Maybe saying I trash books is a little too harsh. But I do hate on some books. And I must say, (I can’t speak for all) but I don’t go into a book I know I will hate just to write something hateful about it. I buy all of my books and I tend to purchase only new books. In my collection of books, I only have two library bought books only because I could not find a new book anywhere at a reasonable price. I also don’t like borrowing books. Firstly, I don’t like a restriction on my reading time limit. But my tendency to avoid library books is mostly due to the fact that I’m a germaphobe. Something about yellowed pages and torn edges just send me reeling and make me uncomfortable. And I have a certain need for my books to be plastic wrapped. I keep them nicely on my bookshelf and make sure my books do not collect dust. I put in a lot of time, effort and money to take care of my books. So when I read a book and I dislike it… oh the disappointment. It almost feels like having raised a child that disowned you.
Sometimes I do think twice about posting a review on books I don’t like. But it has always come down to this: what if there’s a reader out there like me who has the same expectations that I have?
Every book, no matter how terrible it is to you, will have a following, and every book, no matter how amazing it is to you, will have haters. That’s just how it is because different people go into books with different expectations. And it’s not that these expectations are on a scale whereby the only reason Person A liked a book that Person B disliked was because Person A had lower expectations. No. They just had different expectations. And I myself have different expectations when I go into one book now compared to when I went into the same book five years ago. I wouldn’t say I’ve become much wiser now so my expectations have become ‘better’. No they just have changed. In fact, I used to like self-help books, now I want not that much to do with reality. I prefer excitement rather than lessons now. But knowing that, if I pick up a self-help book and end up not liking it, is my review not worth reading? I don’t think so. I went into the book expecting something. And my negative review only wants to convey what expectations were not met and how that has made me feel so that people don’t go in with the same expectations I had. Because reading books that you end up disliking is a sure way to put you into a reading slump.
I never hate on the author. I hope I haven’t, I don’t think I have. But I never intend to hate on the author. But I truly hate on stories that I end up despising and that hate usually has to do with the following things:
- story settings
- main story idea
And saying I don’t like the above aspects in a book is not the same as saying that the book is absolute trash. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolute trash to me, but it’s not absolute trash. Saying a book is ‘good’ is ridiculous. ‘Good’ is subjective. What does someone mean when they say the ‘writing is good’? Would you classify a book with no grammatical errors as a ‘good book’? Although it is necessary, it is insufficient. ‘Good’ is lyrical writing to some and to-the-point writing to others. ‘Good’ is a story set in modern times to some and a story set in the past to others. ‘Good’ is a story about deplorable characters changing to be better to some and deplorable characters with something redeeming about them the entire way to others. And that’s basically it. People will trash my book too. Please, I trash my own book. You can’t write a book to please everybody. You don’t write a book to please everybody. You write a book to share an idea. And when in the entirety of the time humans have walked the earth have people actually agreed on the same idea? Like please, the amount of times I have second guessed my own writing ideas for my first book, TFYP, is more than the number of people who have read it.
Don’t be afraid of trashing books but please trash them responsibly.
You are doing a service to prevent people who may not like the idea from spending their time and effort reading the book and inevitably giving the book a bad review. You have a responsibility.
But I must say, my negative reviews are also fuelled with anger. I’ll try to tone it down. But urgh! The disappointment is real!