Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Oh, I Hated that Book!"

Recently, my husband and I had dinner with another couple who are good friends, while eating dessert the wife brought up that she had finally read Fifty Shades of Grey and that she loved them, they were the best books she had read, like ever. 
My response, "Uggg, I hated those books!" I was promptly shot a dirty look by husband, which meant shut up and on our way home I relieved a lecture in tact and being happy that people found things they liked.
I have this problem, I am very passionate about the things I like and dislike and have a very hard time hiding my disdain for things. My facial expressions give me away.  Ask me if I want to eat a carrot and before I even answer you will know from my look of disgust the answer is no.  
I get lots of book recommendations from friends and family, they are always very well meaning, but it is frequently for things I wouldn't read.  I had several older adult relatives that went nuts for the Twilight series and were constantly pushing them on me.  I tried to casually decline the offers to borrow their books and eventually had to flat out say it wasn't something I was interested in.  That didn't stop them from sending me the movies to watch while I recuperated from knee surgery.  And I was right, they weren't my thing...
I don't want to sound like a book snob here, saying boo to Twilight and Fifty Shades, there are plenty of other books I would say no to as well or should have said no to.  I had co-workers who were crazy about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and kept telling me I had to read the series.  Something about them just didn't appeal to me, but I finally gave in and slogged through the first book, yep, really didn't like it.
Another friend kept raving about how hilarious Tucker Max's book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was and how it was the male version of Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life (I did giggle all the way through that one).  Max's book was  not funny, not one tiny little bit.  I would like a refund from the author.  Actually, I would like the author to pay me for the time I wasted reading the garbage he wrote.  Yep, not hiding my disdain for that one!
I frequently give recommendations if people ask, and the books I recommend are books I really loved and I do try to consider the persons interests if I know them well enough.  I am never hurt if they don't read what I suggest or if they hate it, I can accept that not every book can please every person.
I recently read a few reviews on Amazon for an up coming release and one guy gave it 5 stars and then proceeded to comment on other reviews and blast them if they didn't give the book five stars.  I don't want to be that guy! I won't think you are an illiterate idiot if you like a book as much as I do. 
How do you decline the offer to read something you won't like?  How do you discuss a book you really hated but most people have really liked.  And how do you handle it if a book you recommend isn't well received?
In the meantime I will try to be a little more tactful. 


1 comment:

  1. Books are a very individual thing. My mom recommended the Twilight books to me - but we both love vampires, so her recommendation was apt for me. (And I do love the Twilight series, especially how it captures the feeling of falling in love for the first time when you're a teen.) Conversely, when I recommended 'Fifty Shades' to her, she knew it wasn't her cup of tea (because there are no vampires, werewolves or fairies).

    Each adult reader has come to reading along her own path from childhood, so reading tastes vary enormously. There are certain books that I'd like everyone in the world to read (like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy), but not everyone wants to. Does that feel weird to me? Sure. I REALLY think you guys need to know what Pullman knows about love.

    But I accept that life is short, and no one can read ALL the books. So we all make our selections. But maybe Jorge Luis Borges is correct in thinking "Paradise will be a kind of library" and we'll have infinity to read ALL the books. Hmm.


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