Things My Textbook Does a Fiction Book Should Never Do

23 Mar

I’ve been talking a lot about my recent reading slump. I think a lot of it is because I’m reading so much for school that reading for fun seems weird. I’m reading at least one 50+ page chapter per week on top of what I read for fun. And my textbook is awful. I read the first chapter and thought it was a little weak, but the second and third chapters were worse. One of my classmates even asked me if I thought the textbook was terrible, which I said “YES” to a bit too loud for how quiet everyone was before class. Be warned, if you have to read Purchasing and Supply Chain Management 6th edition, you’re in for a treat. Here are some things the book does that a fiction writer would never get past an editor.

Repeating something multiple times and reacting like it’s new information. If I read the definition of a preferred supplier one more time, I swear this thing is going across the room. I think this term has been defined in 7 of the 9 chapters I’ve read so far. In Chapter 7, its defined twice. This is the equivalent of Hagrid telling Harry he’s a wizard in the fourth book, and Harry freaking out again. Not cool.

Repeating large passages, slightly reworded. I read chapters 7 and 9 pretty close to each other, and both have 2-3 pages devoted to sustainable supply chains. No language referring to, “As discussed in chapter 7…” Nope, none of that. Same wording, same vocab words, another three pages. Imagine if John Green had two scenes of Hazel describing her lung cancer. Same information, no recognition that we already knew this, just coming at us again. Like we forgot. Honestly.

Citing wrong page numbers or nonexistent figures. I wish I was kidding on this. I wrote in the right page number for one of them because the page it was referencing was in the previous chapter. This kind of inconsistency is an early catch for a fiction writer. Did Frodo have brown hair or blonde hair? Tolkien got it right and referenced the same color each time. Technology should make this easier.

Non-parallel formatting. The decision between main headers, section headers, and subheaders seems to have been decided by a coin flip. A paragraph introducing the next section will have a main header. So will each part of that section. Then in the middle of a bunch of subsections, we’ll jump to a section header and back like it was no big deal. Imagine an epic fantasy that was broken down into books and chapters at will with no logical reason for when it was changed. So confusing!

 Not defining terms. There are bolded vocab terms that are not defined. And there’s no glossary! I read the paragraph the word appears in and no clues! Vague context, but that’s not much to go off of. I remember reading The Maze Runner and being annoyed at all the slag. I’d be more annoyed if it was never defined!

Not highlighting key terms. Some rather important-seeming terms are not bolded but are defined. Honestly, it’s like the authors are trying to sneak something in on me. Like the clue in Dark Places that I totally caught onto, but with knowledge. The authors are trying to sneak knowledge in and pretend it’s no big deal.

Too much foreshadowing to content in future chapters. Kind of like my second point up there, the book will have a short paragraph about something that’s not-really-but-kinda-related to what it’s talking about. And then say we’ll read more about it in four chapters. Oh, but the term is bolded and is a vocab word for this chapter. With no definition. Like when you were reading Perks of Being a Wallflower and wanted to know about Charlie’s aunt and you knew it was important, but you had to wait till the right time to find out why it was so important. But instead of being heartbreaking and having Emma Watson and Ezra Miller in it, it’s about what conflict minerals Intel avoids purchasing. Not the same.

I hope to have actual content next week. I hope this is OK for now. Love you all for reading. Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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6 Responses to “Things My Textbook Does a Fiction Book Should Never Do”

  1. Levi March 23, 2017 at 1:38 PM #

    As a technical writer, this sounds infuriating! Funny and accurate post.

    Like

    • Sam March 23, 2017 at 3:38 PM #

      Thank you! I have another five weeks to suffer through it. I hope I survive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. alilovesbooks March 23, 2017 at 2:48 PM #

    Haha. I am sooo glad I am finished with school and no longer have to force myself to read awful textbooks.

    Like

    • Sam March 23, 2017 at 3:39 PM #

      Lucky! I can’t think of a textbook I’ve had before that was as bad as this one. Very frustrating!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah March 23, 2017 at 3:07 PM #

    Oh I totally get where you’re coming from! Not read that specific book but I am currently doing my CIPS exams alongside work – I’ve got an hour set aside during work tomorrow to read through another chapter before bringing it home.

    Like

    • Sam March 23, 2017 at 3:40 PM #

      Good luck studying! I read during my lunch at work because I hate bringing the terrible book home but I can only get through so much before I’m frustrated haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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