Hey loves! It’s been a while since we had a discussion post. I think for the moment, I’ve figured out how I’m planning on scheduling my content, without it crushing me haha. Anyway today I thought we’d chat about discussing books. As readers we love book discussions, chatting with someone who loves that book just as much as us, there’s no other feeling quite like it. But you know, not EVERY bookworm will love the same books as you. And that’s alright. Yet within the community, there are those who feel like it’s not allowed for people to dislike/hate a book.
There’s an art, to discussing books with those who may not share our opinions, firstly respect. It goes both ways, but also remember that you won’t have loved every book you’ve read. Now, let’s get into this chat and a reminder; I don’t mind if you don’t love the same books as me. Just be respectful when dissing my beloved characters hell if you can make me laugh like Cait @ Paper Fury did with Celery Sardine, I’ll probably love you forever.
So I don’t why – but for some reason some of us readers seriously struggle to chat about books with people who have a difference of opinion to us. I for one, love a lot of popular series, yes they’re widely popular, NO you don’t have to love or even like the series. As long as you have solid reasoning for why and it’s ABOUT the book not the author then hit me with it, and we can discuss it. I love finding new bloggers who didn’t enjoy say Throne of Glass for instance or The Dark Materials. I’m not going to go and bite their heads off, for simply having a difference of opinion, they’re ALLOWED that opinion.
I’m simply going to use Throne of Glass as my example here because I know two book bloggers at least who didn’t like the series, it’s ok if you’re reading this and also hated it. I don’t bite, you can let me know in the comments some books/series you hate too and why. Now I get it, when you love a series and the characters are dear to your heart, you want to protect them. Even if it’s from a fellow reader who announces how much they despised the series. Whilst it hurts me a bit, I’m fine, I find it refreshing that they didn’t enjoy it. I like to know why, what made them not enjoy it? As readers, we all have our own individual likes and dislikes when it comes to books.
I don’t mind reading a book with a love triangle in, others find it annoying and some can’t even finish the book because of it. Yeah, that’s a thing, and we all get along fairly civilly over that. If you just shut out those readers who have a difference of opinion to you, you’re not going to grow and change as a person. You’ll stay the same, with those same views and opinions, whilst others grow, adapt, change with the books they read.
Every book, in my opinion, can teach us something. Those we didn’t finish, those we disliked and would considering burning, those we liked, loved and those we will worship and shriek about on the net. All of them have a place in this world, they all having a story to tell, and not everyone will enjoy that story. You know what though – that’s totally ok!
I loved Throne of Glass, I prefer it to ACOTAR but I still enjoy the ACOTAR series. I prefer The Infernal Devices to The Mortal Instruments but if you prefer TMI to TID then cool, why? What is it about TID that you couldn’t get along with? (although please be careful when insulting TID haha, I’m a fragile child and will fall apart if you insult the characters too much hehe)
I know loads of people love John Green’s books, me? Not so much, The Fault in Our Stars is ok, it made me cry which isn’t hard to do. Looking for Alaska is also alright, I prefer that to TFIOS. But Paper Towns ruined everything, I could quite gladly punch the characters in that book. They were stupid, the main character was an idiot and spent most of his time moping about but whilst I really didn’t like it. I get why others do like it.
However, when I dislike, hate or DNF a book it’s never been down to the author. I separate the author from the book, they’re human and we all do and say questionable things at times. Sometimes the things we do or say can’t be forgiven, but does that mean if they’re an author we should just hate on their books? By all means borrow them from the library instead of buying them, but by the angel (*coughs* Shadowhunters reference there) try to remember that not everyone know or even cares if the author has done a terrible thing/s. Some authors may not be nice to everyone, some may be lovely, that’s great.
Can we remind ourselves please, that first and foremost we’re reading a book. We’re discussing and judging the book, based on it’s plot line, characters, cover, whether we wanted to throw it into a fire or wrap it in bubble wrap. We’re not judging, discussing (or reviewing even) the book based on the authors choices in his/her/their life. (is their correct for those who use they pronouns? let me know please!)
Equally Own Voices novels, did I have a clue what they were before I found BookTube? No chance in hell, but basically its when the author themselves are part of the minority/group they’ve written about. So they have experience and know what it’s like for a slice of their group/minority. Can we just take a moment, and remind ourselves Own Voices books, are great and also we should took EVERYTHING that has representation of different groups with a pinch of salt. There’s going to problematic rep, bad stereotyping as well as the fact that the book is representing a small portion of the group/minority.
You know what I realised I used to do without even meaning to, when I read? I imagined 99% of the characters as white. Not because I didn’t recognise there are other colours, ethnic backgrounds etc but because I’m white. Imagining them like me makes it easier to imagine myself as them, living in their world. It’s only as I’ve grown older and been hit in the face, with diverse books, that I began to learn about different cultures. How it’s like for people of different colour, sexual persuasion and it breaks my heart at times. That’s the great thing though, about reading. It opens your eyes and shows you, what’s been in front of you all along, you just chose not to see it.
As readers we all enjoy reading, that escapism, connecting with FICTIONAL characters (look we all know no fictional boyfriend is gonna become real, lets face it) and if you seriously can’t discuss a book – with another person – who has a different opinion to you.
Just don’t say anything, don’t tweet them, leave a comment, message them. Move on. They don’t need you starting something over something so petty as a difference of opinion. If you have something worthwhile to add, or are interested as to what they saw in a book, that you hated and vice versa, then pop up to them. We just want to know that we can talk about books, without having people yell at us for not liking a book.
As people, we don’t see the things in front of us, the same as the person next to us. Equally no two readers, are going to picture exactly the same thing in their head, when they read; they’ll be differences. They also won’t all, get the same message from the book, or one may pick up on something someone else missed. Instead of being defensive – about your beloved books that you love so much; open your eyes, get ready to read. As you interact with other bookworms, who can help enrich your knowledge, allow you develop your own views, thoughts and opinions.
With that all done and said, you should get the idea, that I literally have no problems with chatting about books to people. As long as you respect my opinions, and I respect yours, we’ll be fine. So simple guys.
Ok folks, let me know in the comments a series that everyone seems to love that you just don’t. Explain why, and then a series you love that everyone else seems to dislike. Feel free to reply to one another’s comments, but please guys, remember try to warn of spoilers and also be respectful. It’s books!
And lastly, what are your thoughts on this? Have you ever had someone be really rude or off with you simply for expressing your opinion? I haven’t had that yet, despite me being fairly opinionated xD