Book Talk

Discussion: Let people read what they want

In 2020, people still judge others for what they like to read. And that needs to stop now.

This is my first discussion post, so I’m kind of nervous about opening this section on my blog, but I think it’s necessary. I’ve been thinking a lot in what kind of content I want to bring you, and I got to the conclusion that not only I want to make book reviews, wrap ups, lists and tags (which is what I’ve been doing since I opened this blog), but I also want to make of bellerosereads a place to express my thoughts on the reader community. Today that’s what I’m doing!

Why do people feel entitled to judge others for their taste in books?

It’s okay to make an honest (and RESPECTFUL) review on the books you read. It’s fine to comment in other people’s blogs when they mention a certain book you don’t like and have a RESPECTFUL discussion on your different opinions regarding the book. But what’s not okay is making other readers feel bad about the books they read, directly or not, because you don’t know the weight your words have, and the effect they might have.

I’ve come across many hurtful tweets on book twitter (on my fan account, not on my book blogging one), that said something along the lines of “if you like X book please softblock* me, I don’t need you on my feed”.

*Softblock: it’s basically blocking someone you’re mutuals with and then unblocking it. That way, the person doesn’t follow you and you don’t follow them anymore.

Many of this accounts have a relatively large follower count, and while many people don’t pay attention to these kind of tweets, there’s still some readers that look at things like that and say “maybe what I like to read is not as good as I think it is”.

What are the consequences?

Trying to make a standard of what’s “good” and what’s “trash” (yes, that’s the term it’s being used as of right now) can make many readers stop reading the books the truly enjoy to read those that everyone’s talking about at the moment, or those that are fan favorites.

This is wrong. But when you go into your Twitter account and you see everyone turning up their noses at your reading taste, you don’t think it’s wrong. You think it’s what you’re “supposed” to do, and that’s what you do, damaging your reading experience and even causing yourself a reader’s block because you can’t stop thinking about what you read before, but you feel like you have to follow certain trend.

I have been a victim of those toxic tweets in the past, changing my TBR for something that was being more popular in my feed. I’m not proud of it, and I’m happy to say that has changed with time. But I can’t help to think about how many people out there are going through that same thing, just because of a minority that wants to make of this hobby some type of contest to see who reads the best books.

So, if you’re having doubts about your reading taste because it doesn’t seem to “fit the mold” social media has made, let me tell you something: those books everyone is talking about? You won’t like them as much unless you decide to pick them up because YOU feel intrigued by them: by their covers, their plot, a review of a blogger/booktuber you like, a recommendation by a friend.

And even if you really wanted to read it and after doing so, you didn’t like the book as much as everyone, that’s okay. Authors write books and take joy in seeing the different respectful opinions on their books, what the audience liked and what they didn’t. They learn from the reader’s opinions, and they wouldn’t learn as much if every opinion was a carbon copy of the other.

In conclusion…

I guess what I wanted to say with this post is that don’t let yourself be influenced by toxic opinions on social media. If someone makes you feel insecure, sad, or any other negative feeling, unfollow them inmediately. Read only what you want to, what makes you feel good and motivated to keep reading.

When I started this blog, I started reading more book blogs than ever, and I found myself with very different bloggers that had very different reading interests and that’s what makes their blogs amazing: because they are all very diverse and you can take something different from each one. How bad would’ve it been if I’d only found myself with the same carbon copy book recommendations and reviews in every single blog.

And, if you’re one of those people that doesn’t think twice before making a harsh comment on the internet, I guess this is a wake up call for you to think a little before you act. You have freedom of speech, but every opinion you make should be done respectfully in order to make of the internet a safe space for everyone. I bet it doesn’t take much effort.


That’s all for this post. What do you think of my point of view? Do you think similarly or do you have a different opinion? Have you felt bad because someone said something rude about the books you like? Let’s chat in the comments!

twitter goodreads email pinterest bloglovin
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

54 thoughts on “Discussion: Let people read what they want”

  1. What a great post! Luckily, at 43, I don’t care a fig about what other people think. But I remember how these things could get to me when I was younger. As a romance reader, I often get this kind of unwanted insight or advice. I just feel sorry for them. I keep thinking to myself, what a sad sort of person. I believe in reading whatever you want in any way you desire. Life is so short, I have no time for this kind of judgment 😉💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you don’t let what others say affect you. I’m 19 and even when confidence doesn’t have to do with age in my opinion, sometimes I feel let down because of what I find in social media. I know I shouldn’t because as I said on the post, those things aren’t relevant, but I’m working on it everyday 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Also at this point: What makes a classic a classic and who says that book x is a classic and not book y? I’ve read a couple of classics and was mostly disappointed. The only ones which really were interesting and special were (in my opinion) Shakespeare’s Othello, 1984, Pride and Prejudice and some modern classics such as The Alchemist and the Kite Runner. And, childrens classics are often really great too.

