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Does it bother you when someone dislikes a book you love?
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
....However, sometimes I am baffled by a response to a book, a character or their actions. Sometimes it seems so out of left field I wonder if they've read the same book I have or I feel they have completely misinterpreted something. Wink In this case sometimes I will present another point of view but it's not meant to argue but merely to throw another way of looking at it out there.

I've never graded a book or kept any kind of spreadsheet or list - if I *really* like a book I keep it, if not I give it away. My bookshelf is full only of books I dearly enjoyed and feel I would want to read again...
I am with Linda here. I think one of the reasons why some people seem to have a totally opposite reaction/response to a book is the emotionality attached to it. Some people may identify particularly strongly with a heroine or situation portrayed in a book (especially as it's romance that we are talking about) from an emotional viewpoint, and maybe that's when they get very defensive about why they liked (or disliked) a book so passionately when others were not so moved. This comes through particularly when books have controversial scenes, or address highly emotive or divisive issues - e.g. Mary Putney's The Burning Point about spousal abuse, or Laura Kinsale's Shadowheart about BDSM, which we have seen in these message boards.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
I think one of the reasons why some people seem to have a totally opposite reaction/response to a book is the emotionality attached to it. Some people may identify particularly strongly with a heroine or situation portrayed in a book (especially as it's romance that we are talking about) from an emotional viewpoint, and maybe that's when they get very defensive about why they liked (or disliked) a book so passionately when others were not so moved. This comes through particularly when books have controversial scenes, or address highly emotive or divisive issues...

So true, msaggie. Some readers do identify very strongly emotionally with a character and their issues and then proceed to judge that book on their reactions, either positively or negatively, to what the author portrayed. And when another reader has a different take or thought process toward those same actions in the book, it may be viewed as a personal rejection of the first reader's personal values. I think, for the most part, people here do a good job of giving their opinions of books, realizing it is their personal viewpoints based on the baggage we all carry, and still try to be considerate of the opinions of others (and their baggage!).
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does it bother you when someone dislikes a book you love?

No, and yes.

No, because my opinion doesn't rest on anyone else's.

Yes, if I think it's a great book, I think everyone should love it too. Of course, not every book I love is a great book.

The same is true for bad books. It doesn't bother me in the sense of changing my opinion, but I'm always sad when people like books that I think are obvious dreck. (Again, not every book I think is bad is one I think is obvious dreck...I have my personal turn-offs and I don't expect everyone to share them.) I would think much less of anyone who, for example, was over the age of 10 and liked a book that I think is possibly the worst book ever published, Jeff Fain's The Burning. It makes Christina Dodd look like Shakespeare by comparison, and I think Christina Dodd is, at best, boring.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Does it bother you when someone dislikes a book you love Reply with quote

[quote="Allyson"]Having been reading message boards and so on for awhile, this is a question that often occurs to me--if you ADORE a book and someone else lists it on their 'hate' list, does it affect you at all? Are you likely to argue for the book, or make your own opinion known?

When a thread gets extremely defensive about a negative review, or sometimes, a negative opinion stated on the board, what causes this? Sometimes, yeah, it's the author herself or people who know her, but sometimes not.



I think it's true that sometimes judgment is clouded because a person might have an online relationship with the author. In a way, I can understand that it would be hard to give an honest opinion of someone's work when you admire them outside her/his writing.
As for caring if someone doesn't enjoy a book I have liked, that doesn't bother me. I might defend the book and point out what I did like, but I think as we are all individuals we each like or dislike different things in a book. Sometimes I find it interesting to get different takes on a book. How boring would it be if everyone loved or hated the same book. To have different opinions on a board like this makes it interesting. Of course bashing an author personally isn't fair play and I think comments in that vein are out of line. Other than that, discussion and opinions on books and literature is supposed to be varied...isn't it?
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like discussions of books and find negative comments to be helpful as well as positive ones, so no, while I might be surprised if someone hates a book I love, I don't get upset. If we are discussing specific traits about a book, I might argue the point with them but that doesn't mean I am angry -- just expressing an opinion.

When I see a thread of just positive comments, I tend to steer clear of the book because I am tempted to think that is propaganda. That is because in the past, I have been burned by just that type of thread and you know what they say about fooling me more than once Embarassed

What does upset me is when people try to limit someone else's right to an opinion. So someone who says to me "You have to read all of Robert Jordans "Wheel of Time" saga before you can judge if it is good or not"-- that really bugs me. There are a LOT of books in that saga. Why should I have to read more than one or two before saying "didn't work for me" or "I don't like them"?

maggie b.
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WandaSue



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, it doesn't bother me much at all.

