Our Worst Literary Pet Peeves

I think we can all agree that reading is the best way to spend our time, right, Savvy Readers? But, as we all know, reading is a very, very personal exercise, and some people develop some… let’s call them “quirks”… that we just can’t stand. A little while ago, we asked around to all of our Savvy Reader contributors and collected a list of all the things we just can’t stand when it comes to other people’s reading habits. Buckle up, Savvy Readers. You’re about to be hit with the hottest (literary) takes of the century.



Is there anything worse than having a book spoiled for you? I don’t know what’s worse: Having a book spoiled before you get the chance to even pick it up, or having it spoiled when you’re in the middle of reading it. Whether intentional or not, spoilers are just THE! WORST!

2. Faces on the covers of novels

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Okay, we admit, this one’s a little particular (read: strange), but here us out! One of the best things about reading is that you get to make up the world of the novel, right? Sure, there are descriptions throughout the book that help guide your own understanding, but isn’t it great to be able to bring the characters to life with your own imagination? That’s why we (cough Cory cough) HATE faces on the covers of novels! For us, it takes just a tiny little bit away from the reading experience. (Sold?)

3. Dust jackets are the worst and they need to go away

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So, this one is actually a two-for. Part 1: As beautifully designed as they can be, dust jackets are annoying and get in the way of the reading experience. Whenever we bring a hardcover book home, the dust jacket is immediately taken off. Plus, the spines of hardcovers look so fancy… Why would anyone want to cover that up?! They just look so good on a shelf. Part 2: Those library plastic slipcover things that protect the dust jacket from getting ruined? WOOF! The. Worst.

4. Plot twists that make no freakin’ sense! 

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One of the very best things about the mystery genre as a whole is the expertly crafted plot twist. You know, the one where you think you have everything figured out, only to have your hopes, dreams, and perceived intelligence crushed in the very last chapter? Bad plot twists, on the other hand? Yikes. There’s nothing worse than getting into a thriller, only to have the author show their hand about 100 pages in. Or, even worse, you get right to the end of the story, only to have a plot twist thrown at you from nowhere that makes no sense. That’s the worst, right? Actually, there might be something worse…


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Let’s think back to a time when the back covers of books were reserved for plot descriptions and praise quotes. Much simpler, weren’t they? Now, we have a whole string of popular books being released where the author’s photo takes up the ENTIRE BACK COVER! Why?!?! Is that not what the back flap is for?! I don’t get it… I want to learn more about the book and see what people are saying about it, not get creeped out by a giant floating head!

6. Are mass markets really that convenient? I mean, think about it, would you?

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Just a warning, Savvy Readers. Out of all of the hot takes in this post, this one might be THE hottest of them all…
In theory, mass markets are great. After all, they’re relatively cheap and they’re easy to transport, right? WRONG. Mass markets are too small, the pages are bound too tight, they’re too fragile, and the writing goes way too far into the margins. I mean, you have to break the spine just to read the first freakin’ page, and by the time you get to, like, page 20, half of the cover is falling off! Are you kidding me?! It’s official, mass markets are canceled.

7. When people say “i DoN’t LiKe To ReAd” or “ReAdInG iS bOrInG”

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Do I even have to go into detail on this one? No? Didn’t think so. NEXT!

8. When other people say “i OnLy ReAd SeRiOuS lItErAtUrE” to sound interesting or something

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Listen, us Savvy Readers live life according to one very, very important rule: people are free to read and enjoy whatever they want. Like teen but hate sci-fi? Fine! Like literary fiction but hate non-fiction? Sure! You only read fan-fiction? That still counts! Reading is reading is reading. That’s why it’s sooooo annoying to hear someone say they “only read serious literature.” What does that even mean?!  I mean, come on. Red flag, amirite? *cough pretentious cough*

9. People that refuse to mark up books

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Okay, this one is bound to be controversial, so apologies in advance. Books were made to be marked up – highlighted, dog-earred, scribbled in, cracking the spine, etc. I mean, margins are for writing marginalia, are they not?! I just don’t understand the appeal of owning a book but doing your best to make it look like you didn’t read it! So, say it with me, Savvy Readers: Books. Were. Made. To. Be. Marked. Up. I will die on this hill, so don’t even TRY arguing with me! (Note: I will allow exactly one exception. NEVER do this to a library book, or you’re an awful person.)


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RUINING 👏 BOOKS 👏 IS 👏 NOT 👏 GOOD 👏 CONTENT 👏 YOU 👏 JERKS 👏 I mean, have some respect, would ya?

What about you, Savvy Readers? What reading habits drive you absolutely bonkers? What’s the thing you hate the most about people’s reading habits? What’s your hottest literary takes? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!

Happy reading,

The Savvy Reader Team


2 thoughts on “Our Worst Literary Pet Peeves

  1. I agree with all of these, but especially the no spoilers. I belong to a book group on FB. I happened to be reading a book that I was really enjoying, until I read a post about that very book that basically gave away the entire plot, twists and all. I left the group after leaving a comment explaining how irritating people who spoil books are. Also, hate the dust jackets.

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