Nov 3, 2015

Sometimes Bookish Snobbery Gets Too Far - Ranu @ The Araliya Bookshelf

Today we have Ranu from The Araliya Bookshelf who's here to talk about bookish snobbery and when it gets too far.

Hello! First of all, loads of hugs and thanks to Mishma for having me on her awesome blog. November is a hard time for most people, and I hope exams are going well for you!

So, let's get to what I have in store for you guys!

Now, one of the best things I like about our bookish community in the blogosphere is the fact that so many different voices are heard. I really enjoy reading other people's opinions, whether it be on books, blogging or life, even though I might not always agree with them.

But sometimes, when it comes to reviews, some voices are stronger than others. I know every blogger goes through the slightly scary process of writing a negative review for a book that almost everyone else and their grandmother loved. It's hard, and can sometimes get really nasty because of people who just don't know how to respect the opinions on others.

I've seen LOTS of supportive posts telling bloggers to post their negative reviews and not give in to the pressure of the hype. But I think that topic has been discussed through and through. Today, I want to talk about how people who actually LIKE the book get bashed by people who didn't.

Now this might seem redundant at first glance. Isn't it the negative reviews that get a lot of hate?

Yes, but let me tell you something. Sometimes, when I go on Goodreads and read reviews of books I loved (just for fun), when I come across negative reviews, I sometimes actually feel guilty for liking that book! It wouldn't stop me from giving the book a glowing review, but I WILL feel silly for liking the book.

This may be just me. I've seen loads of people fabulously shrug off the hate on a book, but I can't quite manage that.

But that's okay. I realise now that every book affects different people in different ways. Books are extremely subjective.

Sometimes, though, people don't seem to realise that. Some people act like, just because they hated the book, everyone should hate it, too.
And if everyone doesn't hate it, then they're all idiots.

I'll illustrate this with an example that everyone can relate to: Twilight.

I ,personally, didn't love Twilight. It was a very "meh" book for me, but I didn't HATE it, as many seem to do.

I've seen many reviewers come down hard on Twilight. I'm fine with that. They didn't enjoy the book, and I understand that they perceived elements of the book differently from me. But when they stop criticising the book and start attacking the people who LIKED the book, that's where I get annoyed.

I've seen countless reviews that make really wide statements like "anyone who has the stupidity to actually like Twilight are uneducated simpletons". (I'm paraphrasing here, since I don't like to take lines of actual reviews and point fingers).

Now I have a really good friend who ADORES Twilight, and while I don't agree with her opinions, I am NOT okay with her being called an "uneducated simpleton" (or worse, in the case of some reviews).

And it's not just Twilight. It's countless other books. I only used Twilight here as an example so that everyone can understand.

Despite what some people would like to believe, there ARE others who loved a book they hated. And GUESS WHAT? That's okay.

It's very unfair (and, if I'm being very honest here, arrogant) to station yourself above other people just because their opinion differs from yours. It's called being a book snob.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm totally innocent of being a book snob. There ARE moments where I have thought "pfft, s/he likes THAT book?" But there is a line between having internal reservations about the tastes of other people and declaring their idiocy to the entire world.

Which is what some reviewers do, especially on Goodreads.

I am lucky enough not to personally know any such reviewers, but we all need to understand that calling people names or labelling them as "stupid" or implying they have less intelligence that you WILL NOT change there minds. It will only make them feel horrible about themselves and their tastes.

So ask yourselves, do you really want to be that person? The one who brings down everyone else just because of a different opinion? The one who thinks that they can force other people to share the same opinion?

Don't be that person.

So that's a wrap! What do YOU guys think? Do you agree that there is such a thing as being a book snob? Do you think having reservations about certain people's tastes are okay, but you shouldn't bash them? Where is the fine line in between? Do you agree with me? Do you even maybe disagree? Tell me all your views!

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