This was meant to be a bit more light-hearted than it actually is, but, by about the third one, I was feeling some kind of vibe, so while there are some regular pet peeves for this week’s That Artsy Reader Girl topic, there are also some will burn it all down pet peeves in here, too. Proceed with caution?

people calling me a monster
because I dog-ear my books

This gets me, y’all. I have a real problem with people telling me how or what I should read, particularly because both of those things are causing harm to literally no one, so when people try to police how I treat the books I purchased with my money–ohhhhh boy, it shouldn’t get me this riled up, but here we are!

Here’s the thing. Let’s settle this. I have a really bad memory, so I can’t remember what page I’m on. I also cannot stop in the middle of a chapter, or I’ll have to start over from the beginning, unless there’s an actual scene break with an actual asterisk or something on the page. But I promise you I won’t remember what chapter I’m on, either, so we can’t rely on my memory to keep track. That same memory is going to lose a bookmark, and I don’t carry extraneous things on me. Ever. Not only do I not hold onto receipts, I usually throw them out before I can even leave the store, or I don’t take one. Why? Because I don’t really shop. I go to the grocery store and, about once every six months, sometimes longer, to shop for clothes. Bookmarks degrade so fast, or they get lost in the crevices of my car (I read during lunch) or my room, and they just disappear into the ether. I cannot keep track of something that needs to be put inside of my book. So what’s left? Dog-earring! And you know what? It’s my book, so leave me the hell alone! I don’t dog-ear books that aren’t mine, and it’s a goddamn struggle to remember where I am, which is part of why I don’t borrow from people. I am not a monster. Did you pay for the book? No? Is it hurting you in some way other than your fragile emotions to watch me dog-ear the book that I paid for? No? Then fuck offffffff.

highbrow reading

I said in the intro that we got feisty by the third one, but here we are on the second one, and I’ve already dropped one profanity, and we’re at one of my other biggest bookish pet peeves. The amount of flack I get for reading things like Shadowhunters is astonishing. Literally just the other day, someone asked me what kind of books I read, and I said, all meek, “Oh, just young adult.” LIKE THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT! There ain’t, folks! You’re allowed to read whatever you want to read! Reading a boring ass classic does not make you a better person than me having a high vibing time over here with my angel-powered demon hunters! Have fun mooning over Mr. Darcy, I’ll be fine with looking better in black than the widows of our enemies since 1234 Jace Herondale, GOODBYE.

the “audiobooks aren’t real” crowd

Oh wow, I really wanted to come for the world today. My dad is one of these. My mom has recently discovered audiobooks, and it’s completely changed her life. She’s finally a reader for the first time in literally forever. She’s never been a reader, and she’s struggled through some books over the years, but she’s listened to ten books in the last year, and I am so damn proud of her. And then here comes my dad, “That’s not real reading.” THAT’S SO ABLEIST OH MY GODS I WILL CUT A BITCH. If you can comprehend a story, no matter the way it’s delivered to you, then guess what, you’re reading. Audiobooks are real books, and I will physically fight you if you disagree.

lack of communication

Hey, look, an actual bookish one! I really can’t stand lack of communication in books. Like, my dudes, please just have a conversation. Literally just sit down and talk to each other. One of my favorite examples of laughing at this trope was Chloe Gong in These Violent Delights because Roma & Juliette kept trying to not communicate with each other, or keep secrets, or whatever, and then kept being like nah bro that’s dumb let’s chat, and you know what? Five stars for the communication alone.

representation for the sake of representation
aka queerbaiting

Unpopular opinion time! Actually, I think it’s popular now? I still haven’t read Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater, and this is one of the reasons. Here’s the thing. You cannot hype a new book series up by calling it part of The Raven Boys universe, literally titling it the Dreamer Trilogy when you have always referred to one of those raven boys, specifically, as The Dreamer, and market is as The Ronan Books and then do none of that. Maybe I’m wrong, and there’s a lot I don’t know yet not having read Mister Impossible, but I did read CDTH, and I have read a lot of reviews of MI, and here’s the thing.

