Thursday Thoughts: Hating Books


It’s (thedaybefore) Friday, Friday, gotta get reading on Friday, I’ve already, parodied this song, on, my blog…
Thursday Thoughts time! I’m trying to keep this intro short because I’m pretty sure that this is going to be one of my longer posts – what can I say? I have a lot of thoughts. Let’s just get into it.

hating books

If you really love books, you can’t hate books. 
Now, two or three of you that are still half asleep like I am might be thinking, Wow, what a profound statement. 
The rest of you are probably shaking your head and saying, No, duh. 
It’s also likely that everyone (including myself) are looking back and realizing, Dang, this post has a lot of italics already.

So, the more time I spend book blogging and constantly reading/watching reviews on WordPress, Bloglovin’, Goodreads, or YouTube, the more this is starting to bother me:
How can people who clearly love books so much completely bash a book with just as much or more passion?
Don’t get me wrong, not all bloggers do this. Every day I’m amazed at the skill every reviewer has in their writing and speaking abilities, and I love reading reviews: I do it constantly. The fact that I read so many reviews is probably the reason why I’m stumbling across so many incredibly negative reviews. It’s a well-known fact that negatives always stick out in your mind more prominently than positives, whether in book reviews or life in general, so this isn’t too surprising or hard to understand. However, I don’t understand these reviews at all.
Now, I totally know the feeling of closing a book and thinking to myself,
Wow. That was awful.
Do people actually enjoy this book?
Imagine all of the dramatic gifs I could use in my review… 
I don’t, however, ever think, I hate this book. I can’t imagine actually ever hating a book, just because I know firsthand how amazing books can be, and that different people will have different experiences with every book, and behind every book there is an incredibly hardworking author.
Now, I don’t want you to be thinking, Oh, so that’s why Audrey doesn’t have any reviews lower than a 3.5 star rating. She doesn’t want to hate any books. That’s not the case at all! I’m sure that soon I’ll discover a book that doesn’t click with me at all and I’ll give it a one star. For me, the book is a one star because I didn’t enjoy it, but I know that some people really will. That’s why I always try and do pros and cons in my reviews and not just cons. Because, even though it’s sometimes hard to believe, I know that someone will love that book.
The most common place I’ll find super negative reviews are on Goodreads because they’re usually the ones that get lots of thumbs up. I can totally understand why they get thumbs up. They’ll get a like when people agree with their opinions, and these reviews often make really great points. They’ll get a like because they’re brutally honest and someone who was maybe looking into reading that book thinks that they’ve been saved some time. They’ll get a like because honestly, those reviews are just super fun to read. I am the only one who will occasionally just go to the Goodreads page of a very commonly hated book and read the negative reviews? You know, the ones with tons of quotes from the book with large eye-rolling gifs and CAPITAL LETTER EXCLAMATIONS OF WHO PUBLISHED THIS? OR IS THIS REALLY WHAT THE BOOK WORLD IS COMING TO?
It’s completely different, however, when you’re on the other side: reading a review like that of a book you love. I’ve seen reviews that so strongly rip apart books that I loved so much that they leave me wondering if I actually did like that book… and if I did, am I completely ignorant for liking a book so stupid?
Guys, I am totally for completely honest reviews. That’s something that I always want to remain true to. I promise you guys that my reviews will be honest and the books that I gave high ratings are books that I found really enjoyable and books that I think you’ll like, too. There’s one factor I keep in mind when I’m writing or reading a negative review:

Is this review informative or persuasive

I know that that sounds incredibly seventh-grade English “let’s identify styles of writing”-esque, but in my mind it’s really important. When I write a review, I want to make sure that I’m letting whoever is going to be reading it what I liked and didn’t like. If at some point during the review the reader decides that, “Hey, maybe this book would be an enjoyable read for me, too!” that’s awesome. If the reader thinks, “The things that bothered this reviewer also usually bother me, so I’ll just skip it,”, then the review is doing its job. The review is to help someone make their decision on whether or not to read the book, not push them one way or another (I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha). It seems like with some reviews the reviewer is so determined to prove how stupid the book was, that it would almost seem to take more time to find so much evidence (and gifs) to support your opinion than it would to just talk about why, in general, you didn’t like the book. Evidence is great, but it’s definitely hard to read a review and see all your favorite quotes be ripped apart and mocked.
I started school three days ago (and I’ve only talked about it every single day since… sorry), and I’m honestly not loving it, but I know I’m getting something valuable out of it. Every time I read a book, I know that I’m taking something away from it, so how can I absolutely despise it, especially when I know that some other people are going to finish that book and walk away from it with a new favorite and love for reading?
I mean, think about Twilight. So many people hate those books, and yet they created so many readers. Honestly, I was among the people who hated them, that is until I actually read them. I’m not going to say they are the most amazing books or writing that I’ve ever read, but I found them incredibly entertaining and while Bella is, in my opinion, a pretty weak female character, we still have Alice who totally kicks butt. If you don’t like Twilight, it’s all good with me. Give it one star. But please don’t call it the worst thing ever written. Don’t frown upon people who did love it.
And, for anyone who, like me, love a commonly hated book, don’t worry about it! Display it on your bookshelf with pride.
There’s no need for low shelf-esteem.
Read it in public and don’t feel shelf-conscious!
Books are awesome and so are you.

