6 Bookish Pet Peeves.
Even dedicated ebook readers can have their share of pet peeves, here are my 2 cents worth.
1. No table of contents – Although I’m one of these readers that just wants to dive into the story and I don’t care much for dedications, authors notes, more books by the author, copyright information yadda yadda… If I’m interested enough, I’m happy to read all of that at the end and if not I won’t bother. I realise that I can just flip the page button to get to Chapter 1, but, it’s annoying, it takes time that I do technically have because I’m reading the book in the first place but it’s a put off nonetheless it makes me feel jilted, just because it’s a digital copy doesn’t mean you get to be sloppy. It may not have the pretty, glossy cover and blurb on the reverse, it doesn’t mean I don’t want some organisation, some idea of how the book evolves, how many chapters there are, interesting title names that add anticipation.
2. Unpronounceable character names and places. Probably shooting myself in the foot right here because Fantasy and History are my main reads however, I do get put of my completely made up names, I love the history and etymology of names so when ever I can I look them up I do. But when they’ve been completely made up and have too many vowels or lack thereof to actually be pronounceable in the English language, I tend to make my own characters names up with the first letter, which can of course become confusing when reviewing it or talking about the books to friends. It’s another thing to hold on too and I’m lazy, I don’t want to juggle lots of things in the air while reading, place names, characters, plots, by all means be creative, dig up old names that aren’t so common these days but at least make them some how useable and not just aesthetically pleasing and confusing on a page. When I write, I try to remember that yes, I may be writing about a fictional place and a fictional time line that may or may not be based on our time, but those people and places I’m writing about, have some base, some touch stone with this world and those people/characters aren’t that different, don’t try so hard to make them different and strange, interesting yes, unique yes but trying too hard to be different, no. I know I wouldn’t want my books/stories to stand out for the wrong reasons.
3. Contradictory plot lines. This should probably have been number one because it bugs me the most. I don’t know if I just tune in to the text and plot more than other people or the themes of a story but when things don’t make sense or suddenly change without warning, it sticks out like a sore thumb and I end up going OCD on it and not able to let it go and enjoy the rest of the story, I often have to reread the book several times to see if I’m right about something before I can review it or even enjoy it, to make sure I’m either right or wrong, and annoyingly in most cases I’m usually right. I love writing and as I’m a bit of a gas bag in person, it naturally extends in my writing, I can tear through a draft in hours and days but I always curb myself. It’s fine to go shooting of ahead when the creative juices are flowing but another rule of mine is to go over and really pick at everything I’ve written, what makes sense, what doesn’t, what doesn’t quite fit here but could somewhere else, is this pace right, have I jumped ahead of myself.. etc. This is something that crops up a lot in the YA Fiction I read. Plots start off and then go for awhile, then do a 180 and never really get explained, or sometimes it can just be as simple as an American terminology that throws me off, being British I’m accustomed to something else, a slightly different phrase. Most recently while reading Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce I was thrown for a couple of pages after Scarlet knocked some trash off the car seat onto the ‘floorboards’, I instantly zoned out of the book and started questing whether I had missed a page, were they back in the cottage or something because the term floorboards to me, is more commonly referred to in housing, not cars. Simple things like that but can turn into a big issue. I like stories that aren’t predictable that take you on twists and turns when they make sense, but when ideas are just dropped or you explain something as one way and then you either forget and change it without going back to the beginning and altering that, then again it feels like I’m reading a half hearted attempt at a book. It may have a brilliant premise but it’s just been ruined by sloppy editing.
Editing makes and breaks a book!
I guess these next ones are really related to just ebooks.
4. Formatting: I’m a big fan of those old fashioned children’s books, where the first letter of the chapter was always twice the size of the rest of the letters, usually in red and elaborately decorated, but it doesn’t translate well to ebook form, with Ereaders offering a pathetic and limited amount of fonts, the aesthetic nature of this is usually lost. In most cases the first sentence of a chapter is either written in block capitals, or some intricate, calligraphic font which may look pretty and interesting, but for me in particular it loses it’s charm. If the former, then because of the large text size I rely on to actually sight read, then it means one word, per line, which is annoying. If the latter, it means it’s completely unreadable and reading every chapter with the first sentence obliterated can get a little confusing to say the least. I have no objection whatsoever to the funky little chapter graphics you sometimes get though and even some jpegs, especially those in Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,
5. No Page Numbers: A much debated thing on Kindle forums worldwide, usually this doesn’t bother me because on Goodreads I tend to click the % for progress rather than page numbers, most of my ebooks do give you a page number if you hold the menu button down, but yes, in every case I would rather have page numbers, than locations hands down.
6. Weak Female Characters. A real thorn in my side, over and over again, girls that have some magic power within them and discover it through a second or third party that lets them know about it, they resist it, then a dramatic event happens and they realise they are capable of being independent and powerful. Till they meet a love interest and go back to being annoying and weak. This is the main reason I don’t bother reading ya/paranormal romance books. I do believe you can maintain you’re femininity while having some back bone and not being a submissive bore. Brilliant templates for strong female characters that are flawed but still interesting and passionate can be found in any of Ted Dekker’s books.
I could probably go on these are just a few that instantly came to mind but I wanted to keep it under 10! What are you bookish pet peeves? Let me know on the FB page :) it doesn’t have to ebook related, can be any book format.
6 Bookish Pet Peeves.