Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Challenge Day 11: On "Hating" Books

In order to complete the challenge for today I need to write a post about A Book You Hated.
I skipped day 08 because it was about the in my opinion most overrated book. I skipped it because I do not like bashing books on the internet for various reasons. There is a small line between giving a critical nevative review of something, stating your opinion politely and bashing something.
It is very easy to cross this line especially on the internet. It is such a anonym place and you easily forget that real people are behind the usernames and websites. I thought about skipping this day, too, but I think stating my motivation on this once and for all would be a better way:
A book is an authors baby and even if you hated it you should always be polite. I already said that on my post about Day 08.
I just have a feeling that the more I get involved with the blogging community the more "constructive critism" turns into "bashing".
Let us just take tumblr as a example. I am part of that community since a few months. I think it is a great place to find other people who like the same things as you do and to share creative work and opinions.
But I get more and more the feeling that you cannot join a fandom without having to deal with hate.
It is normal and completely understandable if you hate the things I love. You can even tell me that you hate these things without making me angry. I may try to convince you how great those things are but I will never judge you based on your opinions. But I will judge you on the way you talk to other people on the internet.
I will never get why there are so many fights going on on tumblr. Every fandom has its own fight.
The Game of Thrones fandom fights about Sansa or the Lannisters.
The Spartacus fandom fights over Gaxa vs. Gannibyl.
The Les Mis fandom fights currently over Enjonine.
If you search the Harry Potter tag you will always find someone fighting over Dramione.
And the list goes on and on and on...

I for one example disliked Sybil while watching Spartacus, too. I disliked her because I thought she was blind for what made Gannicus really himself.  There I stated my opinion nicely and no one got hurt. Now I will continue my life and stop being obsessed over a fictional character.
Seriously sometimes I just want to scream "SHE IS FICTIONAL GET OVER IT!" at people through the internet. We can discuss Sybil in a normal way but at the end of the day I have to admitt that there are more important things for me than her. It is not like we are discussing politics or animal abuse. We are talking about fictional things.

And here comes the important part: The people you are talking to on the internet, the authors behind the books, and the authors of tumblr posts are not fictional. They are real. They are real persons with a life, a family, hobbies, and maybe even a dog. Words can hurt.
We have a saying here: "If you do not have something nice to say, say nothing at all"
Hate is a really strong word. I for an example hate it when people hurt animals, I hate it when my friends lie to me (which end-friends them automatically), and I really hate the fact that I was mad at my father over something stupid when I last talked to him before he died. That was something I can never take back and it will always cloud the memory I have of the last moments with the most important person of my life.
That is something you can hate, something important, something that matters and stays with me for the rest of  my life. It changed the way I treat other people.

But fictional characters? Books? A book I dislike turns into something I do not care about. I may be angry for spending money on it and I may tell my best friends "No don't buy it!". I will even give it a bad rating on Goodreads. But I will not spend my time writing a post about how much I disliked it.
Because I can spend my time with more important things. Things I like and love. A book, as hard as it sounds, is not worth the time you spent hating on it. It is not worth the energy you spent bashing it.
At the end of the day it is only a book.
(It is different with "evil" books people write to affect other people or if a book is discriminating a minority. These are valid points to hate it and if something like that happens we as a community need to state our discontent with such books. That counts as important but negative feedback and has nothing to do with bashing a book).

A book is only a book to you. But to the author who wrote it the book means a lot more. It represents a time of their life, they channeled their feelings to write it. They care for the characters and the story like someone cares for their children.
And then they go online, and let's face it we live in a world were a almost all authors are conecting with their fans online, and they read all those things people write about their books. Especially debut authors read a lot of reviews online. And hearing that something you love so much, something that is a part of your life, is bashed and called trash really hurts does authors.
Just imagine you walk down the street and you run into a woman with a newborn baby. And it is, in your opinion, a really ugly baby. Do you take the time and stop to tell the woman: "Wow, your child is the like the ugliest baby I have ever seen!" No you don't say that. (If you say that you are a really bad person! Shame on you!). That woman loves her baby after all!
Authors love their babys, too. And their babys are books.
If an author writes a book and publishes it he gives you a part of his soul. Remember that when you write a bad review.

Do you want an author you love and admire stop connecting with his/her fans because of people bashing her? Do you want an author you love feel bad about the things they love because of something an idiot wrote online? Do you want them to stop writing because they are hurt by what people say?
Then don't bash authors other people love!

So to answer the question for today's challenge: Yes there are books I dislike, there are even books I would rather spent the whole day working in a mine in District 12 than reading them again, but there are no books I hate. Simply because I do not waste my time on hating books.

And do not get me wrong. I love making fun about things I dislike, stupid movies, and terrible books. But there is a difference between making fun about something when you're alone with your friends and shouting it out loud on the internet. I created this blog to talk about the things I love with other people and to celebrate those things. I will not turn it into the opposite.

Love and Words

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