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Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Discussion: Reading Related Pet Peeves

I am going to steal this week's discussion from the Chicago Tribune Book Section's Twitter feed. They asked readers what their reading related pet peeves were.

I have to say my biggest pet peeve is a book that won't lie flat while I am reading it. I like to read while I eat, and I am a neater eater with 2 hands.  I have purchased a leather book weight to hold the pages down, but this is annoying as no matter what I do, it still covers some of the words and has to be moved at least once a page. Not to mention that it needs to be picked up and replaced with each page turn.

As a librarian I get peeved when one author uses different names to write the same series.  I calling you out Jayne Ann Krentz!  She uses the Krentz, Jayne Castle, and Amanda Quick names to write one series. It is a cataloging nightmare, and confuses the patrons. The catalog thankfully pulls up all three authors when you type one in, but it is next to impossible to keep them on the shelf  together. And she is very popular, so people are looking for these books frequently. Thanks for nothing Krentz.

So for today's Monday Discussion, what are your reading related pet peeves? It can be physical peeves or peeves about the way an author writes.  Really anything that gets on your nerves. Today, I am asking you to vent! Don't hold back on me.

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Marina said...

I too run into the problem of holding pages down when I'm eating or when I'm exercising. I hate it, but have resolved the problem with an e-reader. Reading with the nook makes both of these instances so much easier!

John, BPL RA Staff said...

I HATE BAD COVER ART! Many people feel that this has little to do with the literary merit of the book or the meaning of the story but I disagree. Cheap, CGI-designed images that were obviously made in 5 minutes using a laptop send a clear message to the reader that this book is a tacky waste of time. If you don't care enough about your book to use an actual living, breathing illustrator or photographer why should anyone care enough to read it? One exception is leather bound books which need no art. They ARE art. Sadly, the 21st century almost never uses leather. Why? Is there some shortage of cows???

Another thing I can't stand is formulaic garbage. Why do you have to write the same book over and over and over? I didn't even like it the first time. Well, I'll go ahead and answer my own question. They do it because it sells. A book sold well? We'll write it again! And again!! I guess we're all just supposed to line up like sheep with our money out. NO THANK YOU.

Charlie said...

Plates of images jammed in the middle of books are a frequent annoyance. I prefer my photos near the text they apply to.

Kathy, BPL RA said...

In completely random order, here are my several pet peeves:
1. Cheaply made books. I hate thin pages that feel like a telephone book. I would also say this can encompass John's bad cover art rant.
2. Covers that have some kind of cut-out. It is just a matter of time before it is destroyed.
3. Dust jackets that are made of a type of paper that dirt totally sticks to - this was a MUCH bigger deal when I worked in a bookstore than working in the library. I will never forget the Tom Wolfe book titled "Hooking Up." The texture made it a dirt magnet and you couldn't clean it with anything because it would just soak up whatever liquid you put on it. (Yes, yes I am bitter.)
4. Generic titles. They make life so much harder. Please ask me for the book "The Visitor" with an unknown author. There are like 12. Let's try a little more creativity authors!
5. Books that cost more than .10 cents a page. This was an arbitrary number that a former boss came up with but I think it works. A paperback novella that is 90 pages for $13.00? I don't think so. In my perfect world, hardcovers would follow this rule but we all know they certainly don't.

Brian the Librarian said...

People interrupting me while I'm reading. I HAVE A BOOK IN MY HAND,LEAVE ME ALONE!

50+ pages of stuff before the book actually starts (Forward, Introduction, Table of Contents, List of Illustrations). Let's see, I know there's a book in here someplace ...