The world doesn't revolve around my feelings and opinions.

If I like it, I like it. It's just that simple. I don't try to analyze too deeply why I did. Maybe I'm just too lazy to spend time trying to figure it out ... who knows, or cares?

An aside: Sometimes I get the feeling (especially on boards like this) that a sort of cattle-mentality follows -- people are afraid to be honest about their POSITIVE feelings on a book if the majority of people have shared their NEGATIVE opinions on it. Nobody wants to be outside the clique, I guess.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WandaSue wrote:
Sometimes I get the feeling (especially on boards like this) that a sort of cattle-mentality follows -- people are afraid to be honest about their POSITIVE feelings on a book if the majority of people have shared their NEGATIVE opinions on it. Nobody wants to be outside the clique, I guess.

And maybe vice-versa, WandaSue. Most everyone loves it, but you don't and have to decide whether to be the tack in the haystack or just let it ride.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An aside: Sometimes I get the feeling (especially on boards like this) that a sort of cattle-mentality follows -- people are afraid to be honest about their POSITIVE feelings on a book if the majority of people have shared their NEGATIVE opinions on it. Nobody wants to be outside the clique, I guess.[/quote]


Yes, that is sort of the point maggie b made in her post...I think, and I agree with that. Nothing pleases me more to see a thread of Love it, love it, love it and to have that lone wolf chime in and say...I didn't...and here is why. Now that's a discussion starter and more interesting than the we-all-loved-it..even though I may be one of the lovers. It's good to see a differning opinion, then I know I'm on a board with an opinion. I don't know...I like the controversy when it comes to book discussion.
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WandaSue



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
WandaSue wrote:
Sometimes I get the feeling (especially on boards like this) that a sort of cattle-mentality follows -- people are afraid to be honest about their POSITIVE feelings on a book if the majority of people have shared their NEGATIVE opinions on it. Nobody wants to be outside the clique, I guess.

And maybe vice-versa, WandaSue. Most everyone loves it, but you don't and have to decide whether to be the tack in the haystack or just let it ride.



Absolutely.

I have disliked books that the "cattle herd" have loved.

I have loved books that the "cattle herd" have hated.

I don't take it personally either way, and I won't waste my time defending the why's and wherefore's of my opinion. I have them, and that's that.

As for being the tack in the haystack -- LOL! I've been that, and am confident that I'm not alone ... certain that others who feel as I do opt to shrug it off and let it ride.
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Allyson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, I've also seen people deliberately seem to go out of their way to hate something that the majority liked, and seem to resent it when there's a really popular author/book that they weren't feeling as much. I see this happen a lot more with things like music, too....if it's popular some people will automatically think 'must be bad'. And I've seen people say they were hesitant to try a book because they've heard so many raves about it they feel it can't be that good...

Like linda I am likely to speak up more if someone seems to have a reaction that I find really random, than if someone just obviously has really different tastes than me.

Also, I will speak up if I feel a book/tv show/movie is being unfairly dismissed...like I get really tired of TV actresses in roles that aren't *supposed* to be glamorous being bashed for not having cute hair on media boards. Or say, a female police officer character being slammed for being too abrasive when the male characters get away with much if not more. But that's a hot button for me ;)

I was inspired to make this thread when reading the discussion on 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham'; opinions seem to range from loving to finding it the worst book of the year. Yet the thread stayed civil, whereas I've seen other love/hate threads get REALLY heated, even vicious. So I was thinking about what causes this disparity! Some authors definitely seem to bring it more than others.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
I am with Linda here. I think one of the reasons why some people seem to have a totally opposite reaction/response to a book is the emotionality attached to it. Some people may identify particularly strongly with a heroine or situation portrayed in a book (especially as it's romance that we are talking about) from an emotional viewpoint, and maybe that's when they get very defensive about why they liked (or disliked) a book so passionately when others were not so moved. This comes through particularly when books have controversial scenes, or address highly emotive or divisive issues - e.g. Mary Putney's The Burning Point about spousal abuse, or Laura Kinsale's Shadowheart about BDSM, which we have seen in these message boards.


