Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


Cartoon face of someone who is raising an eyebrow in irritation. I generally write short introductions to Top Ten Tuesday posts, but I think this time my list will speak for itself.

1. Film Covers for Books.

They often tend to look dated after a few years. I’d also rather not have actors as my point of reference for how characters look. It’s more fun to imagine those things for yourself while reading the author’s descriptions in my opinion.

2. Films that Dramatically Change Themes or Endings.

Look, I totally understand why some plot twists might need to be altered so they come across more clearly on the big screen, but I don’t like it when directors change the essence of a story to appeal to a wider selection of viewers. This leads into my third point.

3. Bonus Genres Shoehorned Into Plots That Don’t Want Them.

I read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. The genres that tend to be shoehorned into these tales most often in my experience are romance, action/adventure, horror, and mystery. While I also enjoy reading stories that include multiple genres and have absolutely nothing against these particular genres…not every story needs to be written to appeal to multiple audiences. It really is okay to write in just one or two genres at a time, and some stories flow much more smoothly with a narrower focus.

4. Spoilers.

While I appreciate content warnings for potentially triggering material, I otherwise abhor spoilers.

5. Too-Similar Character Names.

This is something I see most often in the fantasy genre. If you have an Odin, an Orin, and an Ordin* in your story, I am really going to struggle to keep those three characters apart unless the character development for all three is superb and begins happening in the first chapter. Honestly, I prefer it when most characters have names that start with totally different letters of the alphabet, are of various lengths, sound nothing alike,  etc.

*Not a real example.

6. Books in a Series that Are Different Sizes or Shapes.

. Obviously, this is irrelevant for ebooks, but it feels weird to me to line up paper books in a series and have one that’s much taller, wider, or thicker than the others. I do not know why this irritates me as it doesn’t affect the storylines themselves at all. It simply feels slightly wrong.

7. Stickers on Book Covers.

If only they were easier to remove without permanently damaging the cover!

8. Unexamined Stereotypes.

It’s one thing to include a stereotype in a storyline in order to make fun of it or turn it on it’s head.

It’s quite another to include one in order to say that everyone from group X must like (or be) Y. I’d much rather meet genuine characters who are well-developed and whose hobbies, interests, and passions are not limited by what others assume someone of their sex, race, age, etc. would be like.

That is to say, maybe a woman in a story might love to sew, and that’s totally okay. But maybe the men in her life enjoy it just as much!

9. Is It Part of a Series? Must They Be Read in Order? 

I like series, and I don’t mind jumping in the middle of them if the author takes the time to explain a few things. I do not like discovering that what I’m reading is #5 in a series several chapters in and that you really need to read the first several books to have any idea what’s going on. If you ask me, blurbs should always be crystal clear about both of these things.

10. Too Predictable.

Yes, there are tropes in every genre. It would be quite difficult to write a story that didn’t rely on any of them at all!

With that being said, I will lose interest in a story if I finish the first scene or even the first chapter and can already guess exactly how it’s going to end and what all of the major plot twists will be along the way.

Surprises are a good thing. I’d much rather be slightly annoyed by an unconventional plot twist than have everything figured out in advance.


Filed under Blog Hops

34 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

  1. Similar character names is a good one! That always confuses me while reading. Great list!

  2. My biggest pet peeve is a book that introduces too many characters too quickly.

  3. Oh, definitely all these and so many more!

  4. Too similar character names is something I should have put on my list. It makes things so confusing, especially if the book is written in third person. The first example the popped into my mind was GoT. Too many similar names.

  5. Great post and list. I agree with them all, but what frustates me the most is Too-Similar Character Names! I just get so confused.

  6. Film covers for books are awful! As are series that are different shapes and sizes! That one made my list, too.

    My TTT:

  7. Yes to all of these! And books should indeed be so much clearer in communicating whether they’re part of a series, which one and if they can be read as a standalone or not.

  8. #7, #9 and #10 are some of mine as well!! Here is my link if you’d like to stop by:

  9. Ugh, too-similar character names are super annoying! My brain seems to just look at the first letter and length of a name instead of fully reading it, so having an Odin and an Orin would be so confusing. The mismatched sizes and stickers made it onto my list as well:

  10. Jo

    I had film covers and stickers on book covers on my list too. I totally agree on films that drastically change the ending of the book, this was my biggest problem with the My Sister’s Keeper movie, in changing the ending, they missed the whole point of the book!

    My TTT:

  11. I agree with you about books trying to be too much. I recently DNFed a book because it was trying so hard to check off every trope possible, and it was a mess.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  12. Oh yeah- shoehorning multiple genres doesn’t always work, for sure. Sometimes a story would work so much better with that narrower focus. And likewise with film covers. they are almost always bad seems like!

  13. I’m not a book cover person but I agree on having film actors on the cover. Actually I dislike all photographs of people on covers. I like imagining what a character looks like!
    I’m amazed at how different everyone’s list of bookish pet peeves is turning out to be and how many I agree with! I guess I could have easily done a list of 50 Bookish Pet Peeves!

  14. Differing sizes in series are the worst ._.

  15. I only like film covers if the poster used is excellent or I particularly loved the movie. Otherwise no thanks.

    Check out my TTT

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