Top Five Wednesday: Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About

Find more about T5W here! This week is the first Christmassy (ish) topic!!!! It’s Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About. Sam said “petty bookish things you hate” which is perfect because petty is my middle name.

Hanging quotations or brackets

This one physically pains me. It is my biggest pet peeve in writing. I can’t even do an example because it would pain me, but y’all know what I’m talking about. Like when there are no close brackets or close quotation marks. UGH I hate it, mainly because a copy editor should have caught it.

The manic-pixie-dream girl

This is more of a trope, but it’s a trope I’ve always hated. Generally she’s the embodiment of internalized mysogyny and is “not like other girls.” Think Zooey Deschanel’s characters in most things (nothing against her as a person or an actress, but she does portray this trope all. the. time).

When characters never go to the bathroom

Okay weirdly specific one, but this is one thing I like about the CHERUB series. They say when they have to pee and it makes things more relatable? Like sometimes in books, the characters will be doing something for hours, or be locked up somewhere for hours, and no one mentions needing a bathroom? Unrealistic.

Busy covers

I’m a fan of simple covers and I’m not a fan of busy covers. There are some that I know others love that I can’t stand. I’m also just a really picky person when it comes to aesthetics so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When characters are described in too much detail

When I was younger (like 12) and writing “my first novel,” I described every character and setting in excruciating detail (my brother was worse though — he once described a bedroom exactly, including the number of cabinets present in the kitchenette). When I read too detailed characterizations now, it seems childish. Obviously I don’t like no detail, but describing a person exactly is too much. Just tell me their overall impression, maybe their ethnicity or hair colour, and anything that is relevant and comes up later. That’s all you need.

That ended up being a bit more ranty, but those are the petty things I dislike in books! Do you agree with any of these? Are there any others?

Thanks for reading! xx


21 thoughts on “Top Five Wednesday: Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About

  1. Yes! Why do they never mention bodily functions or grooming in so many books? People never go to the bathroom, get their period, bathe, get zits, sneeze and accidentally get a big booger on their face, etc. It IS more relatable when this still is thrown in there, because it makes the characters more human. (I mean, I guess this doesn’t really apply when the character is supposed to be non-human, but still…I imagine they would still use the bathroom at some point, right?!)


  2. The manic pixie dream girl is the worst! I hate when they do it in books, in movies, and on TV, too. Just write an interesting and complex character who isn’t just quirky and almost too adorable! Sorry, this really bothers me too haha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! That’s part of the reason why I stopped watching New Girl. It was all about her being quirky and everything working out for her in such a fun way. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. haha my friend always said the same thing about Cherub- I thought it was clever at the beginning and got a bit overused. But yeah, I get what you mean 😉 Oh gosh you are so right about characters described in too much detail- I just don’t need to know that much about every single freckle or whatever!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely agree with some things on this list! Busy covers, too detailed of descriptions, and poor editing get to me. Annoying characters… well, they’re annoying, obviously! But I probably jump around in the genres too much to be bothered by it.
    As for the bathroom thing….
    Here’s my take: Fiction is fiction. It’s not meant to mirror real life–it’s meant to be an escape. So, if they don’t talk about potty breaks, that’s fine with me.
    My other thing is that I prefer focused storytelling. If it doesn’t matter, then skip it. (Which is why I don’t care for long, detailed descriptions of characters.) If it matters that Jane has diarrhea, then let me know! If something’s going to happen while Joe is taking a leak, I want to hear about it. But if Sally has a full bladder, but it doesn’t matter to the story, then I frankly don’t care to hear about it–just like I wouldn’t care to hear about anything else that doesn’t add to the story.
    BUT, when characters are in abnormal circumstances, such as being locked up for hours, then I think it does add something and should be mentioned.
    So, I suppose I partially agree with you? Great list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes total sense! It’s like the too much detail thing. Obviously I generally only want to read things that are pertinent to the story. But I sometimes find in fiction that’s not fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi, it’s unrealistic for the characters to NEVER complain about needing the bathroom. It just makes it realer and more relatable to me?

      Liked by 1 person

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