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August 16, 2018

Bookish Confessions

an edited version of 'how to train your magical horse'
I read a couple of these lists lately so I thought I make my own list. These are my opinions or perhaps my snobbish opinions as I'm very picky. These aren't necessarily pet peeves, more like thoughts about books.

01/ Prologues — Why does every book have prologues now? So maybe this isn't true but the books I have browsed seemed to have them. When I read a sample of a book, they always show the prologue which I don't read anymore because what I really want to know if I will continue reading the book, not the prologue. Often, prologues are written in a different style than the entire book which is why I don't like them. They give you the wrong impression of how the rest of the book will be. I have read prologues that are really good but then the rest of the book is just so-so. I have no problems with prologues, I just would like it that book samples should not be prologues.

02/ Character deaths — I know sometimes it's necessary and it is part of every mortal's life and even in a fake, fantasy world, there is death but I just think character deaths have to have meanings and not just to move the plot along. It sometimes seems to me that the more I like a character, the more interesting they are, the more likely they are destined for a certain death. I have read several books where the better or the more interesting character gets killed off and I just don't know why.  So maybe there are times in real life death happens without any reason but in a book, why can't deaths be justifiable?

03/ Likable characters — If there is not a single likable character, if I can't relate to a character even just a little, than, what is the point of continuing reading especially when that character is the lead and a total jerk with no redeeming quality? I have found I cannot really enjoy a book if I don't at least like something of a character.

04/ Humor, snarkiness and sarcasm — Just add more of any of these please. Not to say I won't read serious books but all that seriousness sometimes needs to be broken up with some humor or snarkiness or sarcasm and also, I like a good laugh now and then.

05/ Book endings — If it's the journey that matters most and not the destination, then why do we keep complaining about endings? Okay, it may just be me that's complaining. I read a lot of books that might have become a favorite but then I read the ending and it sort of bums me out how bad the end is. I know it's very hard to write a satisfying ending because each one of us have our own idea of how a story should end but please keep the disappointments at a low number. A good ending should be justifiable or at least, make us think we have not wasted our time reading.

06/ Abrupt endings — there are books that just ends abruptly as if someone just ripped the last few pages out and we are left to think up of an explanation of our own. (I'm not talking about book series here.) A stand alone book should have some type of completion at the end. I know these days, book series are unavoidable but come on, don't write a book and hope it will become a series and leave us with an open-ended ending.

07/ Short endings — I don't mind long endings as long as they give enough details. To me, most book beginnings are way too long while the endings are way too short. I know there are storylines that just don't need long explanations but it doesn't hurt to add a little more details, does it?

08/ Happy endings — I'm a sucker for happy endings so I'm mostly happy with the end if the characters gets to be happy.  It doesn't have to be completely happy but it shouldn't be completely bleak either.

09/ Epilogues — I think of epilogues as second endings, like a peek into the characters' future which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. I suppose it's easy enough to ignore them if you don't like them but harder to ignore if you really, really hate them like a certain book series that I will refuse to re-read the epilogue because I hate how a certain lead character ended up married to a character that I thought is rather a wrong match.

10/ Book Translations — I actually like that books gets translated so the whole world can read them but you have to wonder if the translation to English from another language makes the book better or worst. I occasionally read translated books and I judge them by how they are written and not how they are translated because I don't know the original language. But the ones I really dislike is when they write like they are trying to be American when the characters are clearly not Americans. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with the translation but I just think they should not Americanized the writing.

Also, something like the Harry Potter series I really don't like that they made the U.S. versions into American English instead of keeping the British English and that's not even a translation. I don't want to speculate why they did this in the first place.

11/ Book to movie/tv show — I'm usually for watching movies/tv shows made from books but sometimes I just don't want to see them if I don't like the casting or if they deviate from the book way too much. I know adaptation is someone's idea of what they think the book should be but sometimes I just disagree with them. A show or movie adapted from books does sometimes make me want to check out a book so it's not all bad.

12/ Book cover stickers — I love beautiful book covers but what I hate are those stickers or printed on round notices which I call stickers because that was how they used to be until publishers started printing them directly on the covers which is really the worst idea they ever have. Even in sticker form, it's not any better because when I try to remove them, the cover gets ruined. Those stickers announce a book has been made into a movie/tv show or that there is a bonus/supplement/short story/q&a with the author/reader's discussion or that the book has won this award or that award — I really don't care and also because I don't know what those awards mean and some of these things you can find out about just by opening the book. So what good is a great cover design if you're going to cover it with stickers and advertisements?

