etc, before they became all hyped up, purely because they sounded interesting when I was in a bookshop. I’ve still not read certain books that everyone seems to have read, and I’m not being ‘snobbish’ or anything; I like to take my time! Perhaps I will read The DaVinci Code one day…
6. Books which follow a genre too rigidly – I read a lot of modern supernatural fantasy or urban fantasy, and some series are better than others because they’re not afraid to deviate or mix it up a bit. My favourite urban fantasy books are imaginative and have interesting characters – just because you write within a genre doesn’t mean you can’t try something a bit different!
7. Too much sexual activity. There is nothing wrong with a book that has sexuality as its main focus, but if a character is constantly having sex without there being much call for it – ie. not as an essential part of the plot or character building – then it just becomes a bit too much like Mills and Boon (not that there’s anything wrong with people reading them, not at all!). It depends on the context, the themes in the book and the characterisation.
8. Plotless novels. Literary fiction can often be annoyingly plotless. Sorry, but even if the language is beautiful and there is an incredible message in the book, it doesn’t suck me in when nothing is happening at all.
9. Too much detail – rambling on for pages and pages about one thing or one particular moment. It stops the story and loses the momentum. There can be lulls in a story or novel, but not lulls that don’t do anything for the story or character!
10. Too little detail/weak imagery – on the other hand, there are also books that don’t ignite your imagination or show you the important details. Its essential that we feel and see the world within a book.