        Like

  2. I hate Twitter, one of the reasons I’m not on it anymore. But sadly, these kind of readers can be found anywhere, on Bookstagram too. They feel like their opinion must be heard, doesn’t matter if they are rude or shouldn’t tell other readers what to read.

    I’m sorry you had to go through this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not on bookstagram so I didn’t know about this, how bad to see this behaviour can also be found on that platform. I used to be in “stan” book twitter and everyday I found hateful comments, so I moved to the book blogging community and it’s been a whole new, better experience💖

      Like

  3. Very well said. When I started blogging I read some hyped books but as I’ve grown (my reading tastes as well as transitioning to the “real world” from college) I’ve realized personally I don’t like a lot of the hyped books. I also realized I like adult novels which (IMO) makes it feel like there are less people to talk to about. I’ll still read the hyped books every once in a while as a change of pace and sometimes I’m surprised by them.

    Whenever I see tweets about softblocking because of x book I’m surprised because I’m sure whoever that would apply to has a book they loved that the person tweeting hated just as much.

    We should be reading for enjoyment not as contests. If you like a book, great. If you don’t, I hope you find one you enjoy more.

    I feel like I could go on an entire tangent about this 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you! Definitely, my reading taste has changed from when I started reading books in my first years as a teen. I used to read all the hyped books and I think I’ve read pretty much all of those known by everyone (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Selection, Divergent, Throne Of Glass… I can go on and on), some I’ve loved and some I’ve hated, but currently I’m loving lesser known books and those that address important topics. #OwnVoices are also a top priority for me I didn’t have in the past.

      I just hope those people can change their mindsets eventually, so we can have a better reading community.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve thought that I was naturally reading very diverse because of all the hyped books and maybe I was but I recently made a chart and realized I haven’t been doing nearly as good as I could have been and it surprised me because I like diverse books so much. So I’m working on searching out different tropes I like and picking the diverse reads to fix that.

        Like

  4. Wonderful post, completely agree that you should just read whatever makes you happy. Who cares if it’s not someone else’s taste? If you enjoy it then that’s all that should matter.
    ♥ Mae

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate it when people don’t let others enjoy books simply because they didn’t and they don’t want anyone to enjoy it. I really wish people would just let people like what they like and leave them be! Twitter can be so toxic with this sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this! I 100% agree with everything you said. There’s a certain elitism surrounding what books people read when it only matters what you enjoy. I also think when people get elitist, it pushes people away from reading when any form of reading is a great way for people to improve their literacy skills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you love it! Now that you say it, I totally agree with you. People put some books in an altar and suddenly, we get this concept that the book is perfect and if we read it and it’s not EXACTLY what we wanted/expected, that can highly affect the reading experience and your opinion of the book. This happened to me with Six Of Crows.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this article! I don’t get why people feel the need to leave bad comments about books other people love. Even if you feel that strongly about it, there are better ways to express your opinions than calling it trash.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy you loved the post! You’re right. If you want to express what makes you think a book is bad, you can perfectly go into goodreads and leave a respectful review of your opinion. No need to insult the book, the author and those who liked the book.

      Like

  8. I love what you said ❤ These days, I find the internet a bit toxic because of how people can be so quick to judge and criticize what people like. There's nothing wrong with wanting to read a particular genre or book. If they enjoy it and they're happy, then that's great ❤

    jillian @ jillian etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such an important post! I remember seeing a tweet with like 40k+ likes a while ago saying that adults shouldn’t be reading YA and it really infuriated me. But what was even worse was the sheer amount of people agreeing with them! Reading should be a fun hobby, not a competition as to who should read the most ‘in’ books. It’s important that we (and the community) speak up about this sort of bullying/shaming behavior and let people know that it’s not okay xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that tweet! It was all over my feed and made me feel so bad. When I was part of the Middle Grade demographic, I read YA. When I was a teen, I read YA and Adult books. Now that I’m an adult, I still read (and will definitely keep reading) Middle Grade, YA and Adult books. Even when books are aimed to a certain audience, the more people who reads it, the more joy to the author. Society has tried to establish certain “rules” to the readers and that needs to stop now!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally get what you are saying– I see people tweeting rude stuff like that all the time. Mostly about SJM books. I remember for a while SFF books were so popular that if you didn’t religiously read and love them, people looked down on you. I had several incidents at book conferences where people gave me crappy looks because I didn’t want to get in line for some really popular Fantasy book. It’s like, we don’t all have to read the same thing!! I don’t like Fantasy that much, and that is okay!! And there needs to be more things being featured on blogs and bookstagram besides just the next most popular Fantasy book or whatever. There’s room for everything!! Great discussion!! Keep them coming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with you. The book blogging community would be rather dull if we all read, recommended and review the same books over and over. And what’s worse is that people with this behaviour don’t only want you to read only fantasy, they want you to read the fantasy books THEY want. It’s very frustrating, but we shouldn’t let those people affect us!

