This week, The Broke and the Bookish are giving us a sort-of freebie week by letting us choose any past topic we want! I’ve been thinking about some bookish pet peeves lately, so I chose this one. Feel free to vent about yours in the comments!
1. Referring to the “dial tone” of a cell phone. This might be my number one pet peeve and it seems that almost every author does it at least once. Let me just say this once and for all: CELL PHONES DO NOT HAVE DIAL TONES. I have had a cell phone since I was 14 years old and never have I had one with a dial tone, and yet it seems I read books all the time that refer to the character’s cell phone not having a dial tone. The book I’m thinking of at the moment is Angels and Demons when Vittoria tries to call the police after finding out her father was murdered, but her cell phone doesn’t have service because they’re too far underground—except Dan Brown puts it as “her cell phone doesn’t have a dial tone.” Well duh. That’s because they have never, as far as I know, had dial tones, and they never will. (Ahh, that felt good.)
2. Not using conventional punctuation, paragraph form, etc. I’m looking at you, The Road. And you, The Castle of Otranto. (But not you, House of Leaves. Your writing was just so completely off the wall that your crazy choices made sense. The others were just annoying.)
3. Fragment-y writing. I realize that this is a style choice and that it is sometimes appropriate and necessary, as in The Hunger Games. But after a while it seemed that every darn sentence was a fragment. I can appreciate it as a style choice to end a chapter or a paragraph with, but after a while reading fragment after fragment can get exhausting. To me, it’s like driving somewhere but stopping short every few seconds. Even if you were only driving around your neighborhood, wouldn’t you be exhausted (and a little pissed off) when you finally got to your destination?
5. Wanting (and not being able to) to own every single book ever. I work at a non-profit organization. I love my job, but I don’t make a lot of money. Plus, I have rent to pay, groceries to buy, and student loans to pay back. I don’t get to spend a lot of money on books, but believe me, that takes a lot more willpower than it should. Walking into a bookstore for me is like a kid walking into a candy store: I just want to grab and devour everything in sight. I don’t care if it’s a tiny used bookstore tucked away in an alley or a multi-floor Barnes and Noble. I just want to soak up everything and if it means spending every last dollar of my paycheck, so be it. Maybe one day when I’m making the big bucks I’ll be able to have my own personal library.
6. Reading slumps. Amanda at Dead White Guys wrote recently about being in a reading slump. I too have recently been in a slump, although thankfully for you guys my slump was preceded by a manic OMG MUST READ EVERYTHING IN SIGHT phase, so you will have no shortage of Friday reviews for the next few weeks. At the moment I am somewhat coming out of my slump with the help of Stephen King’s short story collection Just After Sunset, but work is about to get cray cray so I see another loooong reading slump in the very near future.
7. When people say “Oh yeah, I love Harry Potter!” and then you find out they’ve only seen the movies and never read the books. I suppose this could go for any book/series, but for me it’s especially irritating with Harry Potter because the movies made me want to stab something. Yes, I thought they were that bad. No, I haven’t seen either of the installments of the seventh even though I’ve heard it’s better than the others. In fact, I haven’t seen the sixth either and refused to see them in the theater after being dragged to the fourth with my friends and hating my life. Maybe one day I’ll watch the seventh but I will forever boycott the sixth after hearing that they burned the Burrow. Why would they do that?? What possible reason could they have to change the plot so drastically? Why, why, WHY?? *breathes* I’m okay, I’m okay…but seriously. No. You do not get to call yourself a Harry Potter fan if you have not read the books. You just don’t.
8. Not being able to read on my commute. I drive an hour to and from work each day. This means that I don’t get to read while I drive. As someone who is not a particular fan of audiobooks, this means two full hours of my day are wasted. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem anymore in about a month, when we move further south so that I won’t have to drive so far to work, but I’ve spent this whole year lamenting the fact that I can’t take public transportation/ don’t have a chauffeur who could drive me to and from work while I stretch out in the back and read.
9. People who ask, “Why are you reading that again? Haven’t you read that [x] times already?” Yes, yes I have read this book 14 times. But that is because I love it. (And yes, I would marry it if I could.) Don’t you have favorite movies that you could watch over and over? Or favorite video games? Or something? If you don’t, I am very very sorry for you. But please don’t undermine my love of rereading with your own insecurity at not loving something enough to want to read/watch/play it over and over again.
10. When books end at their climax. This is okay for books that have sequels (i.e. The Hunger Games, Divergent). But for books that don’t—I’m thinking specifically of Cell by Stephen King, for anyone who has read it—it’s enormously frustrating and feels like a cop-out from the author. As a reader, I need closure. I don’t like when I’m left hanging. I am definitely one of those people who needs a few pages of “and this is why everything ended up okay” at the end—even if they don’t all end up okay, I need to know.
Whew! I feel better now! What irks you most when you read?by