a blank slate

a blank slate

Negative Reviews, Stickers and Other Pet Peeves

Negative Reviews, Stickers and Other Pet Peeves
Moving to a new city, leaving th comfeort of my home, looking forward (not) to two years of university life made me dig up this old draft about things that make me uncomfortable: my bookish pet peeves. I suppose two years will turn me into a very accommodating person, I can only hope, but you have to admit, finicky obsessions do have their personal touch.

Review / Blogging:

Negative Reviews: Of course, there are whole big complicated annoying discussions about this one. But my problem is not whether negative reviews are morally right or wrong, but simply this: do bad reviews really affect your decision to buy? Ever since I started writing this blog, I have discovered many great authors through rave reviews of their books. Five-star reviews and unending praise do play a part in convincing me to pick up a book. Negative reviews, unless I’ve already read the book, are kind of pointless. I’ve never decided to not buy a book because someone thinks it SUCKS –  It’s just someone venting their frustration: too subjective. 

Stock Reviews: I suppose I went through this phase too, where all my reviews read the same; the plot is fast-paced/action-packed/slow/meandering. The characters are realistic/fake/blah blah. Reviews that make no real expansion on what the book is reminiscent of, what it makes you feel, the theme, the point of the book are kind of pointless anyway. Pointless overly-commercialized posting is a big problem in the world of blogging, I think.

Book – Appearance:

Book Stickers: I hate stickers on books. They ruin the prettiest cover pictures. The offer stickers (50% off, 3 for 2) are generally easy to remove, but you can’t say the same for price or “Oprah’s Book Club Read” stickers. When I bought the latest addition to my Rowling collection, I made sure to meticulously and almost fully scratch off the sloppily unimaginative sticker on The Cuckoo’s Calling. For those of you who share this pet peeve, but would rather not attack books with your fingernails, the How to Remove Stickers from your Books tutorial is very helpful.

Edge gilding or colouring: This is a new peeve. I have a mystery novel with red coloured edges and my old library had a Philip Pullman book with black edges. Both look preposterous in my opinion. Colouring the edges of books is such a needless waste of… well, colour and money I guess, and I do believe page edges browned and yellowed with colour have a certain finesse that you lose when you colour them artifically, even if with gold leaf.

Book – Content

Slabs of writing with no spaces – Okay, so I understood and appreciated the creative need for this in Jose Saramago’s Blindness; the effect the writing had of wading through darkness like a blind person. But then I started reading another of his books that had little to do with losing your sight and it was just the same. I left that book. Reading shouldn’t be an effort, should it? What’s the fun in that.

That’s enough complaining for today, I’d say. Although, this post has given me the idea of posting about things I love to see in books, a much happier post, don’t you think? But till then, what don’t you like to see in books?

9 comments on “Negative Reviews, Stickers and Other Pet Peeves
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