Friday, July 25, 2014

Bookish Judgements


I've been a reader all of my life. It wasn't exactly a choice, not at first. My mother insisted that my sister and I read. She would buy the book and I would read it, feverishly. I'm grateful to my mother for passing that on to me even though she doesn't read nearly as much as I do. I'm starting to wonder, why. How did I become this voracious reader while she reads a book every once in a blue moon? Hmm...inquiring minds would like to know? Anyway, it was this love of reading that propelled me to learn and discover things I would have never discovered outside the pages of my book. Okay, maybe I would have, but still. I like to think I wouldn't, so don't go killing my dreams.

I've always been far more excited about a book than I was about any party, or toy. I could spend hours in a bookstore/library and never tire.

I'm pretty much dependent on fiction and non-fiction. In 2012, I became homeless and was forced to live with a family member. It was like my own living hell. I don't know why I'm putting this in the blogosphere but there's a point to this. I swear it. I quickly became a regular patron at the library. It was home when I didn't have one. I needed the library, literally. I honestly don't know what kind of person I would be without my books.

So when I decided to book blog, I was beside myself with glee. I couldn't believe there was an actual place in this world where there were people that read like I did. Now that I've officially been book blogging for over a year. I've noticed something. I've noticed how judgemental SOME, I said some, readers are.

I can't stand it. I just don't understand the book bashing. Okay, so let's use Fifty Shades of Grey for an example. (I can hear you groaning.)

I've read all three books, and I really enjoyed them. No, they're not the best written books but I found enjoyment in them. Yes, it pretty much boils down to porn in writing but SO WHAT? What gives another person a right to bash me and dispel me or my character for enjoying a book that they don't or didn't. The same with Twilight. So, you thought it was the worst written book in the world. Congrats, you're far sophisticated than I. No, not really. I love what I love and you love what you love.

What's with all the judging? I write a post on Instagram saying I don't think John Green is a lyrical genius and I get unfollowers galore. (He's good but maybe I'm a little too old to truly feel what he does.) That's another story for another time.

What ever happened to agreeing to disagree? Why is it okay to bash one reader for their pleasures? Do you know why they enjoyed or didn't enjoy it? Could it have something to do with their personal life? Have you ever stopped and thought about being judged for the things you like? You probably would enjoy it.

It's like bookish bullying. Let people read what they want and you keep reading what you want.  If everyone read the same books, we'd become a book. A pretty boring dystopian/utopian one. Reading is one of the few places where you can be yourself, or someone else if you prefer, and it was okay. It used to be. Let's keep it that way.




19 comments:

  1. I totally get what you are saying, I tell people I haven't read Harry Potter and its like people actually get angry at me. I agree do and read what you like. I don't have time or patience to buckle under the pressure and follow the masses. That's what makes us all different.

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    1. Exactly! I haven't read it either btw! Feels good to know I'm not the only one.

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  2. This post almost made me cry!! I completely agree with you, and your story. I guess I kind of went through the same thing, my parents pushed me to read books from a very early age and it definitely stuck with me throughout the years. And when we first moved to Canada, we didn't have any money to buy books so I spent a lot of time in the library. And I definitely agree with you on the 'book bashing' part. Usually when I don't like a book, somewhere in my reviews I include something like "This is my personal opinion" because people always get mad that I didn't like their favorite book. Even if you think about the library part, if it was all dytopia books, then the only people who would go to the library would be the people who like dystopia books, and the non-fiction or history lovers wouldn't have anywhere to go! And you wouldn't get such a huge variety of people going to the library.
    Omg that was really long, but I got really into this discussion! Haha
    Great post.
    Aneta @ Angelic Reviews

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    1. I'm just really glad that you were able to take something away from the post. It's what I wanted to happen. I wanted people to understand there is more than one kind of reader and that's okay. Btw, aren't libraries awesome?

