Five Ways To Annoy a Book Lover

If you are reading this, chances are someone you know loves books and wants you to be aware of what you can expect if you commit one of the deadly sins against dedicated readers.

We would highly recommend that you follow the “Suggested Alternatives” given underneath each point. Remember, an angry reader is a dangerous reader. You have been warned.

Damage a library book.

Any book, really, but library books have a special place in readers’ hearts because they know that they will influence hundreds of other readers over the course of their lifetimes. And the only way to make sure that happens is to keep them in good condition.

From Up, one of my favorites, even if Ellie was a child vandal.

Ellie from Up is a good example of a child vandal. Carl’s response is the correct one here.

Suggested Alternative: Stack books neatly, with the greatest care, in a clean environment, and never eat while reading.

Say “The movie was better.”

There may be an exception to this. I’m sure there is one somewhere. But I can’t currently think of any, and there is usually no way to provoke more horror from a reader than suggesting that a two-hour popcorn muncher could get across the full experience in a way the novel could not.

Suggested Alternative: Say “The movie intrigued me so much that I read the book, and I really enjoyed it.” (If you can honestly gush about how the book had so much more depth and character development than the movie, go ahead. If you can’t…reread the book. You’re missing something.)

Interrupt reading time.

I’ve already written about this at length from a book lover’s perspective. Take note. Be warned. There will be consequences if you disturb a reader fully engaged in another world via those pages.

Suggested Alternative: Stay away. Far, far away. Unless there’s an emergency. (And even then…how bad is the emergency, really? Is there blood or fire?)

Call reading a “waste of time.”

This is a general category for any derogatory comments about reading, caring too much about fictional people, or a near-obsessive impulse to buy new books even when others remain unread. Or comparing reading to other clearly less important pursuits like playing video games, T.V. watching, or cleaning. All of these are punishable by death glares and scathing remarks.

You tell ’em, Jane.

Suggested Alternative: Applaud the readers in your life for taking time to expand their minds, increase their vocabulary, and develop empathy with complex individuals who have the extreme misfortune of not actually existing in real life.

Make a “quick stop” into a bookstore

You just wanted to pick up a gift card for a Christmas present, but your reader has become lost in the shelves. You probably should have figured this out by now, but there is no such thing as a “quick stop” into a bookstore. Bookstores are not errands. They are experiences. So get comfortable…it’s going to be a while.

Suggested Alternative: Bring a survival pack with you on trips where you might intentionally or accidentally encounter a bookstore. This should include water, snacks, notepad to write down interesting titles, Band-Aids for any papercuts incurred while browsing, and a rope to tie to your reader‘s ankle so you can give it a yank if it’s been too long without any sign of life. Possibly also a pillow if you’re camping out to wait for a new release.

Your turn: what’s something that annoys you as a reader?

17 thoughts on “Five Ways To Annoy a Book Lover

  1. Amen to all of those! Okay, I have stacks of unread books everywhere. And this is a problem because . . . ??

    I’m getting to them! I’m getting to them!


  2. I agree with all of these – my favorite is the “interrupting one”. Although… (prepares to run)… I DID do an entire blog post this week on movie adaptations that I love, including a couple where I actually do claim that the movie was better than the book. (runs away to escape being pelted with rotten vegetables) (pops back in real quick) Just in case – (flees for self-protection)

    • Carrie, this made me smile. I’ve seen a number of movies that I thought did the books justice (The Lord of the Rings comes to mind), or that were equally good as the book (like Anne of Green Gables). But as I continue to think, I really only liked The Princess Bride better as a movie than a book. To each her own, though….

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

      • There are only 2 in my “book” (well, OK, besides the Princess Bride) – The Notebook & the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility. And while I did love The Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviezel better than the book, I can’t really put it with the other two since the movie is so far removed from the book 🙂

      • I have actually seen one movie that I thought was as good as the book, and that was the Jeeves and Wooster series. They nailed that one, but in my defense, I saw the movies before the books. 😉
        Any others though . . . I haven’t seen any others that do justice to the books.

  3. Yes! And let us not forget, Not Returning Books: Be it library books or personal copies, the borrower who doesn’t return books ruins it for EVERYONE.

  4. It annoys me when people crease the spine on a paperback or when they fold the corners of the page instead of using a bookmark.

    Also, it’s annoying when the cover picture is wrong. Say, the main character is described as having curly hair and the picture shows straight.

    That’s all I can think of…your list was pretty accurate. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Oooh, yes! That’s what bookmarks are for, I say.

      Although I have to say, in defense of wrong covers…often, the covers are created before the book is written, and the character changed during the process. (And sometimes it really just is the publisher’s fault for not catching something.)

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  5. I’m with M.E. I cringe at creased spines and dog eared pages. And please, please don’t use a book as a coaster. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Saturday-inspiration #12 - Wereld van boeken

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