As you might have gathered by now, I’m a pretty avid reader. Besides writing, I love to read pretty much anything and everything I can get my hands on – in fact, reading is actually what got me started on writing in the first place. So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday I thought I’d share with you some of my most annoying pet peeves when it comes to reading. I know a lot of you are readers as well and some of you even run book blogs, so be sure to tell me some of your pet peeves in the comments and we can lament together ;)
Top Ten: Pet Peeves (Reader Edition)
We’ve all seen them – with their sharp, squinty eyes; long, manicured nails; pointed noses, the better to poke their noses into our business. When there are no more seats left in the coffee shop, we invite them over to sit at our table, thinking we are being good Samaritans – that is, until they start to make conversation, ignoring our strained smiles and pointed glances at the books we were so peacefully reading before they came along and ruined it. Interrupters are probably my least favorite type of person to encounter – and they seem to have a knack for bursting in right when I get to a good part.
I’ll admit it – I’m a night owl. I tend to stay up until ungodly hours, poking a flashlight under the blankets in order to finish whatever book has captivated my attention at that point. And during the night, it seems my energy is boundless… that is, until I finally fall asleep and the alarm clock rings minutes later. I’m all for early to bed and early to rise, but sometimes I honestly wish mornings would just wait a little longer to rule their ugly heads up from the horizon.
3. Those little ding-ding sounds on e-readers
My e-reader of choice is my Samsung Galaxy Tab, which happens to also be a full-on tablet equipped with all sorts of fancy knick-knacks – including notifications. When I’m reading an ebook, the last thing I want to hear is that little ding-ding sound signaling a new email, or tweet, or Skype update, or Kik message. I fully realize that I should be in touch with the world and all that, but right in the middle of the book, it’s all I can do not to throw my Galaxy across the room whenever the annoyingly cheerful ding-ding plays.
4. Book Hangovers
Book hangovers generally happen only when I read a mindblowingly amazing, unforgettable, will-follow-me-around-for-the-rest-of-my-life kind of book. Which, admittedly, is not very often – but when book hangovers strike, they strike hard. The definition of a book hangover is a period of time after you have finished a book, usually ranging from a day to a week, when the only thing that you can think of is that particular book. Anyone who tries to interact with you is swiftly snapped at. Your entire brain capacity is focused on fully immersing yourself in the experience that is the book. The reason I list this as a pet peeve is it can be annoying for your parents, friends, teachers, bosses, siblings, co-workers, and other people who you talk to on a daily basis. Also, you will probably never look at the world the same way again and will approach every new book with caution lest it induce another book hangover. ;)
5. Walking into things
*looks around* What? Am I the only one who does this? :P Seriously, I do have the tendency to read while walking, and I actually have walked into two streetlights and friend’s cat (don’t even ask about that one). However, my hand-eye coordination has become pretty good over the years so hopefully this particular pet peeve will not crop up again anytime soon. It can be a tad embarrassing if there are people around who do not understand the compelling power of a really amazing book.
6. Overdue fines
I’m pretty sure this is where 99.9% of my allowance goes: towards overdue fines. It’s quite annoying, actually, because I go to my local library almost every day, but for some unfathomable reason I keep forgetting which books are meant to be returned on which days and concurrently, I get overdue fines. Why can’t the library people understand that I need to keep books for a little (okay, maybe a lot) longer sometimes (okay, maybe all the time)?!
This is mostly for series books. It is probably the worst feeling in the world to read the first book in an awesome series, to frantically sprint to the library searching for the next book, and to be informed that the next one will be coming out in 9 months and the only way to get your hands on it is to pre-order it. I’ve lost count of the number of series I’m desperately awaiting the next book of. Sometimes I just wish authors would write the whole series in one go and release it so that we readers could be spared the anxiety!
8. Careless Borrowers
My books are my babies. I rarely lend out my books, and when I do it is with a whole checklist: don’t eat and read! Don’t drink and read! Don’t read in the rain! Don’t bend the pages! Don’t bend the spine! Careless borrowers – those people who treat my books like trash instead of treasure – really, really piss me off. If I lend you one of my books, I expect that you return it exactly the way I have kept it – that is, in tip-top condition. I have yet to meet a person who meets my standards when it comes to book borrowing! ;)
I think every single lover of stories, be it movies or TV shows or books, can relate to this one. Spoilers are the bane of my existence. Whenever friends are talking about a particular book that I haven’t read at the lunch table, I will literally get up and relocate to a different table simply to avoid hearing spoilers. I simply cannot fathom how I can read something knowing exactly how it ends – or even a major event in the middle of the story. Books that might have been some of my favorites end up being so-so, just because I knew what would happen and the surprise was gone. Spoilers are probably the worst pet peeve on this list.
I confess – I am guilty of being one of the avid fans who go into movie theatres, a copy of her favorite well-worn book-that-has-now-been-made-into-a-movie in hand, and proceed to point out every single tiny detail that is different from the book (“why is her dress RED in that scene?! It’s supposed to be PURPLE!”). Books have always been, and will probably always be, first and foremost in my mind compared to their movie companions. I love shaping the characters in my mind, turning them into the people I want them to be – and actors and actresses trying to fit into that image simply destroys it, not enhances it.