Thursday, 18 March 2010

Pet Peeves in Books

Are there any pet peeves which put you off a book while reading it? This issue has come up recently because you might notice that Chris is reading Rynn’s World. He is actually quite enjoying it and thinks the story line is a good one, but the one thing which annoys him EVERY time it happens are the spelling and grammatical errors which are in abundance in this book. It bothers him so much he is planning on marking the book down because of it.

I can’t say I’ve ever read a book with countless spelling and grammatical errors but there are things in books which do annoy me.

1. When a character does something completely out of character just to keep the story moving. This just makes me feel manipulated as a reader.

2. When the ending to the book doesn’t ‘fit’. I don’t care if a book has a happy/sad/open ending as long as it’s the RIGHT ending (in my opinion this applies to Blacklands)

3. A description of what a character is wearing EVERYTIME they appear in the book - I’m talking about you Sookie Stackhouse.

4. Inaccuracy when writing about historical facts. I know a lot of people love Slaughterhouse 5 but some of the facts and figures given about Dresden were so inaccurate it spoilt the book for me.

5. Waffle in non-fiction books. The best example I can think of is ‘The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House’ by Kate Summerscale. A story which could have easily been told in under 100 pages made to stretch out to 400.

I’m surprised I can’t think of any more and thankfully these are things which I rarely come across. Do you agree with any of these or would like to add your own?

Posted by Jess


  1. I agree with your pet peeves, especially number 2. I just ran into an ending that didn't fit the other day when I was reading Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

  2. I agree with all of these, though I rarely come across #3. One thing that particularly annoys me is when an ending is (or seems to have been) written a certain way because the author wanted a happy, or sad, or insert-adjective-here ending rather than the ending that fit. It just feels contrived and cheap to me.