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  3. I agree with you. Personally bashing/judging anyone for reading anything is completely wrong. It's different, however, than from having a personal opinion that something sucks. Taking 50 as a continued example, I hate that book. I don't look down on anyone for reading it and I only read it because my closest friend decided she wanted to read it and I wanted to talk to her about it. I don't bash anyone who has read it, people can read what they want. I do, however, express my opinions about it as well, to people who have read it. They like it, I know why they like it, and that's fine. But I like to say what isn't good about that book. Not to bash anyone, never to do that, but to bring awareness. 50 tries to have BDSM ties, but everything about it is wrong. It saddens me that while people have become more aware of, and accepting to, erotica or BDSM erotica, they did it with a book that badly portrayed it. It's cast in such a negative light, and I worry that too many women could decide they want some kind of what 50 showed, and they never learn that it was so wrong and BDSM is so much better, safer and more sane than what is shown. For the women that it's encouraged to read more, find out more, than it's a good thing. But too many have walked away from it with a wrong/negative impression. I love that people read, that's what matters. It doesn't matter if they read serious lit, suspense, erotica or comic books. The important thing is that they read, and no one should be based for that at all.

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    1. The most I'll ever know about BDSM is in between the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey. I don't know how true or untrue it is. I'll probably never know. I'm totally with being vocal about what you read but like you said I don't agree with bashing. I will never condemn someone who likes The Vampire Diaries while I don't.

      I just want people to read, and read, and always, always keep an open mind. That's the hard part. Getting people to have an open mind.

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    2. Yes, too many people do not have open minds, and it's so sad. But for me, it's sad that 50 is your only look into BDSM, because it's not BDSM. I hate to even call it that. That's why I do talk about it, and do try to bring awareness about it (did a blog post about it yesterday in fact), to those who want to know. Otherwise, I leave the subject alone.

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  4. Thank you for posting this! I couldn't agree more and all the 50 bashing yesterday was just ridiculous. Let people like what they like and there's no need to put them down for it. I loved the books and I don't care what people say. We read what makes us happy. As long as we read - that's all that matters!!

    I had to share this. Great post!

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    1. Thanks!

      I honestly don't get what was so terrible about the books to warrant all this hate. I've read worse but I just love that reading is universal and I won't ever let someone make me feel terrible about what I choose to read. Thanks for the share!

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  5. Excellent post! I too consume books like I consume chocolate: in massive amounts. I think some people feel it's okay to bash another person's thoughts simply because it's so easy to be an internet thug. I've not read FSoG, have no desire to, but I'm grown enough to recognize that what I like might not be what the next person likes. To me, it all comes down to maturity: some people might still be living the "Mean Girls" life :)

    And to them I say: watch it or I might thunder punch them in the throat box!

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  6. I think FSoG is a bunch of crap, but I will never judge another person for liking the books. Just like I'll appreciate it when people don't judge me for liking certain books.

    My example: House of Night. I read the books years ago and I really liked them - they have 4, 5 stars on my Goodreads shelves. If I read them again now, I would probably tear them to shreds. But what's the fun in that? So I donated them and I'm keeping my ratings.

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  7. There's a Baba Brinkman song telling the story which ends with him repeating 'just read' and that's my opinion. There are so many people on this planet who don't have the opportunity to just browse a bookshop or spend an afternoon in a library. As readers ourselves, I think we should encourage everyone to read something, regardless of what they choose. Yes, FSoG might be overhyped beyond belief - I don't know, I haven't read them yet z but if all the publicity got more people to try a book, that can only be a good thing. Some might even go so far as to try Another Book!
    We're all different people so are all going to appreciate different reads. I just feel sorry for people who are so insecure in their own skins that they can only validate their self worth by being spiteful to others.

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    1. 'telling the story of Beowulf'
      d'oh!

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    2. Exactly! Everyone should read what they enjoy and let the others read what they enjoy. There's no need for all the judging.

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  8. I completely agree with you, people should read what they want without worrying about people judging them. I really get annoyed with book snobs. I read for pleasure, I read what I want, and I just don't understand why people care what other people read. It should be fun! ~Pam

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    1. Reading is objective and I wish more people just understood in the same way that we differ so do our reading tastes. Everyone likes what they like. Who are they to judge?! Totally agree!

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  9. Amen! So what if one person enjoys reading young adult and another prefers erotica it all comes down to preference and being happy reading things you enjoy rather than reading what's considered appropriate. I know that there are thousands of reasons to why this is really upsetting yet I'm having a really difficult time putting my frustration into words. As always, great post!

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