…actually only one but that got your attention, right? It’s a pile of ‘abandoned’ books that I have teetering by my bedside. In fact the orphans by now far outweigh the ‘To-Read’s. Which is a bit sad.
It’s difficult to know what to do with them. Although in the past I have been known to chuck them across the room straight into the bin. I daredn’t name names. With all these networking sites I can’t take that risk. Suffice is to say it ‘twee-ed’ me to death and I couldn’t bear it any longer. I actually felt insulted. But it would probably have delighted the next person. If Twee be their cuppa tea.
I do, however, have a small list of things that really get my goat. *clears throat*:
A Contents list. And by this I mean a list at the beginning of the book with chapter number followed by chapter title. Because a lot can be learnt from the title of a chapter. And if this is at the front of the book, then it’s going to be read before, say, Chapter One is even reached. I picked up one such book recently and by the time I’d read the titles in the contents list, I felt I’d already read the whole book. And after I’d read the first few actual pages, I was waiting for the *Chapter 1 heading* to happen. Which it did. Followed by the *Chapter 2 heading* that was about to happen. OMG. It felt so pointless. So annoying.
Mixing up the tenses/typos And, while we’re at it – isn’t this what a copy editor/proof reader is paid to iron out before it gets as far as our hands anyway? Once or twice I can kind of forgive, but every other page? No thanks. Unless the book comes with a packet of Panadol and/or a bar of Galaxy.
An MC who either works as a Florist (and there’s a LOT of those lately) an Advertising Exec, or anywhere Big in Media – or all three at the same time. Please, for crikey sake can’t we have some ordinary people who work at the Town Hall, Tesco or in the local Chippy?
A Preface. The more obscure, the heavier it sits on my mind as I try and read the rest of the story. What did it mean? Is *this* the person/situation it was alluding to? Am I missing something? Why was I given this information to begin with? I don’t know what to do with it – where does it fit? Should I skip to the end to make sure I’ve understood it properly or should I just open the nearest bottle of wine?
Too many characters. I can cope with two main and two secondary. And I’ll let those also have minor acquaintances but character overload equals brain malfunction. I want to feel close to my main characters; please don’t dilute. I once read a book that had 16 main characters. Never again. There aren’t enough highlighter pens in a set to keep up. Same with maps of the fictional area. What’s all that about?
Designer-names. If I find another MC who has a fabulous Louis Vuitton bag/scarf or hankers after some Jimmy Choos, then she’s joining that Twee book on the next flight into the WPB. What’s wrong with having a bag you got in the Matalan sale anyway? What are you implying? Aren’t I good enough for you?
Too many commas in one, sometimes five line, sentence. Please… I know the comma-splice ‘rule’ but let’s be realistic about it, okay - I thought reading was supposed to be an enjoyable experience? I don’t want to have to track back half a page to find out how the sentence began. This is not the reason I bought you.
Babies/toddlers: who get in the way. Perfectly ok if they’re the main reason FOR the story but if there’s action and/or conversation going on – please – give the child a dummy or ten quid to get out of a scene or two. References to them are fine but an interjection by them… no thanks. They’re just an annoying distraction and I have enough of those in my life already, thanks.
p.s. I got SO annoyed once, right at the end of one of Tony Parson's books when his characters were dancing to Britney Spears' "Do that to me one more time" that I spent an eternity tracking him down to point out the error of his ways... I don't know if he ever read the e-mail but I've never bought another of his books... so that'll teach him, won't it?!
Pet Peeves anybody?
Pet Peeves anybody?