      Like

  11. This is such a well-written post! I feel like this is common sense but it’s unfortunate that so many people still feel self-righteous and entitled to force their opinions on others. Reading is so personal and I also have to admit to adding/taking away books to my tbr because of others. I’m really glad you were able to share your thoughts!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, some people believe their opinion doesn’t have to be only heard, but also obeyed. It’s ridiculous. Taking a step back and seeing all this toxic behaviour will help us to hopefully change that in the future✨

      Like

  12. Thank you for this, and I completely agree with you! Our relationships should not be determined by the books we read. I remember coming across a post once that said something to the effect of “if you like xxx book, then we shouldn’t be friends” and I don’t support that. The reading community (whether online or even with the people we interact with) should be one of support, even if we don’t read and like the same books.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I totally know what you mean, I think this was a really important and well-said post! I know publicly discussing opinions and taking stances is kind of nerve-racking at first, but you should definitely keep adding to this section of your blog! It’s really interesting hearing people’s personal thoughts on this kind of stuff in a longer (non-tweet) format.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I was pretty nervous to start doing discussion posts because of how people might react, and because I feared my words might be misunderstood. I’ll definitely keep adding to this section since it was well received😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a great blog post!! ‘Trash’ books and ‘guilty pleasure’ (I definitely have to remind myself not to use this one!) have become such toxic terms which can totally ruin someone’s reading experience. Thankfully it doesn’t bother me anymore but I know if someone was calling my fave book ‘trash’ I still wouldn’t be feeling super positive. And on soft blocking I didn’t even know that was a thing?? That’s so harsh and can be so negative to someone’s reader life.

    Like

    1. Yes, sadly this are things we see on social media everyday and I just hope that can change in the near future. There’s really no need to use those terms and we should use our platforms to spread positivity, not hate! Thank you for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I loved your post Cielo, it’s so important and so true. I stopped reading around the time I was in middle school (around 13 to 16 years of age) because people at my school were shamed for reading because it wasn’t “cool”, it’s not exactly the same thing, but I would hide what I liked because of peoples’ criticism, so I know exactly how this feels and it’s not fun. The book community is such a huge place and people are all entitled to their opinions as long as they are respectful to others. I can’t wait for more discussions like these and I’m glad you have decided to read the books you want and not worry about what some people might think, life is too short to feel obliged to do anything! 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Ellie! Yes, it didn’t happen to me with books, but I also had the urge to hide the things I liked at a young age because I was mocked by my classmates. It’s such a terrible feeling and these people don’t know what consequences their harsh words can bring. Thankfully i’m in a better place now, even when there’s still the occassional inmature comment calling me a nerd, boring, and even more hurtful stuff, I don’t let that affect me and just have fun. Life is too short to care about someone else’s bitterness❤

      Like

      1. Absolutely Cielo, I’m so glad you don’t let them get to you, although their harshness can be awful at times. 💕

        Like

  16. This is a great post. I agree that people shouldn’t be judged for what they want to read. Yes, some books have some questionable content, but readers can still acknowlege this and read the books

    Like

  17. This such a well articulated post ! The good thing is that I am not there on any social media being only 12 ……And it does not sound really exciting too being n social media but I am sure there will be some sweet people ….such kind of mean and rude people are there on every social platform be it bookstagram or booktube ! I have never been affected by other’s opinion but sometimes I do feel little sad 😦
    And sorry for the late comment I just found your blog and this topic was so interesting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Krisha! There’s definitely a lot of sweet people on the internet, you just need to find the right community and stay away from toxic people, and you’ll be good to go. Fortunately I could left the account I’m mentioning on this post because leaving was a breath of fresh air.

      Don’t feel sad! At the end, what matters what YOU like to read and not what pleases others💛

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s