Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish pet peeves


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is ‘Favourite Book Settings’, but I ended up missing last week, talking about Bookish Pet Peeves, so decided to share it this week instead because you all know I love any opportunity to be salty. Today is actually the first day of my new job, and it was my 30th birthday over the weekend, so apologies that I’ve been very slow to blog hop and reply to comments but I will be making an effort to go blog hopping this weekend!

Mid-series cover changes

An oldie but goldie, and a problem that, thankfully, I haven’t seen as much of in recent years! I think YA is particularly guilty of this, and there seemed to be a spate of this going around in the 2010s where the covers would change for the final book in a trilogy, and it was so frustrating having a mismatched series on your shelf. Granted some people don’t care about that kind of thing at all, but it’s so aesthetically satisfying when a series matches.

People who have Thoughts™ about what other people do with their books

Some of us like to keep our books pristine, some of us like to write in them and break the spines. As long as someone isn’t doing anything to your copy of a book, why is it your business what someone else does with theirs? Let people scribble and rip and break if that’s what improves their reading experience! There are so many actual problems in the world, I don’t think someone dog-earing their pages is an issue.

How every book is enemies-to-lovers—even when it isn’t

The only reason enemies-to-lovers isn’t one of my favourite tropes is because it’s very rarely done well. I love a proper slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance done over a long series, where there’s time for the characters to actually be enemies, then reluctant allies, then friends, then lovers. Telling me something is enemies-to-lovers when it’s just two people glaring at each other over their work desk ain’t it.

The [insert mediocre white man here]’s Wife/Mistress/Lover/Daughter/Aunt/Niece etc.

This is the kind of title that’s rampant in historical fiction – and it clearly works, which is why it keeps happening – but man it’s boring.

When audiobook narrators have accents that make no sense

There are so many amazing audiobook narrators out there – Kate Reading in Marie Brennan’s The Memoirs of Lady Trent; Steve West in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer; Helen Duff in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor; Moira Quirk in Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth – but there’s no doubt that there are others who aren’t quite as good. The narrators who baffle me, though, are the narrators who sound nothing like I imagine the characters to sound. The best example of this for me is the narrator of the Grisha trilogy audiobooks, who narrates the entire story in her American accent even though Ravka is essentially a fantasy Russia. Why tho?

The ‘audiobooks aren’t real reading’ argument

Not only is this an incredibly ableist take, it’s also such a weird hill to die on. I imagine people who think this are the same people who don’t actually use audiobooks, so why even stick your nose into the business of people that do? I genuinely don’t get it.

When celebrity authors overcrowd the Middle Grade market

Looking at you, David Walliams. The Guardian published a really interesting article on the prevalence of celebrity authors in children’s publishing that’s worth a read if you have a moment – I can’t believe how full of himself David Baddiel is to think his success as an author has nothing to do with his celebrity. Many celebrities are famous because they are creative people, and can therefore write a good story, but it’s so clear that so many of them are just a shameless money grab and children who read deserve better. There are so many fantastic Middle Grade authors who deserve far more attention.

The lack of ebooks for US books in the UK

I don’t have enough room to pre-order a physical copy of every book I’d like to read, which is why I’m glad I have my kindle, but so often a book I’m interested in isn’t even available as an ebook in the UK and it’s so frustrating. I haven’t been able to read any of the Rick Riordan Presents books yet because I can’t get my hands on the ebooks. It’s a real bummer.

Inaccurate comp titles

I’m still bummed that Fireheart Tiger wasn’t for me, especially when describing it as ‘Howl’s Moving Castle meets The Goblin Emperor‘ means it should have been for me. I totally get why comp titles are useful, but when they’re inaccurate I think they do more harm than good!

When people condemn problematic characters as if they’re a stand-in for the author

There’s been so much discourse around ‘problematic’ characters lately, especially over on book Twitter, and so many conversations seem to be happening between people who don’t seem to get that authors aren’t their characters and vice versa. I’ve got some news for you: Authors can write toxic people without believing that their readers should be toxic people. I love to see positive representation – especially for people who don’t get it often – but at the end of the day I want novels to be a story, not a lesson, and we shouldn’t expect them to hold our hands.

What did you talk about this week?

37 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish pet peeves

  1. Catherine Neal (@CatherineENeal) says:

    I literally don’t understand how people can read a book and not break the spine – it doesn’t seem physically possible to me! The celebrity kids books thing is so annoying – but to be fair to David Walliams, the kids do actually like those books. I feel like he’d be popular anyway, although I’m not keen on them. David Baddiel’s delusional though. Oh and happy Birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thank you!

      Yeah some celebrity authors are genuinely good storytellers, but the ones who think their book’s success has nothing to do with their celebrity are living on a different planet – why do they think they get so much money put behind their book?


  2. iloveheartlandx says:

    Happy belated birthday and good luck with your new job. I also hate mid-series cover changes, they are the worst. And yes, I’ve never understood why people feel the need to proclaim that other people shouldn’t do something with THEIR books? Like as long as you don’t do it to mine if I lend them to you, I’m good! Audiobooks aren’t real reading drives me mad, like you said it’s ableist and there’s whole traditions of oral storytelling in numerous cultures!
    My TTT:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephanie - Bookfever says:

    Mid-series cover changes are SO frustrating. I’ve been through it a lot and I hate it. And fuuuck I can get so mad when people say audiobooks aren’t real reading. My eyes turn into actual flames when I see people saying that. 🔥🔥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicole @ BookWyrmKnits says:

    Happy birthday!

    I will admit, I am one of those people who put dog-earing books as a pet peeve last week… but in my defense, I didn’t care one way or the other about that until I worked in a library and had to UN-dog-ear books that were returned like that. I do agree that what people do with their own books is up to them. I just wish more people would be gentle with library books.

    My TTT:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jaime says:

    You have so many good ones here! Several that I didn’t even think about until now but can as being annoying. I agree completely that inaccurate comp titles are awful. It gives you the wrong idea completely and you might have enjoyed it if you weren’t expecting it to be like such and such book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dinipandareads says:

    WoW, I had no idea there were so many celebrity authors??? 😂 That list tho! I’m so over the “audiobooks aren’t real reading” discussion too—it’s SO frustrating and needs to be retired. Also, totally agree with the ebook situation. I have Amazon UK and am always disappointed when the ebook isn’t available for that market but it’s there for the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Honestly, why are there so many? Stop crowding the market! Amazon UK’s ebook situation is one I just don’t get, even as someone who works in publishing – it’s not even a physical book, why can’t I just have a copy of it on my ereader?


  7. Riddhi B. says:

    This is such a great post Jess!
    Congrats on your new job and a belated happy birthday!
    Mid-series cover changes are annoying, so I usually read/order book series that are completed, lol.
    And even though I don’t read audiobooks, I sincerely believe they count as reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rabeeah says:

    Congratulations on your new job, and happy birthday!! I, too, missed this topic and feel like I ought to return to it. What can I say, it is fun to complain, and the annoying things for no reason – like mid-series cover changes – certainly should be complained about. I have to admit, I haven’t come across some of these. People really passionately believe audiobooks don’t count as reading? Or get aggravated at how others read in general? How odd!

    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lexlingua says:

    Wow, I pretty much agree with everything on your list. And I didn’t even know there were people who claimed audiobook isn’t real reading! As for People with Thoughts… — I confess I used to be one of them, till I realized exactly what you’re saying: As long as I don’t disrespect your copy of the book, I’m going to read my copy just the way I want to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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