lucy24 - 1:45 am on Sep 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Isn't there a long, long discussion of this on "websitesthatyou-know-what dot com"? Conclusion: Yes, it's annoying as all get-out, and you can achieve the same effect much more prettily and readably by setting the background to slightly off-white.
You Are Not Alone, in other words ;)
Not entirely irrelevant tangent: I recently went through my own site* in order to regularize the background colors. Each directory had a slightly different shade, which struck me as overkill. Also distracting, in the rare cases where people hop from one to another. I think I got it down to three shades. Maybe four: some pages are very text-intensive and really need an extra-light background.
But what struck me was that over the years the backgrounds have gotten lighter. My very oldest directory-- the games, dating back to the late '90's-- now seemed unpleasantly dark and hard to read. The second-oldest, Rats, was almost as bad. Time for some wholesale lightening.
* Those who have snooped know that I don't really have a web site. I have half a dozen micro-sites under a single domain umbrella. Each directory has its own css, including background color. The individual paintings don't count, because backgrounds are set to harmonize with the color theme of the painting. Same for the e-books.