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.
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!