Thursday, December 9, 2010

Literary Pet Peeves

I'm back in the blogging world! I know I said this Tuesday, but there was one more paper to do,and Tuesday seems like such a long time ago. Regardless I'm excited to get to participate in the Literary Book Blog Hop (Hosted by the Blue Bookcase) again, since I was to busy to last week
Literary Blog Hop

This Week's question:
What is one of your literary pet peeves? Is there something that writers do that really sets your teeth on edge? Be specific, and give examples if you can. 

I don't really have any really big pet peeves. Usually my major reading problems are story based, but I do have a few things that really bother me when I'm reading. For starters I hate the same, or similar name in the same book. While my tastes are pretty eclectic, I do read a lot of historical fiction, so I come across this problem a lot. I know that in these cases it is done more in the name of being 'accurate' then anything else, but still - the next time I see a William or Mary I am going to scream!

My other big pet peeve is footnotes. Not in academic work or non fiction, but in general fiction. I put up with the footnotes in House of Leaves, and while I'm glad I did I know I will never put that much work into reading a just decent story again. I've started Infinite Jest twice, and can't get past the pages long footnotes. They just take me out of the story, and that's the last thing that I need when I'm really getting into a reading groove. 





11 comments:

Becky (Page Turners) said...

There were lots of footnotes in The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith by Peter Carey and I found them extremely distracting!

IngridLola said...

I'm not a huge fan of footnotes either. It interrupts my flow.

L.L. said...

I don't mind footnotes - sometimes i need them to understand what's going on - but endnotes make me crazy! And I'm with you with the similar names.

Melody said...

I don't mind footnotes but really dislike too many characters with the same name. Really unnecessary usually. And frustrating even if it is historically accurate.

Laura C. said...

I don't like footnotes much either. However, I'm reading the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and I don't mind them. they seem sensible.

LifetimeReader said...

As an ex-academic, I love footnotes! I know, I know...total geek... What I can't stand is the notes in the back that aren't even marked in the text. Of course, I recognize that this is perhaps the best compromise--doesn't interrupt the story for those of you who don't like notes, and still provides the references and notes for those of us who want or need them. I find it fascinating that so many people have brought up this issue, on one side or the other.

Christina said...

I feel like a square writing this, but I love footnotes! I feel like they give me a little break from the story and a tasty, marginally-related tidbit. The one instance where they annoy me is when I'm reading aloud (usually in the car, to my husband) and I have to stop and say, "ok, wait a second, there's a footnote here..."

parrish lantern said...

If everything is properly marked I've no problem with notes foot or end, it's when the referenced piece is not there that i exhibit mild states of peevishness.

Lucia said...

I also have the name problem with a lot of classics and historical fiction. Mrs John Dashwood, Mrs Dashwood, Miss, Miss and Miss Dashwood...

Lily Child said...

I'm with you on the footnotes thing. It really gets annoying after a while. I feel like the flow of the story is gone. It gets really choppy when your constantly looking down at the footnotes.

India Drummond said...

I don't like footnotes either. I don't like to be reminded that I'm reading a book, and footnotes make it harder to stay immersed in the story. I'd say my biggest pet peeve are characters that withhold information that could make everything better... for no other reason than if they told the truth, the book would be over. :) In fantasy I hate it when good characters turn out to be secretly royal, in mysterys I don't like killers making big speeches at the end that turn out to be their downfall, and in romance I can't stand conflict that is based on nothing more than misunderstandings.