Something I’ve noticed for a while, but only started thinking about, is how personal people get over books. I’ve witnessed it many times, but thankfully I’ve never been big enough to have experienced it myself. For some odd reason, when people express dislike of an assortment of popular novels, some people just have to get up and tell them how dreadfully wrong they are.
This is what usually happens: big(ish) blogger expresses dislike over a Popular series, and someone (usually Anonymous) expresses extreme hurt and affront to the fact that someone disliked their favorite book ever. Many times, people get bullied off the internet because of these opinions, and, as of right now, I can recall at least 5 times when I witnessed these events–all of them different people. There’s not much you can do with the Anonymous, but opinionated, people, except express kindness to the victim in this situation.
But seriously, why are people like this?
Normally, when I get defensive over a book, it’s because 1) one of us in the argument isn’t understanding what the other is saying, so something may sound offensive is actually constructive criticism, or 2) people are judging it without having of the essential information. But that’s me. What seems to happen, though, is that people don’t understand how others don’t see what they see in a series.
I personally hated Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, and won’t probably be picking up anything by her again. However, me not liking a popular author isn’t grounds for being harassed. Because, seriously, it’s just my opinion, why does that affect how you enjoy the book? It really shouldn’t, and why it seems to for some people is frankly confusing. Maybe the book means something to you, I get that. I know I find it somewhat offensive when others say negative things about my favorite book, but just because someone says that doesn’t mean I get to yell or mock them for not understanding it. No, we all have reasons for liking or disliking a book, but no one should have a reason for harassing someone over their like or dislike of a novel.
What’s worse is when diversity is thrown into the mix. Either someone is liking a book that has been known to have problematic rep, or someone calls out a book for having problematic rep and people are arguing against it not being problematic. I’ve seen people get yelled off social media for reading a book that has been deemed problematic, while others are saying that people need to read to determine for themself. People are getting mad that people aren’t reading for themselves.
I personally just feel like people are looking into this too much. Don’t read a book if you know you won’t like it, and if you do read a book you don’t like, so be it. Write the review or not, but just leave it at that. And, seriously, don’t take negative reviews as personal insults. They aren’t. They’re people expressing themself over what they’re liking and disliking.