Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Daydreamer's Ramblings: Book Haters


The Daydreamer’s Ramblings is a semi-regular feature here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. It ranges from discussion posts to rants to raves.
 
There are so many types of haters out there, this could be a series of posts. There are the people who post nasty comments on reviews; the ones who randomly go around GoodReads and give books 1 star for absolutely no reason; the trolls on Twitter who feel the need to make others miserable…I could go on and on.

But that’s not what this post is about. Today I want to talk about the book bloggers who are book haters. Let me explain…I’m talking about those people who read and review books and have absolutely nothing nice to say, ever. Every book they read is poorly written with a non-existent or stupid plot, insipid characters, lame world building, etc. Sometimes this comes with author bashing, sometimes it comes with reader bashing - as in, ‘I can’t believe all the stupid people who have loved this book when it’s the worst thing ever’.

Really? REALLY?!

I can think of two examples of such bloggers. I used to subscribe via email to one (she was actually supposed to be part of my blog tour for BLUE SKY DAYS last year but fell through…thank god), and I even read her reviews for awhile…call it morbid curiosity. Then it got to the point where I couldn’t handle the negativity anymore and I had to unsubscribe. I haven’t visited her blog since. I currently subscribe to another such blogger - someone I’ve become friendly with over the last year through blogging - and who writes some interesting posts, otherwise I’d unsubscribe to her as well.

I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. We don’t all like the same books, and that’s fine. That’s part of what makes this community so great - a bunch of like-minded people (in that we all love to read) sharing opinions on books, good or bad. Over the last two years I’ve written glowing reviews, I’ve written negative reviews, and I’ve written everything in between. I find it hard to believe that a person only ever either loves or hates every book they read.

With that being said, my question is this: if you hate every single book you read, what’s the point of reading? Why bother having this as a hobby, considering it’s a time consuming and potentially expensive one? If every book disappoints you, makes you angry, makes you roll your eyes, or makes you want to throw the book across the room WHY DO YOU KEEP READING?! It’s supposed to be joyful, relaxing, enlightening, captivating, peaceful - it’s not supposed to raise your ire.

I have trouble writing the occasional negative review, so it’s hard for me to imagine consistently writing bitter, spiteful reviews. What do you think? Have you ever come across a blogger who seems to hate everything they read (let's refrain from naming names)? Do you think it’s possible to love reading but hate books?


12 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm glad I haven't come across any such bloggers! I can't imagine having a hobby that isn't enjoyable to me - like you said, what's he point!

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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  2. "With that being said, my question is this: if you hate every single book you read, what’s the point of reading?" < This. I'll browse through a couple negative reviews on Goodreads, just to see a differing view from mine on a book I enjoyed. Certain people are notorious for reading books and disliking them on there too.

    I think it's just pathetic to live so negatively. The couple books I read recently that weren't good made me question a lot of books I've been "interested" in reading. I removed quite a few from the TBR list, and it feels good. I'm tapering down the pile to these books that I REALLY want to read, ones I know I'm going to enjoy. Because that's what I want, a pleasant experience. Otherwise, what motivates a person to read another book?

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  3. I can definitely see this. It's a tricky balance for reviewers - I'm a firm believer in posting negative reviews because they have their place as much as positive ones do. HOWEVER there have been instances where a reviewer has opted to review a book - when they hated the previous books in the series, all other books by the author, or even all books in that genre. I'm all for trying to branch out too. Sometimes it even happens to me! But I don't understand going out of your way to read and review things you're likely going to hate. Some books will unfortunately surprise you in a bad way, but this isn't always the case.

    But then again, I'm also in favour of freedom of expression. So if someone wants to do that - I'll support that it's their choice and they are free to do so. It isn't what I would select for myself, because I don't see the purpose but I would be interested to hear why someone would do that. Perhaps they have their own reasons.

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

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  5. Hi. I just found you yesterday and I have enjoyed reading your posts. I have been looking at blogs alot over the past few days and I have noticed ALOT of negative reviews! I found that odd and I am glad I came across your post because it made me feel a little better! Thank you!

    http://libbysfunbooks.blogspot.com/

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  6. I haven't seen any reviews that just do negative reviews, but I know they are out there. They stump me too. With so many books out there why waste time on one you didn't like?

