Jennifer Hillier

Top ten pet peeves about books

Jul 13, 2010 | Uncategorized

10.  Books printed in tiny font.  This isn’t an issue with the mass market books produced now, because they’re bigger.  But I have a lot of older mass market books from a few years ago that are hard to read because the font is so small.
9.  Characters that are over-described.  Hints of a character’s appearance is fine (general build, hair color, an interesting scar or tattoo), but too much description can ruin the story.  If the author gives me a laundry list of physical attributes, I’ll spend too much time trying to piece together all the parts in my head, when I should just be losing myself in the book.
8.  No author photo.  I hate it when I flip to the back of the book and there’s no picture of the person who wrote it.  I know that the photo doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I can’t help it, I’m curious!
7.  No acknowledgments page.  Again, this is me being nosy.  Who’s your agent?  Who’s your editor?  What’s your Grandma’s first name?  These are things that can be found in the acknowledgments page that are Essential For Me To Know.
6.  Typos.  I already ranted about this here.
5.  Excessive use of italics, which I already ranted about here.
4.  Inaccuracies in the back cover blurb.  My favorite book of all time was guilty of this! I have four different copies of Stephen King’s IT, and the back cover blurb reads:  They were seven teenagers when they stumbled upon the horror.  No they weren’t!  They were eleven!  Eleven eleven eleven!  Eleven is TWO YEARS away from being a teenager!  Twenty-five years and about a dozen readings later, this shit still annoys me.  (Edit to add:  I just checked the latest printing on and they fixed it.  It now reads:  They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror.  Hallelujah.)
3.  Building up to a potentially great love scene that just fades to black.  I get why Stephenie Meyer did this in BREAKING DAWN, but after a thousand-plus pages of “Please bite me Edward so we can live happily ever” and “No Bella I can’t it wouldn’t be right”, it would have been nice to have just a little sex.  A teeny little bit. 
2.  In keeping with #3:  Let-down endings.  THE ASSOCIATE by John Grisham, anyone?  I was lying by the pool in Mexico about a year ago reading it, and I overheard four ladies in lounge chairs next to me complaining about the disappointing ending.  And to my surprise (and dismay), they were absolutely right. 
1.  In keeping with #2:  Books that have NO ending.  It’s irritating when a book just STOPS… and there’s a difference between stopping and ending.  I find this is more likely to happen in literary fiction, and I can actually think of a perfect example… but I won’t name names because, uh, there’s a tiny chance that the author might actually read this blog.
As a reader, what are your pet peeves?