(I promise I didn’t write this entire post to make two bad puns)

I know that this Thursday Thoughts it more opinionated then they normally are, but hopefully it made some sort of sense. I’d like to make some disclaimers because internet conflict isn’t fun:
1. If you’ve written a pretty negative review recently and you’re thinking that this is an indirect at you, I promise it’s not. I’ve been meaning to make this post for a while now, and today just happened to be the day (well, actually yesterday was the day because this is scheduled.) It’s not the result of any one post I’ve seen or any specific reviewers.
2. If you’ve made super negative posts in the past or recently, I don’t blame you, I’m not mad at you, and I don’t hate your reviews. We all read books on occasion that make us just want to rant about them, laugh at cheesy quotes, and express our feelings in gifs. It’s all good. This is just my thoughts on crazy negative reviews in general.
3. This is just my opinion. If you disagree with anything or everything I said in this post, feel free to let me know! I’m totally hoping to have some great discussions off of this post. There’s a reason I call it Thursday Thoughts, and not Thursday Facts or Thursday Universal Truths (plus, those just don’t have the same ring to them)
4. I love all of your reviews and posts 🙂

So I think that about covers it! Hopefully you enjoyed this long ramble-y post. Maybe you could relate, and maybe you couldn’t. Either way, I think we could have some great discussions in the comments, so if you have anything to contribute you know what to do!
Thanks for reading 🙂

Instagram: @forwardsandbookwords
Twitter: @BookwordsBlog
Goodreads: /forwardsandbookwords
Bloglovin’: Forwards and Bookwords


8 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Hating Books

  1. I have noticed that in a few of your blogs you try to help your readers understand your rating system. You have explained that is personal for you, just like other readers. You continue to provide us more of your thoughts which I appreciate. I have often wished that movie reviewers would give A more thorough explanation. Have you considered creating a rubric?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I actually have been thinking about creating a rubric because I think it would make my reviews more consistent and easier to understand. I’m hoping that once I have one that seems to work for every book I can start using one! The thing with me is that I’m so indecisive that I’d probably be making changes to the rubric every time I reviewed a new book! But it’s something that I’m working on. 🙂


  2. Great post! I don’t give a lot of negative reviews. I think I’ve only given one book a really negative review on Goodreads and even then I didn’t tear it apart. I always tell myself that someone took the time and energy to write a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m kind of torn with you on this one. I think strongly negative reviews are really good in a certain sense. I guess what really matters for these books is PROFESSIONALISM. If it’s just a review full of gifs and exclamation marks, then I don’t really like it. But if it’s (as you said) a review full of pros and cons, CONSIDERING the author’s opinion, then I think it’s totally fine to be honestly unhappy with a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice post but I think readers should understand that our reviews and rating system are totally subjective, we are persons not computers, we can feel something reading a book, but other person can feel something different, we can’t be totally objectives because not all people like the same things and they should understand that our reviews are simply personal opinions. On the other hand you convinced me about write pros and cons to try be more objectives.


  5. I agree with you in almost everything, haha! I already did some mean reviews on the past (specially when I first entered Goodreads, who never?), but since I entered college, I started to see things in a different way. I disagree with you on the point that I think it is possible to hate a book and think that it should never have been published. And I think it’s okay for you to say that – to your friends, to your family, in private conversations. If you are reviewing it, you have to be professional about it, like you said. Justify why didn’t you like it and keep the strong negative opinions to yourself. A good reader understands your feelings beneath your words, no need to hurt the author’s and the book’s fans feelings 🙂 I always try to save something from the books I read now; I try to see the best in each book, to see oportunities. Even when I review upon request, I remain true. And there’s also that things that you think the author could improve, even when you totally loved the book. Pros and cons are everything, indeed! Anyway, I think people don’t measure their words on internet, they don’t understand how far something can travel here. With a little more good sense, things would get better. And it’s okay to make a funny and gif-full review as well, but state it before you start: “I didn’t like this book, so my review can be seen as harsh” or something even nicer, haha!
    Sorry for a mega comment =O


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s