So recently, I’ve seen a lot of tweets about people having different opinions/opposite opinions/disagreeing over things. I thought I’d share my own thoughts about it because well I have things to say. More people need to say something. I’d love this to turn into an open conversation in the blogging community. I’m going to keep my opinions generalised to books because well, I read lots of books and have lots of opinions on books. I have a lot of passion about books.
Imagine the scenario, I am PASSIONATE about a book. I loved it, I talk about it all the time, it’s one of my favourites in the world, I can’t wait to talk to everyone else about it… I know it’s hard to imagine me ever being like that, but bear with me. I’ve gone on about it and you’ve been curious, so you buy it. You read it and it doesn’t spark a love in you like it did me. You get to the end and you’ve thought, “meh, I didn’t get it” or even “gosh, I disliked that immensely”.
Are you with me? You don’t like a book I love. SO WHAT NEXT? IS OUR FRIENDSHIP EVER? CAN WE NEVER SPEAK AGAIN? ARE YOU BANISHED TO THE DEPTHS OF THE ICE LANDS (lol, currently Newcastle!)? ARE YOU EXILED? ARE YOU ON MY HIT LIST? DO I HATE YOU? IS THE WORLD GOING TO END?
You’ve got a differing opinion to me, there’s a few options of what can happen:
In which case, brilliant. No harm, no foul. Whatever. You want to remain quiet, this is cool.
- We can have a chat.
You send a text/DM/email (depending how close we are) and you TALK TO ME about how you felt about the book. We have a little conversation. I will listen to you. I will ask questions. I’ll answer your questions. I’ll talk to you. I’ll want to be listened to. If we leave the conversation having differing opinions, then that’s fine. That’s life. (I would generally recommend this is done privately, not a tweet).
- You can write an honest review about what you thought (that you didn’t like it) AND tag the author in it.
Not cool. I’m cool with your honest review, just don’t go tagging the author in a negative review. They don’t need that hate. I’ll go off you quickly.
- You drag me through the mud because I loved it and you didn’t.
This again is not cool. But if that’s what you want to do, then cool. Your call.
Which option makes the most sense? (Spoiler alert: I would go with 2)
I’d like to make a general sweeping statement that people in general will listen to you. Yes, there’ll be people who just will not listen to your opinion – these people probably aren’t worth talking to in general. I am yet to come across a book blogger who wouldn’t have an open conversation about a book they loved/hated. Book bloggers are wonderful people who just want to shout about the books they love the most. They may be able to point out things you missed; they may be able to unknot some of the problems you have with the book… matterless, they’ll listen and talk to you.
My passion for a book can’t be diminished because you didn’t like it. Just as your love of a book shouldn’t be impacted by my dislike of it. I’ve disliked books that my friends love and the chats we’ve had have been EXCELLENT. Having a chat about your problems with a book will make whoever you’re talking to think harder about their book… it’ll probably make them love their book more.
I’m all for writing honest reviews, I am not taking that away from anyone. I am however massively against writing an honest negative review and then tagging an author in it. They don’t need that kind of hate out there. They’ve spent months, maybe years, writing this book. You are well within your rights to love or hate it. Just don’t tell them if it’s the latter. I think the different opinions we have make this book community we’re all part of so much richer. I think me disliking books that others love is FINE. It’s cool. We aren’t all the same. We aren’t all going to like the same books. That is FINE. In fact, it’s GOOD FOR THE BOOK COMMUNITY. If we all liked the same books, all agreed with our opinions, there’d be no chat, no open lines of communication.
Basically… like the books you want, have the opinions you want, but don’t be an arse about them. Conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. Own your opinions and accept that people will want to talk about it. That’s healthy. It keeps this community going.
So please, this is an open plea from me… if you’ve disliked a book I loved, I want to talk about it. I want to listen. I want to be a better blogger/reader/friend. Your opinion won’t affect the way I think of you or the book. The way you act WILL… MASSIVELY.