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Criticizing and Critiquing a Book Does NOT Equal Disliking It

leonardo-da-vinciWhenever I find myself discussing a book, someone always has to say “so why’d you read it if you dislike it so much?” or something in the same caliber. It seems to me that some people just don’t understand what discussing a book can mean.

Just because you see me critiquing a book, doesn’t necessarily mean that I hate or dislike it. I’m just admitting that it’s not perfect-which, for some reason, a lot of people can’t seem to understand.

I tend to stay this a lot, but if you can’t admit that your favorite book has places where it could be improved, then it’s a problem. Not being able to admit that nothing is perfect leaves you with a false idea, and even though it might not be harmful, it could end up being so in the long-run.

Saying an extremely homophobic book is perfect shows homophobia. Saying an ableist book is perfect is being ableist. Some people may not see that as a problem, but when someone who is affected by these problems see people defending these books . . . then it’s a problem.

In one of my previous posts, Historical Accuracy and It’s Place in Fantasy/Fiction, I explained how using ‘historical accuracy’ as an excuse to not include diversity was damaging and wrong. What I’m trying to say in this post is another reason–ignoring the lack of diversity or any other problems is just as bad as coming up with an excuse.

You can still appreciate a book while still recognizing it’s shortcomings. That’s basically the definition of reviewing books on a blog or otherwise. We still have to rate and review books despite the rating we eventually give them, but we can still learn to appreciate the book.

Just because you find yourself critiquing a book, doesn’t mean that you dislike it. It just means that you’re able to identify and discuss the problems with something, while still allowing yourself the capacity to like it.

And nothing is wrong with that.

How do you feel about critiquing books you enjoy? Do you think it’s counterproductive, or is it a good thing to be able to do?

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