Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. I'm sure they'd love to share your lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten list.

This Week's Topic is:
Top Bookish Pet Peeves 

1. Non Bookish People Pretending to be Interested in What I'm Reading::
I know I should try and embrace every even mildly interested in books, but are you really going to understand me if I start babbling about Foer's prose or Salingers characters? No. I'm also willing to bet that you knew you wouldn't have heard of the book I'm reading when you decided this was a great way to start conversation.

2. Mistreated Books:
First I want to admit that I do write in books (don't flog me yet). I almost exclusively underline memorable quotes or translate foreign passages in the margins, and I do it sparingly. I see no reason for page after page to be nothing but highlighter, or for 30 pages in the middle of my copy of Catcher in the Rye to be missing. Also, if I ever see anything like what happened to that poor used copy I bought of 1984 ever again, where people are writing "He's sad" and "She's confused" next to underlined passages that SAY THOSE EXACT WORDS I will put the book out of it's misery. Lastly, never spill anything on a book I own. Ever. I don't know who got fruit punch all over my copy of Catch - 22, but I think there is a special place in hell for you.

3. People Who Only Give Positive Reviews:
This was the best book ever? Was it better than that book you read last week that was the best ever, or the week before that? I get it, sometimes you're on a winning streak and you pick up hit after hit. That doesn't go on forever. Please be honest. I read reviews to get a sense of the author and their work and to determine if I'll like it, and if you're to chicken to say "well, I didn't really like this because" than maybe you shouldn't be blogging. I really appreciated honest reviews and really make an effort to post nothing but honest opinions here.

4. Audiobooks:
I can't get into audiobooks. I own exactly one, a version of Emma I bought off of iTunes. I paid attention to it for all of three minutes before I found my mind wandering. I have a very, very hard time concentrating on something that is strictly audio. I guess this is more of a weird jealousy than an actual pet peeve, because I don't mind people who listen to audiobooks, just as long as it isn't loudly in the car I'm in, I just wish I could be one of you. I'm jealous of you're ability to multi-task and and getting to listen to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter.

5. Follow to Enter Giveaways:
This is not an attack on Giveaways, and I totally understand where this is coming from. I don't particularly feel like giving away a book or giftcard to someone who stopped by my blog for two seconds and will never return. On the same token I want my followers to want to follow me because they like what I'm doing and not because they could use $10 at amazon. I'm kind of picky about who I follow, well, I don't know if you can call it picky, but I only follow blogs that I know I will actually read. I still follow some 150 blogs.

Where this really comes from is the giveaway hops that have been happening lately where I feel like some people are just trolling around for followers, and that kind of irritates me. I'm aware most people don't have this problem, and I appear to be on a very high horse for someone who doesn't get very many comments per entry, but I'm kind of opinionated.

Weak and Uninteresting Characters:
I know I've ranted about this before. Characters are what make stories for me. I need interesting people in difficult situations. Hell, they can be interesting people in mundane situations. JUST MAKE THEM INTERESTING. I'm looking at you, Ms. Swan. If the character is whinny and complacent and unwilling to actually do anything for themselves, I want to throw the book through my window, and no one wants that.

6. Painfully Predictable Stories:
I like Carol Goodman. A lot. She does a great job of using as well as creating new fairy tales and weaving them into a bigger work. That being said I know exactly how many characters are going to die, what age groups they will be in and the approximate page number the 'twist' will come out on. Oh, did I mention that I'll have already figured on the twist 20 pages in? This isn't a trait specific to Goodman. I see it all over this weird mysterious/suspenseful/still mostly generic fiction section (look! I created a genre!). I get that it's hard to be unique, but I get amazingly irritated when I can start mocking a stories end before I've even finished the beginning.

7. People Who Do Not Return Books:
Please just give them back.Especially if it's a book I said I absolutely adored, and you see that I've underlined quite a few passages.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Anne Bennett said...

I'm a huge fan of audiobooks, if they are well narrated, but then I admit that I am an auditory learner so hearing things is important for my brain.

I really struggle with the topic of negative reviews. I have decided that I will give lukewarm reviews or at least highlight some aspect of a book that I like if I am going to write a review at all. Just to be fair. Plus I am writing for my students to help them choose good books to read. If I write a negative review aren't I doing the opposite?

Letter4no1 said...

@Anne Bennett. I wish I was an auditory learner :(

That is a good point about reviews. I don't mind good reviews, and I like reviews that actually have substance and reasoning. Keep the kids reading!

Red said...

People who only give positive reviews drive me nuts. Or really, just make me stop reading that blog. I know that people a lot of people want to find at least 1 positive thing to say about a book, even if they didn't like it and I'm all for that. But glowing reviews of everything don't really help me know if the book was any good or not.

Kathy said...

Hi! I found you through The Broke and the Bookish.
I do disagree about audiobooks, though, as I love them and always have one in my car.
I also don't like "follow" giveaways. Or the ones where you have to "tweet" about this. I'll still enter and hope that my one entry is enoough to win.
Have a great week.

Avid Reader said...

The positive review thing drives me crazy too. I end up not trusting any of the reviews by the person.

The giveaway/follower thing has really been bugging me lately. I've boycotted doing any on my blog for quite awhile because you end up with a bunch of followers that clearly don't care what you're writing.

Lily Child said...

It is so funny that you posted this! I was JUST explaining to my boyfriend about HOW MUCH I hate it when people who are not interested in books try to pretend they're interested in what you're reading. I loathe it for all the reasons you mentioned!!!!

I also agree with the misuse of books! :( I treat my books like they're part of the family. They are almost like new when I'm finished reading them. I also agree with your margin-writing comment. I mean, seriously?!

Weak and uninteresting characters as well as predictable plot lines! Girl! It's like you read my mind! I struggled through the last 2 books I read for this reason!!!

I'm also not a big fan of audiobooks. Occasionally I will pop one in when I drive up to my parent's house. They live 2 hours away, so it's a good way to pass the time. However, it only works when the book I'm listening to is REALLY good. Otherwise I get to distracted or fall asleep, which is, you know BAD if you're driving a moving vehicle.

So...great list! :D