These books are not about Ronan, which means they don’t have any focus on Adam, which means we’re essentially being queerbaited. You cannot pitch a series about a character and then not make that character the main one, just like you cannot put two characters in a gay relationship and then never show that relationship again. That is a form of queerbaiting. When Cassandra Clare finally brought Magnus and Alec together, one of the things that excited me the most was that she continued to write about them together. Not only did they continue to have scenes together, as well as apart, but their relationship continued to grow throughout the series. I can actually count, on one hand, the amount of scenes that Ronan & Adam have spent together in a romantic sense.

I don’t want your gays if you’re just going to bury them.

present tense

This is so personal preference, but present tense drives me up a wall. I love the One Dark Throne series by Kendare Blake, but I think I four-starred each book, and that is 100% because of the tense. I could not focus on it because it was in present tense, and I don’t know if that’s because fanfiction used to be exclusively in present tense, so that’s where I’m used to seeing it, or if it was just weirdly written while it was in present tense. I think it might be a combo of the two because I remember there not being a lot of contractions, either, but there’s just something about the style of present tense that pulls me right out of the book.

no quotation marks

As does the lack of quotation marks! I think I’ve only read one or two books without quotation marks, but one of my friends has been reading a book with no quotation marks for literal months now because she can’t get through it. She does take an extraordinarily long time to read in general, but every time she picks this one up, she only makes it a chapter or so in because there’s no quotation marks, and I agree! It’s a dumb stylistic move that’s literally doing nothing for your book except aggravating your reader. You don’t look cool, you just make me not want to read your work.

love triangles that are actually just a line

Hey, remember when we were like I hate love triangles, they’re so dumb, and Cassandra Clare was like I raise you an actual love triangle, and WE WERE SHOOK. Name a love triangle that is actually a triangle. I won’t wait because I’ll be dead before you can because I can legitimately only think of a single love triangle that isn’t just a straight line. In The Dark Artifices, Cristina is at a super crossroads because she’s attracted to Mark, but she’s starting to form a friendship with Keiran that feels like it could be more, but Mark and Keiran have also had a relationship in the past that’s gone sour, and Keiran is kind of into Cristina, but he’s still very much in love with Mark, and do you know what all of this is? A LOVE TRIANGLE. All that other shit is just two guys liking one girl, but not also liking each other, and it’s boringggggggg. Give me two guys realizing they also like each other while still liking the girl, and then bam, polyamory.

THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.

having paperbacks & hardcovers
in the same series

Here I am, just talking about Shadowhunters for every answer. Because I was an actual rodent of a human back when I was a teenager, I refused to read City of Bones because it had a shirtless man on the cover, and now I’ve got one, five, and six in hardcover, but two, three, and four in paperback, and it is the bane of my existence. Please make hardcovers and paperbacks available at all times! I know this is done for printing reasons, but it is so difficult to find matching sets when you’re coming late into a series.

most disappointing lists

And last, but certainly not least since they’re about to start cropping up, and I hate them so much, those most disappointing lists we’ll start seeing circulating around as everyone else starts posting their top ten reads–I hate them. They’re awful. I have nothing against negative reviews because obviously not everyone is going to like the same book, and there are often valid reasons for why someone didn’t like a book, and those should be shared, but my goodness, there is no reason to round them all up. It feels like dragging my feet through a muddy swamp every time I see lists of books people hated because why? Why do you need to add so much extra negativity to a world that’s already overflowing with it? Why do we need to create entire lists to harp on why we hate something so much? (She says, while writing a list about pet peeves.) I think the thing that gets me is that people often either dismiss those who enjoyed these books as wrong or say that you’re clearly misguided if you like a book someone else disliked. It’s fine to post about being disappointed in a book, but do you also have to jump down everyone else’s throats about it?

Anyway! That was fun! I’m gonna go do jumping jacks or something.

Posted by:Mary Drover

she/her | yoga teacher | Tibetan Buddhism | part-time witch | full-time author | astronaut in a previous life

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