Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

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Hosted by the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group

 

Well gang, it’s officially the holiday season. It’s nineteen days until Christmas, six days until the first day of Hanukkah, and twenty-five days until New Year’s Eve AKA my birthday. It is, as the eloquent and illustrious Aly & AJ put it, “the greatest time of year.” Not only that, but there are only four Top 5 Wednesday topics left of 2017. I’ll only be doing three, as one of them is your top five books of the year and I have my own post planned for that. But the rest of the topics are apt and festive. Today’s topic is the top five bookish things that you’re a Grinch about. However, you can’t choose serious topics like lack of diversity or abusive relationships. It needs to be pet peeves and petty things, like dumb, overused tropes, cover designs, and cliché turns of phrase. I could go on all day about little bookish things that irritate me, but I think I have five that really get under my skin. Cuddly as cactuses and charming as eels, here are the five bookish pet peeves that have my heart shrinking two sizes too small:

 

  1. “And then the world went black/away.”: This turn of phrase is used ad naseum in books to describe someone getting knocked unconscious. At first it was poetic; now it gets an instant eye roll. It’s definitely something about the use of “the world,” because saying “everything went black” doesn’t bother me. I think it goes back to that lyrical feel. Unfortunately, such a figure of speech can only remain novel for so long. Saying “everything” gets right to the point. I really wish authors would quit using this expression, or at least give it a break for a while. Your girl is tired of reading it.
  2. Cover Girl: Having been a big reader during the mid-2000s era of YA, I’ve seen enough books with a girl posing on the cover to last a lifetime. I want some more creativity with my covers. Plus, it really skews how you imagine the character. Truthfully, there’s something cheesy about having any character on the cover. Let’s get some artsy, inventive covers up in this bitch.
  3. Queens, Shadows, and Of-ness: I’m tired of these cut-and-paste titles that all sound the same. So many books have words like “queen” or “shadows” in the title. I get that they sound good, but they lose their weight when everyone uses them. I’m also tired of titles that use the “___ of ___” formula. Six of Crows, Court of Fives, Children of Blood and Bone, and the triple-offender, Queen of Shadows. As a writer, one of the things that has always been the most difficult for me is titles, so I get it. But still, come on.
  4. Altered Font: This doesn’t happen often, but I hate when authors change the font to denote a point-of-view change. Authors who do this already label each chapter by who is either narrating or getting a perspective, so it’s overkill. But I especially hate when they change the font color as well. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does I want to storm the editor’s office and demand answers. Please, just pick one legible font and use that for your whole book. That’s all I ask.
  5. Girl Hate: I don’t know if this counts as serious, but I have to talk about it. I am so sick of the unnecessary girl hate in books (and all other media). Girl hate is a learned behavior, so if we eliminate it from our media we won’t teach girls to hate each other for innocuous reasons. It’s so toxic. More girl love and girl support. More girls holding each other up. Also more girls in love, but that’s another post for another day.

 

What are some little bookish things that bring out your inner Grinch? Tell me about them in the comments!

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