For many of us, reading is a refuge from the problems and frustrations of everyday life. Unfortunately, not even our beloved book-lives are immune from these commonplace literary groaners.
1. Deckled edges
One of the more annoying publishing trends of late is the decision to release books with rough, untrimmed paper known as “deckled edges.” A throwback to the good ol’ days when paper was made by hand and smooth pages were costly to make, deckled edges are now more expensive then the smooth variant—and more annoying too. While some may enjoy the pages’ antique feel, others gripe that the style is too gimmicky.
2. Covers that spoil the plot of the book
Avoiding spoilers is hard enough in the age of the Internet; why do publishers have to add to the anguish? There’s nothing wrong with a little foreshadowing, but giving away the big twist on the back of the book is lazy and cruel.
4. Careless typos
We get it: bad typos can happen to even the best writers. Still, nothing takes you out of a story quite like a “your” instead of a “you’re,” “Chistmas” instead of “Christmas,” or, heaven forbid, “there” instead of “their.” Come on, copy editors of the world, get your act together.
4. Using fancy words for no reason
You’re sitting there, getting engrossed in a plot, when suddenly, out of nowhere, it hits you: “chrysostomatic.” Ok, we get it dude, you know how to use a thesaurus. This isn’t a game of Scrabble. Or the SAT.
5. Over-the-shoulder readers
Books may teach you empathy for your fellow man…except for that one jerk looking over your shoulder as you read. Buddy: I don’t need your coffee-breath bearing down on my literature. If you’re so fascinated with my book, get your own copy!
6. Needless name stand-ins
If the protagonist is named Susan, please please don’t call her “the brunette” or “the woman,” or worse, “the brunette woman.” It doesn’t tell us anything useful, and it sticks out like a sore thumb! Authors: If you feel like using the name is getting repetitive, just don’t worry about it. LET SUSAN BE SUSAN.
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