A situation like this came up in a television related forum I used to frequent, where one episode of a TV show was extremely divisive with some posters, usually teen and twentysomething males, calling it the worst dreck ever written and watchable only as a parody, while other posters, usually women of all ages, saw it as a poignant and emotionally true portrait of grief. I suggested that the ones who disliked the episode and found the grief overwrought were people who had not experienced the loss of a loved one or watched someone close to them go through intense grief, while those who liked the episode had experienced something like that.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it bother you when someone dislikes a book you love Reply with quote

xina wrote:

I think it's true that sometimes judgment is clouded because a person might have an online relationship with the author. In a way, I can understand that it would be hard to give an honest opinion of someone's work when you admire them outside her/his writing.


It is actually even worse if you have met an author online and like him or her, then go out to buy his or her books and don't like them. This happened to me with an SF/fantasy author who posted on a forum I used to be a member of. Everybody at that forum was raving about said author's works and so I ordered the first in his series from Amazon, read it and hated every minute of it. It took me months to get through this 800 page fantasy novel. Any other book I would have abandoned, but because I knew the author personally, I felt dutybound to slug through the thing. I never said anything at the forum or to the author, even sent the author a magazine clipping when another book of his had made the German bestseller list, but never read another book of said author again.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allyson wrote:

Also, I will speak up if I feel a book/tv show/movie is being unfairly dismissed...like I get really tired of TV actresses in roles that aren't *supposed* to be glamorous being bashed for not having cute hair on media boards. Or say, a female police officer character being slammed for being too abrasive when the male characters get away with much if not more. But that's a hot button for me Wink


The double standards applied to male and female characters bothers me, too, whether in books or TV shows. There was one TV show I really liked where a female character was intensely disliked by fandom for supposedly being a "slut" (woman in a bad relationship sleeping with a guy who was supportive when she needed it), even though the male characters in the same show were shown to have more sexual encounters and cheated on their respective partners as well, yet no one seemed to have a problem with that. And many of the posters hating the "slutty" female character were women, particularly of the fanfic writing variety who felt that the "slutty" female character was a threat to a favoured pairing.

It's the same doublestandard we often see in the romance genre where heroines are held to much higher standards than heroes. Bad enough that the doublestandard persists in this day and age, even worse when those perpetuating it are women.

I also dislike complaints about real or imagined physical faults of actors, especially when they turn into insults. I like some eyecandy as much as the next person, but if an actor doesn't have to be attractive as long as he or she fits the part. And some parts don't call for overly attractive people. I used to watch a TV show where a large part of the vocal online fans disliked or outright hated a male character played by a not conventionally attractive actor. That male character came across as blunt and abrasive with some great character development which gradually showed us that he was a fundamentally decent guy beneath the abrasive facade. Yet a lot of fans hated the character from the start and never noticed the development. The same show had another male character, played by a stunningly handsome actor, who was gradually revealed to be not so nice beneath the smooth exterior. Yet viewers loved the handsome guy and hated the non-handsome one.

In both cases, the producers made the mistake to listen to the online fans (which were merely a vocal minority) and decided to "fix" the program by killing off the non-handsome guy and replacing him with someone bland and pretty and having the "slutty" woman repent her sins, declare her undying love for her dull boyfriend and eventually married her off (to the cheering of the fanfic women) to a proto-abusive guy with creepy control issues. And I stopped watching in disgust.
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the honest answer would be yes, it bothers me, but not deeply or profoundly or enough to lose sleep over. I just roll my eyes and say to myself what is wrong with these people? Cool

I tend to shy away from a happyhappyjoyjoy thread if I don't like the book everyone else seems to love. Lynda X, I really meant to come in and support your dislike for Tall Tales and Wedding Veils because I had a lot of problems with that book, but I never got around to it. Oddly enough I have no problem starting a thread of complaint, as if it's my civic duty to warn people or something.

What does irritate me is when someone who has a hard-on for one of those books frequently discussed never misses an opportunity to bash it all over again. When comments get personal, I'm out of there. But that's pretty rare here. I'm always mystified when someone repeatedly bashes the same author book after book. The obvious question being why do you keep reading her books?

I really like the tone of discussion here at AAR. Best place ever to talk books.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diana wrote:
What does irritate me is when someone who has a hard-on for one of those books frequently discussed never misses an opportunity to bash it all over again.



Ah yes, this irritates me too! There are some folks that feel they must bash a certain book or character every single time they're mentioned in every thread they come across and I want to say...Enough already, we know! LOL

There are a few series and authors I stopped reading because something about their style, characters, plot direction etc really turned me off. I spoke my mind about it at the time but I don't feel the need to do so over and over whenever I see the author/title in a subject line. I don't think this kind of constant negativity benefits anyone, sometimes it's just time to get over it and move on.

Linda
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