13/ Book editions — I do sort of like that there are different editions to a book especially when you can choose a cover that you like but I also hate that books have so many editions that one is forced to choose especially when all the covers are horrible. How many versions of a book can there be? (I'm only talking about the English editions only.) Let's list them:
(1) Hardcover – sure
(2) Softcover/Paperback my favorite format
(3) Collector's Edition/Special Edition/Anniversary Edition not really a fan
(4) Signed Edition I'm not sure what is the point of having a signed book
(5) ARC Edition not a fan since they are essentially a draft of a book
(6) Movie/TV Show Tie-in Edition the cover image is always just a little too ugly for my taste
(7) First Edition what I would call the 'expensive edition' because they are expensive and only worth something to a book collector but not a reader like me
(8) Redesigned cover edition – will only like it if the redesign is for the better

I'm sure there are other editions that I don't know about. And let's not talk about audio booksthey are an entirely different species.

14/ Book series —  I really hate book series. No, I love them. No, I hate them. Okay, I love/hate book series because they can be a little disappointing and because not all the books in the series will be good, at least, I find most book series to be that way. I think the more books in the series, the more disappointment there will be. Since almost all the books these days are now part of a series, they are unavoidable. I don't mind so much as long as each book can be a standalone or that the cliff hangers aren't so cliff-like, which is probably asking too much because if there are no cliff hangers than why would people continue reading the series? I know I read the next book in a series for the continue storyline and getting to know the characters more and to see them grow and change and maybe have a more detailed, satisfying end to the story but yeah, I do want to know if that certain person jumps off a cliff or not. I just think it's a bit ridiculous how some book series are being stretch out into more books with sequels and prequels that I simply don't want to read. When a series is completed, it should stay completed.


But it's really all about preferences, isn't it? Everything about reading is about preferences. I know there are certain books that people love that I hate. There are many things I do not want to read about that people love reading about. I think preferences should surpass other people's opinions so don't bother with my thoughts and just read what you like.

What do you like or don't like about books?


  1. Replies
    1. I rarely read non fiction books but everyone has their preferences.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

  2. I like this list and agree with much of it. Especially about stickers on the cover! I hate book series because I get most of my books from the library and it's impossible to get series books in order. Unfortunately just about every book these days seems to be part of a series, especially in the fantasy field, and it drives me crazy.

    1. I think some series you can them out of them but many others doesn't quite work that way. sad but we can avoid series.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

  3. Nice list!
    1 sometimes i just skip prologues to get to the main story, & read them later in the middle when i feel like having a break or a change of pace
    2 writers like to kill side characters to raise the stakes,or motivate mc. I think maybe they don't even realize the one they've killed was a potential amazing protagonist that could totally fire up their story. I see this in bollywood movies too!
    3-4 yes to likable characters, I don't even need a relatable character as long as they're fun to hang around with
    5-9 An unsatisfying ending is like climbing on a fun new roller coaster ride and then falling down splat in the mud on your way back home
    10 i don't get this need to americanize everything either, it kills off nuance and atmosphere so americans can relate better and not have to use a dictionary
    14 i love series, but try to start them only after several books are done, i mostly ignore late prequels.

    1. 1- prologues are fine but I sometimes really don't want to read them.

      2- it's sad but beloved characters and amazing characters just gets the ax and kind of seems unfair but unavoidable.

      3-4- I like fun characters too, they certainly make the story so much better.

      5-9- it's sad that I haven't read that many great endings but there are some out there.

      10 - I'm not sure why they do it, it's not so hard to figure out the meaning

      14 - yeah, I also start a series after the books are published, most time after the series is finished, this way, I'm never disappointed that it didn't get finished.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  4. Quote: "I know these days, book series are unavoidable but come on, don't write a book and hope it will become a series and leave us with an open-ended ending."
    Haha, I don't mind open endings, if they're genuine ones. I actually like them more than spelled-out endings. But it's true that most of them are "I'll avoid to wrap things up just in case they order me a sequel" kinds of open endings. And frankly, most books don't even need sequels.

    I don't read romance or straight-up fantasy (though I enjoy some UF), but the things that I avoid like the plague is a book where the blurb promises "an infuriatingly handsome new boy" at school/next door. That's my biggest turn-off, along with love triangles (which usually I have to read about in the reviews, because the blurb rarely tells us facefront).

    1. I have read several books with open-ending and they really feel like there was going to be a sequel but there isn't.

      I hate love triangles as well especially when the choice is just so obvious.

      that is why reviews are important, you get to find out things you won't by reading the synopsis

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

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