I’m pretty sure that every bookworm in the world has pet peeves when it comes to books, or even towards other bookworms. I have a few standard ones like my books not being the same height, mid-series redesigns, people dogearing my books that I loaned to them, but today I wanted to get a little petty with my pet peeves. Well, “petty” might not be the best word to use because I think they’re perfectly justified, but they may be petty to other people.
This is something that I can easily forgive, especially when it comes to people who aren’t that familiar with the British monarchy. Some people have this habit of immediately declaring that any book published in the 1800s is a “Victorian” novel. One example of this I’ve seen in people calling Frankenstein a Victorian novel when it’s not. Victoria was born in 1819, a year after Frankenstein‘s first publication. She didn’t become Queen until 1837, a year after the novel’s revised edition was published. Neither version is a Victorian novel. William IV was on the throne before Victoria and there were also two Georges before him, so Frankenstein is actually a Georgian novel because between 1714 and 1830, all of the Kings were called George.
I can sort of understand why people think this because books like Frankenstein and works written by the Shelleys friends are often Gothic, and a lot of people lump “Gothic” and “Victorian” together because of Dracula, which was published towards the end of Victoria’s reign. See, friends, this is what happens when you study English Literature: you end up knowing about all sorts of things because they’re relevant to the book.
This right here is the exact reason why I refuse to buy any of V.E. Schwab’s books from a physical bookshop here in the UK: the covers are just hideous. I actually hate them. This is actually a pretty common thing for me and sort of why I usually end up buying books online. It’s almost impossible to find The Raven Cycle in hardback in UK bookshops because they tend to only stock the paperbacks, which, once again, I hate the covers of. I also almost shed a tear when I first saw Uglies on a bookshop shelf because they cover at the time was just so awful.Uglies is a series that gets new covers all the time so I should have been prepared but no. It was hideous. Then they redesigned it, and it got better, but still wasn’t good enough. I guess there are rare cases where the UK cover is better than the US, but I still have yet to see one.
Can somebody please explain to me why this is a thing because I just don’t understand. I hate deckled edges because they make a book look unfinished to me. Fortunately, I only have one book with deckled edges, but I hate them so much that if a book has them, I’ll just completely refuse to have it. Not only do I hate how they look, I hate how they feel. I am a very sensitive person when it comes to textiles and how things feel, so I just can’t bear to hold deckled edges because I hate the feeling of torn paper. Smooth edges for me, please.
Here is a sure-fire way to break my heart and also a wee-little story. I didn’t start reading the Burn for Burn series until it was pretty much over and I only own the first two books. Why? Because I can’t find the matching cover for the final book. Redesigns are something that we just can’t avoid, but what bugs me is when the old covers are just wiped off the face of the Earth. I can’t find the original edition of the final book anywhere because only the newer one is available. Yes, I’ve “found” it on TBD, but it’s constantly listed as “unavailable”. I may have to swallow my pride and get the newer edition, but I won’t be too happy about it because I want them to match.
Oh, white. How I have such mixed emotions towards thee. White can be a good colour to use when you want a minimalistic design. I always look for white blog templates to that I can add colour where I want it. But, I really cannot deal with white hardcovers. Why? They get dirty so easily. I’m not a huge stickler for how pristine I want my books to be (although just yesterday i physically cringed at someone literally shoving a book back onto a bookshop shelf. they bent the back cover because they shoved it in so hard.) but I do still want them to look nice. This is where my dislike of white hardcovers comes in.
When I read a hardcover, I always take the dust jacket off because I feel like they get in my way while I’m reading. Yes, they’re there to protect the book but they get in my way. Usually, if I’m taking a hardcover out with me, I’ll leave the dust jacket at home, again so it doesn’t get in my way. However, I’ve stopped doing that with white hardcovers because they just end up grimy from being put in my bag. I’ll use my copies of The Raven Cycle as an example. I took my copy of The Raven Boys to uni and also on holiday to the USA without its dust jacket and it’s now unbelievably grimy to the point that it’s not even white anymore. I took my copy of The Dream Thieves on another holiday to Romania but this time I took the dust jacket with me and only took it off when I was reading it in the hotel before bed. It didn’t get as grimy and is still kind of pristine. And then there are my copies of the rest of the series but I haven’t touched those yet but you get my drift.
This really gets on my nerves. I didn’t spend £90 on a Kindle just to buy ebooks that cost the exact same price as a paperback. How can Amazon justify charging so much for an ebook? I’m not getting anything physical because it’s a file. I understand that authors and publishers will want to be compensated properly, but I’ve seen books by indie authors have lower prices than some. I’m a broke graduate, so I don’t always have the money to always spend on physical books. I usually look for ebooks when I’m strapped for cash so I don’t expect them to cost the same price as a paperback, or even in extremely rare cases, a hardcover. Good grief, Amazon.