No Apologies

So...Hmmm...about that book, you know the one your best friend/sister/book critic/favorite blog recommended to you and swore up and down that you would love 'cause they just loved it sooooo much and they can't wait for you to read it so that you can rave about it with them.  You are so excited to crack into this critically acclaimed novel/biography/collection of essays and about two or three chapters in it hits really are not into this book, in fact you kind of hate it.  You keep reading, thinking maybe it will get better, you know you've read books that don't get good until half way through...only this one doesn't, you finish it because that is just the kind of reader you are, giving it the benefit of the doubt all the way to the last page.  So now what?  Do you politely smile as your mother/co-worker/hairdresser excitedly "discusses" all the "wonderful" parts of the book?  Do you quietly slip it into your library donation stack and pray it never comes up?  Do you get on your blog and do a full on rant about how horrible said historical fantasy/biopic/sci fi novel was and how nobody in their right mind would ever read it, much less recommend it to anybody else?
What if you are on the other side of that coin?  Have you ever picked up a book or series and absolutely LOVED it, you thought the story was great, the characters engaging, the writing well done.  You hop on to your favorite book review site, ready to bask in the glow of the being part of a commenting community that can't help but rave about this amazing work of art/collection of poetry/most wonderfully witty satire ever produced...(I'm loving my ellipses today)only to find out it is being bashed in almost every arena.  Comments run towards "hacky writing"  "unoriginal story" and "what the heck was that author on when he/she/it wrote this?!?"  It kind of feels like somebody is bad-mouthing your best friend.  So what do you do?  Do you write back scathing retorts on how uneducated and illiterate they must be to not get the genius that is this book?  Do you go back and reread it, doubting yourself?  Do you quietly get a book cover for it so nobody see's you actually reading it?
Good news folks...IT DOESN'T MATTER!  That's right, you are allowed to love, hate, like, meh, woohoo, any book your little heart desires.  Reading is like food, different people have different tastes and just because your "supposed" to like something doesn't mean you have to.  Take caviar for instance, it is supposed to be the epitome of fine dining and sophisticated taste, but what if you really really really don't like the taste of squishy fish eggs, you can still be a gourmet chef and not like caviar.  You may also not like a food that is commonly loved, I know a person who hates chocolate...I mean seriously who hates chocolate?!?  Books are the same way, they come in every type of category, flavor, length, style and voice you can possibly imagine.  If you are a true reader, you will find what you love and be okay with what you don't.  You do not have to love a book because somebody else does, nor do you have to be ashamed to read books you love (I'm looking at you Twilight fans :-) )
All I ask is three things, try and finish a book before you judge it, my biggest review pet peeve is people who say "I only got through the first chapter then I put it down, I give it one star"  There have been a very few books I put down after the half-way mark, but even books I hate I try and get all the way through, 'cause then I feel justified in giving a review of why I don't like it.  There are also many books that all of a sudden come alive later in the book, a few of my favorites don't even get started until the 5th or 6th chapter.  The second thing is try and be adventurous and open minded to some degree, we all have our favorite books, just like we have our favorite foods, but just like I would never have discovered my love for goat cheese if I had not tried it, there are many books outside my comfort genre that I never would have found without a little leap of faith. Third and maybe most important, don't judge others on what they like to read, anybody who reads is awesome.  Sometimes a persons book choice may be baffling to you, the urge to deride a person based on what they are reading is really strong sometimes, just remember that you probably have a book you love on your shelf that another person thinks is absurd as well. (The exception to this is if you have a blog about books 'cause sometimes you just have to let loose with a rant, just don't make it personal)

Ok so this turned into a much longer post than originally intended, so I will end it here and let you all get back to whatever fabulous/trashy/awesome/judgmental book you are in the midst of right now.
What book do you love that others seem to hate?  What book have you tried and tried to get through and just couldn't?  What is supremely popular right now that just isn't in your wheelhouse?  What is your favorite way to hide books that would be totally embarrassing in public?

No comments:

Post a Comment