40 Things That Will Infuriate Book Lovers


There are dozens of pet peeves that get on book readers’ nerves. Like Amazon shipping you every single book in its own separate box when order loads of them or when the bottom parts of 2 pages are still connected. Then there are the big no-no’s that will make any book lover mad. Like people burning books or tearing off the pages of the books that they’re reading. One. [Rip.] By. [Tear.] One. [Rip.]

We know that you enjoy books, dear readers, so we here at Bored Panda have collected a list of pictures that will infuriate any book lover and literature enthusiast. Scroll down, upvote your fave pics, and let us know in the comments what other book-related things get your blood boiling.

Bored Panda reached out to The Willoughby Book Club, the UK’s leading personalized book subscription service, and spoke with Director Marianne Chala about the pet peeves that book-lovers have and the things that infuriate them the most. “Our staff are comprised of book obsessives, booksellers, and library assistants—I was a bookseller myself for 20 years before joining The Willoughby Book Club, so we have seen a lot of abominations towards books in our careers!” she said. Scroll down for our full interview with Marianne, as well as our chat with the founders of the Book Box Club.

#1 No God, Nooooo. God, Please No

Image credits: KrystalVittles

#2 Ordered 27 Books From Amazon On A Single Order. Got 27 Boxes With 1 Book Each Delivered

Image credits: sousaj

#3 Book Murderer

Image credits: alex_christofi

Marianne said that some of the pet peeves that she and The Willoughby Book Club have include artsy houses where people arrange their books with the spines facing inwards. “This is a crime against literature,” she told us.

Cracked spines also anger Marianne and her staff, especially when it’s done on purpose and in front of patient, long-suffering book lovers. The book club also hates film tie-in covers (“We’re all snobs, and loathe these!” Marianne exclaimed), as well as books bought just for show without any intention of reading them.“

Bored Panda also spoke to Marianne about the worst things that she’s ever seen somebody do to books. Among these was a beloved book lent to a family member that was mauled by a dog, a burst pipe that destroyed a whole collection of books and ‘might have’ made Marianne cry, and a large hardback that was sawn in half with a breadknife because it was “too big to read in bed.”

#4 Books That Have This Much Paper Before Chapter 1 Even Starts

Image credits: Flufftacular

#5 Got Bumped To First Class (Super Sweet) Only To Witness This Lady Tearing Off The Pages Of The Book She’s Reading

Image credits: MadUnit

#6 This Is The Last Page Of A Book In My School’s Library. This Isn’t The Only Time It Happened Either

Image credits: ImmuneKay9

“From working in bookshops, I have had books returned for a refund that have been dropped in the pool on holiday and are crunchy with sand… or when 50 Shades of Grey was the thing, we’d get copies returned with the spine cracked on the saucy bits. I have seen sandwiches, burgers and on one memorable day, a whole burrito tucked into the shelves with the books… and a large coffee upended on the Christmas display tables of bestsellers— ugh, it’s giving me hives to have to re-live it,” Marianne told us about all the horrible things she’s seen done to books. Poor books. They deserve better.

Marianne went into detail about book borrowing etiquette and how long it’s polite to hold onto them. “I’m cringing a little at this because I am a notorious book magpie and have ‘accumulated’ quite a few books that were lent to me in good faith. This is Not Okay and was the most frowned upon behavior from the Willoughby team,” she said.

#7 This Harry Potter Box Set Doesn’t Fit All Of The Books If Any Of Them Have Actually Been Read Or Taken Out

Image credits: Drake903

#8 This Price Sticker That Ruined The Cover Of This 1908 Book

Image credits: burgerpossum

#9 About Finishing The Book Only To Discover That 10 Pages Are Missing

Image credits: AlphaPlutonium

“We’ve all fallen victim to it (but I’m the only one owning up to doing it myself!). It also raises the issue of hurt in the poor lender. As Alisha says, the lender can feel very let down that the book they love is not being cherished to the correct degree… ‘It’s like seeing a friend mistreated.’ None of us set deadlines, that’s just not how it goes, but I think if you don’t see it back in a few months, you can wave goodbye to it forever.”

Marianne added: “Despite the risk of books not being returned, we all love books and will take that risk to pass the love on. It’s so great when someone loves a book you’ve recommended, and we’re really lucky to be able to do that for a job!”

#10 The Only Book In The Store That’s Wrapped In Plastic Is This One

Image credits: Shortiearnie

#11 Really, Used Book Distributor? Was This Really Necessary?

Image credits: HoboTheDinosaur

#12 The Bottom Of These Two Pages In My Book Were Connected

Image credits: hockey00

The Willoughby Book Club offers personalized book subscriptions: they’ll provide you with a bespoke selection of books they think you’ll love and all you have to do is answer a few questions about your reading tastes and genre.

“Subscriptions are available for 3, 6, or 12 months in a variety of genres from Contemporary Fiction to Wellness and each month, one title arrives beautifully gift wrapped to your door,” Marianne explained what services the book club provides. “This makes the perfect gift for voracious readers, difficult to buy for relatives, and children building a lifelong relationship with reading alike. We also make the perfect gift for lockdown: let us take the stress out of choosing reading matter for yourself or your gift recipient, and as each subscription is selected with the reader in mind, no two subscriptions are ever the same.”

The Willoughby Book Club also donates a book to Book Aid International for every subscription purchased. They do this to “work toward their vision of a world where everybody has access to books that educate, inspire, and change lives.”

#13 This Hotel Doesn’t Allow You To Use Books For Their Intended Purpose

Image credits: benem94

#14 This Bookshelf Containing Books Placed With Their Spines Facing The Wall. Why?

