Monday, March 31, 2014

A Single Standard

Quite often I hear "The writing is bad" or "It's a stupid book," usually in reference to books that have been very popular and have a lot of devoted readers. If the book is stupid, give me a reason. If the writing is bad, how is it bad? If someone doesn't give me a reason, or simply quotes or links to a parody that makes fun of the book, I'll just assume that the individual doesn't know what s/he's talking about. It just makes them look stupid.

If you can't give me an articulate reason for your position, don't bother. I'm not listening.

I hear people say that a book glamorizes this or that, or makes light of a sensitive subject, but in nearly every case I can come up with other equally popular examples that do exactly the same thing and the people who argued against a particular book say "OH, but that's different," as if they can't think for themselves but can only parrot what they've heard or read.

It is NOT different. If a book has an objectionable theme and another book also has an objectionable theme, they should be judged on the SAME standard. If one book has adult content and is inappropriate for children, another book which discusses that same adult content should be judged by the same standard. Sorry, but saying that THIS book is OK because you like it but THAT book is objectionable doesn't fly. Saying "It's crap" as an explanation for why NO ONE in their right mind would EVER like that book is just ridiculous.

They need to give me reasons.

"I didn't like it" is a perfectly acceptable reason, but they can't expect me to change my opinions on that basis. If the only reason for not liking something is that a favored book didn't do as well, these people need to get over themselves, get a life and move on.


  1. Everyone likes different books. I find it difficult to read some genres, but that doesn't mean they should be dismissed as "crap". Whatever we like is relative, so don't be deterred by comments such as these.

    1. Oh, I'm not. Sometimes I think it's funny, the rest of the time it's just irritating. It's the hypocrisy that gets to me, not whether the person likes or dislikes the book. The same people who say that no one should ever read a particular book are often those lauding another book that does the same. But that's different. Bleh.