In which I flap off about a stoopid question and you: a.) Weigh in. b.) Tell me to F*** off. c.) Ignore me completely. d.) All of the above.
Question: Do I have bad taste in books?
Answer: Probably! And if you have ever loved a book others didn’t, or hated a book others loved, then you may have bad taste in books too!
So, as I was telling Logan and Linds, I really can’t stop rubber-necking over the sight of the train wreck that is this whole Be Nice and YA Mafia debacle. I’ve followed every possible link to the end of the Internet and back. The journey has been so long and intense, with me consuming blog posts, vlogs, and comments ranging from amusing to snarky to completely off the wall, that I even put Frodo Baggins to shame. There is nothing I won’t do to complete a good quest for knowledge. Yay me!
Anyhoo… seems like it is safe to say that a lot of people had opinions to share on the whole bad reviews front, myself included. It also seems like a good majority of people were saying some pretty obvious things, such as, “Reviews are for readers, not authors,” or “I’m not intentionally trying to hurt the author’s feelings; I’m just being honest about my thoughts on the book.”
I’ve paraphrased the above, but I also agree with the general line of thought there.
It’s not my intention to continue to beat the dead horse of this discussion, regardless of the fact that intentions are more often that not misconstrued, but I did want to take some time to point out the fact that sometimes… I just have bad tastes in books. There, I said it.
*sigh of relief*
Reviews work in very mysterious ways. You can read a bad review and still decide that you want to read the book. Right? I’d say even the opposite is true. You can read a glowing review and still never feel motivated to pick up so and so highly praised book. Why? Because that is just the way various tastes in books works.
You can say what you want about a book you think is bad, but if I read it and I like it, well then it isn’t bad to me. Ya dig?!
I have often felt bad about not liking a book that is a huge success among some of my favorite reviewers. *cough* Tyger Tyger, Wither *cough* I’ve also felt bad when a book I LOVED was just okay for others. Don’t you know you’re supposed to love everything I do? But now that I think about it, why waste time worrying over something you did or didn’t like. The world just isn’t built to make everything agreeable for everyone.
When I share my thoughts on why a book didn’t work for me, I admit to getting pretty passionate (nicer looking word for ‘raving lunatic on a rantpage’) about why I think the book wasted my time. But I often say, just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t. If fact, I hope your opinion will differ. It is never my intention (there’s that pesky little word again) to turn anybody off from reading a book they really want to read just because it didn’t work for me. I mean, who the fuck am I?
I’m just a reader. I like to read. And even though I often like to pretend reading is my job, it’s not. I know my reviews are not professional literary critiques (btw, I do believe in the argument that works of literature and works of fiction are different). The books I review for my blog are not the books I read for class, therefore I’m not trying to do some profound literary analysis on them. And even if I were, they are still just my 2 cent musings.
Regardless of what I think or like, I read and review for fun, for leisure, for pleasure. I try to read a variety of genres just to have different experiences with stories. Sometimes I like S&G stuff that has no point but to maybe make you smile, sometimes I like deep Shakespearean stuff that makes your heart bleed. Sometimes I like stuff in the realm of Stalker is the new Vampire, and sometimes I loath it.
I really don’t know what decides these things for me. I can say I’m a mood reader. I’ll read something emo when I’m happy because I think I’ll be able to handle it better, and I’ll read fluff when I’m down because I’m desperate for a laugh. There have also been times when I want my books to match whatever mood I’m in.
Usually, after I finish a book, I write down my thoughts, publish my post, then go out and look up other reviews of the book to compare opinions. Yeah, I’m that nerdy when it comes to books. I’m lurking on your reviews more times that you’d probably care to know about. Why? Because regardless of whether I liked a book or not, I read it, I spent time with it, we had a relationship, and sometimes, I just not ready to end that relationship, dammit! Oddly enough, I spend more time reading reviews for books I didn’t like than books I did like. Crazy, huh?
And call me shallow minded, lacking conviction, or whatever, but my initial thoughts about a book can and often do change, sometimes making me view the book more positively or more negatively. Shockingly rare, I know, but it does happen.
But is it really so wrong to like something, discuss it, then decide hey, you’ve got a point I didn’t consider and that changes my perceptive?
Or is it really so wrong to love a book that you know is bad for many reasons, the main being the name Renesmee, but you still stand by your liking of it?
All I know is that I don’t purposely go out and try to hate on books. That is not why I read. How in the world could that be any reader’s intention (bonus points for you if you’ve counted up all the times this word is used)? If I like a book that is considered bad, I’ll tell you why I liked it just as I would with a book that is fawned over but didn’t impress me.
Bad reviews or bad tastes aside, I’ll like what I like, thank you very much. And if that is not enough for you, well, all I can say is hey, not everyone liked Jesus even though he was a super cool guy. (another paraphrase).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go see a little hobbit about a ring that is now rightfully mine.