Image credits: joshyoungdesignhouse

#15 It’s A Library Book. Don’t Be That Person

Image credits: itsoutthere

Bored Panda also spoke with Kate Morris-Double who founded the Book Box Club together with Libby Harris. “We’re both a bit laid back when it comes to books,” Kate told us. “Of course, we love beautiful books and we’ve got lovely editions and signed copies of things that we like to keep pristine, but generally if someone is enjoying a book (even if that means folding down the pages, eating their lunch and crumbling over it!) we don’t like to criticize! The worst thing someone could do to a book in my opinion is buy it, put it on the shelf and never read it!”

Neither Kate nor Libby are worried about people who borrow books keeping them for a long time. “If I’ve lent someone a book it’s because I want them to read it, and I know that everyone is busy and that might take time. I wouldn’t loan a book that I was worried about getting back,” Kate said.

The Book Box Club is a subscription box and online book group for fans of young adult fiction. “Every month, we send our members a brand new, beautifully wrapped YA book and an invitation to an online book group, where they can meet (virtually) the author of our featured read, ask their questions and chat to our other members,” Kate explained. “We choose books of all different genres, the only criteria is that they have to be completely brilliant! Books are often signed or accompanied by signed bookplates and we have an option that also includes lots of themed exclusive goodies made by small businesses (Book Box Club) and an option for just the book and book group membership (Purely Books).”

#16 Three Books In The Same Series Produced By The Same Company

Image credits: xxwarlorddarkdoomxx

#17 This Bookshelf

Image credits: shreksnumber1fan

#18 Instead Of Putting In A Bookshelf, This Coffee Shop Cut The Spines Of The Books And Glued Them To A Shelf

Image credits: Fikry23

As it turns out, there are lots and lots of things that get on people’s nerves if they’re big fans of books. Like “borrowers” who fold up or even rip your books. Not to mention folks who borrow a book and hold on to it for months or even years without finishing it (most of us are guilty of having done this at least once in our lives, so let’s cut each other some slack).

Some literature fans are also merciless when they see somebody folding the book to make it easier to hold while reading. While books should be shown the proper respect that they deserve, we should also ask ourselves if the point of a book is to look pretty or to show that it’s been read. Time and time again. Passionately. Enthusiastically. In our opinion, a bit of wear and tear gives a book character. (You should see our Harry Potter sets!) Not too much wear, though. There’s always a limit!

#19 Who The Frigg Wrote This Book?

Image credits: Captin_Codpiece

#20 I Don’t Think I Should Read This Deign Chapter In My Book

Image credits: FayeBlooded

#21 Folding A Page In A Library Book When It Has A Built-In Bookmark

Image credits: inthisvolume

Another thing that annoys us is when the publisher decides to completely change the book format for sequels in a series. There you were, putting those books nicely on your shelf and out comes the long-awaited sequel. But there’s something wrong: it’s way bigger/smaller than the other books. And the cover art! Ugh! They completely changed the art style. It’s not like you’re not gonna read the sequel, right? (It’s still a book after all.) But the fact that the set isn’t uniform anymore is going to be like a thorn in your mind for a long, long time.

Dust jackets also really infuriate us. They’re supposed to protect hardcover books from dust, damage, and sunlight, but what they really do is annoy the heck out of us! They get in the way, they rip easily, and they end up cluttering our homes when we take them off to read without distractions. When you look at all the things that we book lovers get mad about, it’s surprising we manage to get any reading done at all!

#22 Found In A Dumpster Behind NYC High School. Donating Books Is So Over Rated

Image credits: speckledorphed

#23 Opened The Wrapping On A Fancy New Book With A Pen. I Hate Myself

Image credits: JeffGoatMMIX

#24 Polish Catholic Priest And Kids Burning Stuff Such As Harry Potter Books, Lord Of The Rings, Buddhist Figurines

Image credits: iamtheundefined

#25 Looking Through An Old Cookery Book I Just Found And There’s A Squashed Frog As A Bookmark

Image credits: abesoddessey

#26 The Downside To Checking Out Books From The Public Library

Image credits: athenacherise

#27 These Book Covers

Image credits: _iond_

#28 Every Book Was Blocked Like This

Image credits: farte_butte

#29 This Store Sells Books Wrapped In Packaging So Readers Can Pick A Book From Just A Sentence. Somebody Opened All Of Them

Only one shelf of the store sells books like these. People usually get these as gifts or when they want to explore new books without judging them by their cover. There are other books in the store so I don’t know why the person felt that it was okay to do this.

Image credits: chandlerlier_bing

#30 Lent My Friend This Book In Perfect Condition And Get It Back Like This

Image credits: oksnariel

#31 When You Borrow A Library Book And Someone Else Has Annotated All Over It In Pen

Image credits: curlywurlyarethebest

#32 Burned Down The “Take A Book, Leave A Book”

Image credits: Smackvein

#33 Dammit USPS. Go Ahead And Stuff A Hardcover Book In My Mailbox

Image credits: shankap0tamus

#34 What A Kid At My School Did To A Library Book

Image credits: Lazy-Koala

#35 My Friend Found This Inside A Math Book

Image credits: Commisar_Chronic

#36 The Perfect Book For A Price Sticker That Won’t Come Off

Image credits: bmuck77

#37 Paid $18 For This From A Used Book Seller On Amazon. They Left Their Price Tag On It

Image credits: doodlesnickers

#38 Paperback Books

Image credits: Xspearment

#39 This Hardcopy Ela Book Is Complete With Useless Hyperlinks And And Unwatchable Videos. Go American Education System

Image credits: TheSparklyGhostly

#40 Occasionally A Book Will Arrive Damaged – Never Had One That Looks Like It Was Run Over

Image credits: mahopaclibrary




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