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  7. I've gone through spurts of reading really terrible books one after the other, but for the most part I try to read books that I know I'll love just so I'm not so pessimistic towards everything. I mean, why read something you're going to hate? Or that you KNOW you're going to hate? Makes no sense!

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  8. Well, I'm a fairly negative reviewer, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I was one of the bloggers you were talking about. I've been asked the question why I read if I dislike every thing I read and I wrote a post on it.

    First off some people are still learning what they like and don't like. I know I am. And when I start a book I'm not liking I have a really hard time not finishing it. Because you never know if you'll like it in the end. Atonement was like that for me. Until the very last sentence I really want liking it...and then I loved it.

    I also have this desire to see why someone liked a book. So even if I'm not liking it I'll finish it just to see if it redeems itself.

    I enjoy reading because whether you're loving or hating a book it's still fun to read.

    Anywho, just thought I'd share my thoughts because I've been accused of hating everything I read and it's simply not true.

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  9. For some people, I actually think that hatred is the hobby and books are just one of the mediums they use to indulge. It seems to me that it would take a very bitter core to do what you are describing, and as someone who enjoys reading reviews over on GoodReads I've definitely seen my fair share.

    For some it's the inability to create and a potential jealousy over this.

    For others it's a misinterpretation that to be a critic you must always be critical (which is further misinterpreted as being negative.)

    For some it's just reading a bunch of reviews and then bodge poding on a book they THINK they would hate. I refuse to believe that all the people who only do negative reviews actually read--what WOULD be the point?

    And then there are those who want attention--any kind of attention. Even in my own reviews, and I try to be fair, I've noticed people want to talk more when I hated something. So often I'll write about a book I loved and won't get a single response--because what is there to say? "Yay! So glad you liked it!" But slam a character someone loves and it's gonna get under their skin. Now admittedly, often the responses I get are neutral rather then hostile because I try to be reasonable, but my point still stands.

    These are my guesses. More interesting, of course, is what's at the root of the person's problems but in most cases we'll never know. The negative reviews are a symptom of some underlying and far more troubling problem in someone's life, as are any situation where a person seeks out what they hate rather then what they love on the net. (Which shows how many people have some issue somewhere, 'cause the net is LOADED with haters. O.o)

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  10. To be clear, I'm talking about people who ONLY post negative reviews and who NEVER have anything nice to say, lol. (a.k.a. Trolls). Not everyone who ever posts a negative review is dealing with some deeper psychological demon, *although* I do believe a lot of the time it *can* be something about a reader that does or does not click with a writer's work.

    For instance, I know you *loved* Splintered but when I realized Jeb(?) was already seeing someone Alyssa's interest in him made me want to headdesk and ultimately made me decide to DNF it. That's not her fault--it's mine. If I'd known that was going on, I'd likely not have started because I'm at a point now where I know that can ruin a book for me. (Which I suppose mirrors what Jenny was saying up there. IT can take time to learn that certain things really do push our buttons.

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  11. As a lifelong reader, it blows my mind to think of someone reading books and hating EVERY single one. If you can't find anything to like about any books you read, maybe it's just not the hobby for you. The exception could be if you ONLY read one or two genres - maybe you're reading the wrong genres/categories!

    I've read my share of "so-so" books in the last two years, and been exposed to a LOT of books and authors I normally wouldn't have been. If I wasn't blogging, my TBR on GR wouldn't be out of control, BUT I would still be reading probably just a very few YA authors. So it's a mixed blessing, because for every bad book I've read, I've read a half dozen good, great, or amazing ones. So that's how I try to look at it.

    Negative reviews have a place and time. If the book wasn't good, say so. We're supposed to be honest after all. But again, if I followed someone and every single review of theirs was negative, I'm not sure I could stay interested in their reviews!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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  12. I couldn't imagine only hating or only loving the books you read. I've done both, and everything in between. I'm on a good streak so far this year, but every book is a new experience.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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