Bookish Fun · Discussions

Reading For Pleasure, am I the only one who does it?

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Recently I’ve come across a few book reviews (some of books I’ve read and some that I don’t) that have made me feel bad, bad for myself as a reader and bad for the authors and I just had to talk about it, purging it out of my system in a way. I know that when we do reviews we put into words the feelings that a particular book made us experience, what we enjoy about it and what we didn’t. But I’ve always been a firm believer that there is a gentle way to give criticism (positive feedback and all).

adult-1867751_1920.jpgWhat I’ve seen in some of these reviews that I mentioned, it’s that they focus mainly in some controversial topic in the book or a problematic theme (the more recent one being Diversity or the lack of it) and exploit it to the point of almost making it fee like a witch hunt with pitch forks and all. Commenting on how you shouldn’t like this particular book nor should you support it because of “this issue” they point out.  As a reader I’ve found myself feeling almost guilty for liking those particular books, and it bothers me when someone makes me feel bad for what I read. Being the avid romance reader that I am I have a lot of experience with being judged and critiqued because of what I enjoy reading. We romance readers are used to the ridicule and to hearing how what we like to read is shit (Excuse my language) or stupid or that it doesn’t have meaning and it’s trashy and how can you read that? and so on, but I’m getting off topic.

blond-1866951_1920.jpgControversy sells, I know, and I’m sure that posts like those get a lot of views and comments but I can’t help thinking that it’s not worth it to become popular so negatively. Like I said there’s a gentle way to point out what you think might be problematic in some books (because of course there will be sensitive topics and a whole lot of things we all won’t agree on) but at least give the author a chance to take the information and grow, and give the readers the opportunity to appreciate your opinion even if they don’t always share it, without feeling bad about what they like. Thankfully it’s not something so common in the book blogging community, at least for what I’ve experienced of it. It’s a great community to be a part of.

It is a given that we all have different tastes, tolerance levels, and topics that will affect us more than others due to our background and life experiences, that is what makes sharing and discussing books so enriching but there has to be respect.

book-863418_1920.jpgTo finish this rambling of thoughts I just want to say that in my case I Do read for pleasure, I pick up a certain book for enjoyment just because I felt like reading that type of book at some point, I won’t pick apart a book just for the sake of finding what it’s wrong or what could be wrong with it, my reviews will be my feelings on that particular book and if and when a problematic topic pops out at me I will refer to it, always trying to be respectful of the author’s work and of my fellow readers, like I mention before we all have different things to which we might be more sensitive than others so with these in mind I’ll always try to give a positive feedback.

This post has been added to The June Discussion Challenge link up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction, Click here to check out the challenge.

Do you read for pleasure? Have you found reviews that had made you feel bad for enjoying certain books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

As always

Happy reading

Michelle

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13 thoughts on “Reading For Pleasure, am I the only one who does it?

  1. Never feel guilty for your opinion. Everyone likes different things and its ok to be different! And then you have the trolls on Goodreads……some things ive seen on there have made my eyebrows hit my hairline!!! Saying that Ive found some great books from troll/2 star reviews!

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  2. Amen to this! Someone told me once that they hated the phrase “guilty pleasure”, because you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about enjoying something. It stuck with me, and I think it’s especially true when it comes to reading!

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  3. Ah, I love this discussion! ❤ I agree, I'm not a critical reader. I read FOR FUN, and I feel like there's a lot of people that forget that reading is just a hobby, that you don't owe anyone anything, and that if you don't like a book, you don't have to obsess over it for the rest of your life. Just read the books you enjoy, and have fun with it! Some people just take it WAY too seriously.

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  4. I can certainly get frustrated with books, but I don’t see attacking an author over it. I do see value in paying attention to diversity and representation–the danger of a single voice has been well shown. But your post is making me think of when I used to go to classical concerts with a friend who had musical training, and he’d always point out what they could have done better. I was just there to enjoy, not to analyze the mistakes!

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    1. Of Course there’s value in paying attention to problematic subjects and diversity or lack of it, I do believe that pointing things out could help an author’s growth. What bothers me sometimes it’s the tone that this is done. I can relate with the example you give, that’s how I feel sometimes while reading and reviewing.

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