"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves *with update

Today's Question over at the Broke and Bookish is what are my top ten bookish pet peeves?

To begin with I should remind you that I am a librarian, so many of my bookish pet peeves relate to the way that patrons treat books. I recognize that most of you don't think about books the way that I do. Please bear with me.

1. Not following typical literary conventions! Gr.r.r.. I get really irritated when an author does not use proper punctuation, grammar, spelling and so forth. I am currently reading a book that uses no quotation marks around the dialogue. Argh. It makes it so hard to read.

2.  Dogeared pages.  Please, please, please use a bookmark instead of turning down the pages.

3.  Bending back a paperback so far that it breaks the book's spine so that it can be held in one hand.  If a person buys their own books, they can treat them how they want, but with not library books.

4.  Using food or gum wrappers as bookmarks.  Many of these products have dyes in them and they leech into the paper causing stains.

5.  Water damaged books.  Or, since I live in the Seattle-area, coffee stained pages.  In the Pacific Northwest most water damage, even slight water damage, will cause the book to mold.  Ugh.

6.  Long books which clearly should have been edited down.  Sometimes books are necessarily long but other times it seems that they just didn't have a good editor.  As much as I love the Harry Potter books several of the books were just too long.

7.  Repeating facts or statements throughout the book.  I often feel like an author insults my intelligence when they repeat facts already introduced earlier in the text.

8.  Not returning/renewing library books, especially when they are several weeks overdue.  I get it that sometimes one forgets or wants to keep the book a few extra days.  But why do students keep books for months past their due dates, even though we have given ample notices?

9.  Characters with similar names.  I hate it when I have to create a character chart just to keep track of the people in the book because the names sound or look the same.  

10.  Book covers that don't take into consideration the tastes of teenagers.  My classic example of an unfortunate book cover is the hard cover for Dairy Queen by Murdock had a picture of a cow wearing a crown.  Teenagers in my area are not attracted to books with farm animals on the cover!  The paperback version of the book corrected that error.

What are your bookish pet peeves?

***3/23/11 Update:
I held a discussion with ten kids from my high school library club about bookish pet peeves.  Here is their list:
1. Publishing errors -10/10
2. Not following literary conventions - 10/10
3. "Perfect" characters - 10/10
4. Long passages of dialogue without hints who is speaking -10/10
5. If they own a series, all books must match (hardcover, paperback, editions) - 10/10
6. Dogeared Pages -9/10 (one kid confessed he does this to his own books, but never a borrowed book)
7. Movies made from the book being vastly different - 8/10
8. Writing or highlighting in books - 5/10
9. A library book having a missing page - 5/10
10. Unpronounceable names or very similar names - 5/10 (several of the kids just finished reading Things Fall Apart by Achebe, so had strong feelings about this pet peeve!)


  1. Thanks so much for this post. I am loving this Tuesday Top Ten. I agree with so many of these, so true!

    Books Are Life,


  2. You wouldn't happen to be reading Lord of Misrule would you? If not, be warned, it has no quotation marks and what-not for dialogue either. Drove me nuts. I like the book overall, but that drove me nuts. Absolutely with you on dog-earing! And I thought about the long book in need of editing but didn't mention it. here's my list: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/03/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-pet-peeves.html

  3. I hate it when I water damage my own books. It makes me want to buy a new one although I know it isn't economical.

    Here is my list: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/03/top-ten-tuesday-i-hate-that.html

  4. I have to agree with all all of these, eXcept maybe a gum wrapper as a bookmark (and I don't even chew gum)...LOL

  5. Oh no. I'm one of those late book returners. I have pretty much parted ways with libraries because I'm not responsible enough.

    I've gone to the library all my life, but somewhere down the road I began to forget that library books had due dates and to make it worse, when I realized a book was late, I just told myself. "Oh well, I'll just pay the fine." I know this makes no sense but it is a true story.

  6. Thanks for checking out my Top 10. The food thing really grosses me out. I know accidents happen, but if it's a library book I'm wondering what icky or toxic thing did I just touch.

  7. I hate the manhandling of books, be it breaking the spine, dog-earring the pages and spilling things on them. And it's so much worse when they aren't even your books.

  8. You'll enjoy this. My library found the following bookmark yesterday. They posted it on Facebook and I laughed:

    "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they bent the page corners of those wonderful library books!"

    I completely agree that pages shouldn't be dog-eared.

  9. I hate it when people return library books late! Especially when it's a school library (high school or college) and everyone is 15 feet from the return box. I always make a concerted effort to return borrowed books (and movies!) on time or early.


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