This week’s prompt was something I thought over whether or not to do – I don’t generally get controversial, so I was considering changing it to something else. Eventually I decided on just doing it, though – some of the opinions below could’ve done with more explanation, but I figured brevity is better. Keep in mind, these are ~somewhat~ light-hearted and I am not calling anyone out. The gloves are coming off, though, folks!
Collecting different editions of the same book is wasteful
Yeah, I know what most people will say – Who are YOU to decide how people should spend their money etc etc – but honestly, in the recent years, I have seen book Twitter and bookstagram kinda obsessed with getting different editions of the same book.
Some of the #booksfortrade posts I come across are just people looking to collect every damn edition of the same book, including ARCs which just feels a bit materialistic (not to mention encourages sale of ARCs in few cases)? I mean, the story is mostly the same in all those books, so it is probably not obtained for reading? Also, some get foreign editions and I can’t speak for whether they know the language or not, but mostly it seems like a cover buy.
Oh, if the specific editions have some extra material like a bonus story or something, then I get it. And I also get supporting the author, but I feel a better use would be to get multiple copies to share with someone else instead, like a library?
Spoilers are not the end of the world, jeez!
Personally, I don’t mind spoilers in the least. Heck, spoil me if I am excited for the book! I wanna know before I go in what to look out for. The fear of spoilers doesn’t make sense to me, especially when the book in question is not a mystery or something. You see these posts go up like a month before a hyped book release like – ‘don’t you dare post spoilers or you are fucking dead to me’ sort of thing, which I am always like chill.
For the sake of my reviews, though, yes, I try to be spoiler-free. I don’t want to ruin people’s fun. But honestly, it is the journey to that reveal that matters, not just the reveal, you know. So chill out the next time you want to pounce on someone for spoiling something!
I don’t see the point of writing a review for a book that I DNF
Now, the opinions over writing DNF reviews are varied in the book community, but I have a simple rule – didn’t read the whole book? Don’t review it. It is why I never get those samplers galleys from Netgalley (why even have those on there???) because I feel reviews are written for the whole thing – story, characters, and everything. I mean, if a book was frustrating enough, I guess you can just write – I DNF’d it because it was frustrating? But a proper review, nah!
You don’t HAVE to read any book
I am guilty of this, frequently in the past, of going like – OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! Having enthusiasm for your favorite book and promoting it to your friends/followers/strangers-on-the-street/cryptids-in-the-forest is one thing, but there’s no such thing as a must-read book. Yes, even that book you think should be required reading or whatever.
Also relevant to this are those lists going like – 100 books to read before you die etc etc. No, there is no book that is universally liked. People have their own tastes – making some book the shining example of What You Should Read is only intimidating, and it often feels like you are reading it wrong if you don’t like the book. It also gives rise to a sort of elitism among book readers, like ‘I have read this book, why haven’t you read it yet’.
My advise to any reader – new, or old – is this: read what you like, figure out what you like to read, and read those; you are less likely to get disappointed that way. Read new things out of curiosity, not peer pressure.
Not liking a Hyped book doesn’t make you special
Speaking of elitism, there is kind of snob in reader circles sometimes who take extra joy in ruining other’s joy over their favorite books, especially if those books are popular. They are assholes.
Sure, like I said above, no book is universally liked. You didn’t like a book? Fine. Find someone else who didn’t like it, and maybe chat with them. Some of us do like to think we are different from the herd or whatever, when we don’t get why a certain book is popular, or find it cringe-y that someone likes it. I still see hate for many popular books that just seem petty in their reasoning, and speaks more like they expected it to be some kind of High Literature book and it wasn’t so it was trash.
If a book was problematic, sure, maybe discuss that. Heck, let others know, even! Even popular books aren’t perfect and there are bound to be troubling stuff, but again there’s a whole nuanced rulebook when it comes to how to deal with this situations. But yeah, judging a person for liking a popular book, when you don’t know the context, is not right IMO.
I like villain stories more that heroic ones
Probably problematic to side with villains, but a girl loves dark sympathetic villanous arcs and is not that apologetic about it.
Expecting good diversity is not Censorship
Well, this isn’t an Unpopular Opinion as much as it is a declaration. When there are problematic books and people call it out, immediately there are people going like ‘This is Censorship’ and ‘Why are you forcing diversity?’ And yeah, those people often have something in common. And they also think that diversity shouldn’t matter for a book. (One guess as to why)
Look, a book being diverse doesn’t mean I will give it a glowing review just for being diverse, but yes, I am more likely to pick up that book over a generic one. Publishing is fucking white, okay? And the readership is quite diverse! Reflecting the world, or even emulating it (in case of fantasy/scifi) is a good choice.
Every few months, there is another stupid thinkpiece about how diversity is killing the industry and ya-da ya-da. But I see more love for books these days, love that arises because they feel represented in that book. As a reviewer, this probably goes against the whole ‘don’t have bias’ thing, but reading is such a personal thing, okay?
And back to the problematic book thing – its not a big SJW thing to demand that books be better, publishing be better, and for those who peddle harmful things in books be asked to change them.
Cover changes aren’t really that big of a deal
OH god if I have to see one more post moaning about how covers don’t match for their collection….Like, the content inside the book is important, okay! And sure, we love pretty covers and such, but if it is good, and just doesn’t match the copy of the prequel you had? NOT A BIG DEAL!
Which of these books have you read? Any of these your favorites, too?