Top 7 Bookish Disappointments From 2023 Revisited

A lot happened for books in 2023, but even more didn’t happen. Let’s go over the issues with books that, unfortunately, weren’t resolved this year and will probably plague us in 2024.

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A girl in glasses staring ahead in disappointment with stacks of books on either side of her.

2023 has seen a lot of big things in terms of books: book bans frequently in the news; romances topping the book charts; and dozens of recent releases winning awards. 

Amidst all the incredible new things that have happened in the book world in 2023, some things haven’t changed. Let’s look at some of the bookish disappointments that 2023 had, and here’s hoping we can do away with them in 2024.

7. Books Don’t Have A Uniform Size

Uniformity is the killer of creativity — except when it comes to books. Although the world would be a much happier place if all books were the same height, they continue to vary from publisher to publisher and sometimes even imprint to imprint. So, the struggle of perfectly aligning your books on your bookshelf remains.

A close-up of a row of books on a bookshelf.

6. Mid-Series Cover Changes Are Still A Thing

Despite protests heard around the world, publishers still insist on giving series a brand make-over mid-run. The people who make these decisions must not be true bookworms, or else they would know how painful it is to have books one and two not match books three through five. (With the exception of the Shatter Me series, the re-brand is usually worse than the original).

Book cover for "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi.

5. James Patterson Has Not Retired

As always, James Patterson remains one of the most popular author names in stores. From bookstores to Walmarts to airport gift shops, his name is guaranteed to be on almost every book cover. (Whether or not he wrote those books is neither here nor there.)

Book cover for "Run Rose Run" by Dolly Parton and James Patterson.

4. Books With Movie Covers Are Still Legal

It is a great day when your favorite book series gets made into a movie or TV show. What’s not so great is when publishing houses decide they need to re-release the book with a cover of the actors. Not only is this a lazy cover design method, but it also completely ruins the perfectly good character description I’ve been using for the past 300 pages.

Movie tie-in book cover for "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" by Suzanne Collins.

3. Employers Did Not Instate Mandatory Reading Breaks

While most employers don’t mind what you do on your breaks, they also don’t understand that one break is just not enough time to go the bathroom, get a snack, and finish the chapter of your latest read. And they tend to get touchy when you try to negotiate a second break just to catch up on your reading — something about “not being a team player.”

A woman sitting in a chair reading a book.

2. You Cannot Arrest People For Interrupting Your Reading

One of the best indicators that you’re not looking for conversation is sticking your nose in a book. Yet, a large portion of the population has not gotten the memo on this social cue. But no government has recognized this as a punishable offense, so introverts must endure interrupting discussions for the time being.

"QUIET PLEASE" written on a chalkboard.

1. Books Still Cost Money

Unfortunately, unless you use libraries or borrow books from your fellow bookworms, books still cost money. Not only that, book prices just seem to be getting higher and higher. There have been several disappointments, but the egregious cost of a hardcover remains the biggest crime of 2023.

A hand putting a 100 dollar bill into a piggy bank.

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