Bookworm Peeves | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 30, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 30, 2017

Bookworm Peeves

Bookworms usually tend to have it hard. By “it”, I mean “the book”, which they usually prefer to have in hard cover. Nevertheless, it doesn't necessarily mean that being a bookworm is all sunshine and rainbows flowing out of your mouth because of how awesome the book is; it also means more dedication compared to the average book reader. While this trait does have its perks, unfortunately, with great dedication comes many more things to be peeved about. Bookworms are no exception to this rule, and here are some of the things that irk us the most.

Not every bookworm will be irritated by the exact same things, but if there's one peeve that's nearly universal, it's dog-earing the pages. With the existence of bookmarks, there are few things as unacceptable as dog-earing the pages of a book lent to you by a bookworm. Remember: dog ears are great; dog-earing is not. Never attempt to do this if you value your relationship with the bookworm you borrowed the book from.

This one may not be applicable to everyone but is on the top of my personal list of peeves: creasing the spine of the book. Yes, sometimes, I admit, it's acceptable to crease the spine when the book is about a thousand pages long and is basically asking for it. But if there's one thing that almost physically hurts, it's watching someone take your precious, well-kept book, and then casually opening it THE WHOLE WAY. Just thinking about it gives me the chills.

Speaking of watching someone take your book, someone taking your book in itself is a peeve (#peeveception). This one might seem a bit strange, but the combination of knowing the possible danger your book is in because of all the things that could go wrong – the spine creasing thing, for example – and the tension you feel definitely deserves to be considered a peeve. This, by the way, is already felt regarding books which don't even hold a special place in your heart; handing over your first-edition book signed by your favourite author for inspection, is more nerve-wracking than handing over your pet pupper to a complete stranger. Heck, even handing it over to a fellow bookworm can be a bit awkward because, I kid you not, some of them eagerly dive right into the books (literally) and start sniffing them.

Bookworms sometimes tend to be collectors of books, especially the original books, i.e. not photocopied ones. The trait of being a collector is not always found in a bookworm but when it is the case, it comes in various different degrees. First degree: when someone collects only their absolute favourite novels and series, and prefers to read the rest of the books as e-books. Second degree: when someone collects their favourite novels and series, sometimes getting less favourite ones in a photocopy or second-hand form or e-book. And finally, third degree: the squirrel from the Ice Age movies.

Worms, as we know, live in the earth, happily burrowing in and out; similarly, bookworms burrow into a book and it's hard to pull them out of it willingly. However, there is a very easy way of dragging a bookworm out of their blissful reverie: just start talking to them. Yes, please, tell me more about how much you love your significant other and how utterly adorable they are, then further proceed to tell me a list of insignificant details of something they did that only you, in particular, would find cute. As a bookworm who's quite clearly in the middle of reading something, what you're saying is very important to me and I shall now proceed to plastering a smile on my face while screaming at you to stop from inside my head. I sincerely hope you can communicate telepathically.

And now for the most obvious yet not so obvious peeve: abusing books. You might be asking, “Okay but don't dog-earing pages and spine-creasing fall under this category?” Well, not really because there actually are some treasonous bookworms who dog-ear pages and spine-creasing falls under “overkill”. In any case, examples of abusing a book include marking the book in any manner, throwing it around, covering the description at the back with stickers, handling the book with dirty/greasy hands, spilling drinks on pages, etc.

These are more or less the major things that are worth noting down when it comes to this topic. Other minor irritations include: when the new edition of the book cover is the movie poster, when someone says the movie adaptation is better than the book (unless it's actually better than the book), spoilers, having books in a series of novels in different editions, and lastly, finding book nine in a book store while the first eight books in the series are missing. That last one is bound to probably p*** off even non-bookworms. Book stores, take note, please.


Rasheed Khan is a hug monster making good music but terrible puns and jokes where he's probably the only one laughing. Ask him how to pronounce his name at

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