When I started reading the post, I assumed the worst thing would be something like a weak ending or the murder of their favorite character.
Although Mr. Valentine clearly explains that his survey wasn't scientific, I was delighted by the readers' pet peeves. Can you guess what they hated the most about reading a book?
They hated typos and other grammar errors!
In other words, his readers are just me! (No, that last sentence might not be termed grammatical, but
"his readers are just as I am" didn't quite cut it.)
I've talked with lots of other readers lately, and they all agree that editing has gone downhill lately. It's easy to understand why. Publishing companies are shortstaffed. They don't have the resources to work on editing, so they often just skip it.
Some readers probably don't care. They might be so engrossed in the material that they skip right over these flaws; after all, when I'm reading my students' essays, I have to read past the flaws as well in order to decipher content. I've learned to do that. But I've always seen novels as models, and models ought to be right.
And so I'm ruthless. The first mistake I find I shrug off. The second I ignore. But if there are three grammar/language/typos within the first pages, I get angry. And then I throw away the book. I don't even try to take it to the used bookstore.
Anyway, it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who gets irritated by carelessness!