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Do You Have a Favorite Book…

...that isn't everyone's favorite?

favorite book

Do you have a favorite book that you can’t imagine anyone not liking…and yet it happens? You read it and you’re so excited and you share it with your friends and family, maybe even with perfect strangers and then…

Someone you love doesn’t like it? 

It happens. 

Sometimes more often than you like. 

There are authors, books that I don’t like, but somehow I expect everyone in my circle to like what I like. Lol

I’ve discussed this with a friend (we don’t always like the same books and we’re still friends haha) and we think it has to do with a sort of mystical chemistry that a reader feels for how an author uses words, possibly even the way an author arranges words on the page. I’m sure it also has to do with the characters they create, but we think it begins with word choice. 

Let me flip the script for a moment and say that as an author, this is hard to take. Lol I want everyone to love my books, but it is a universal truth that not everyone does. 

I read a post somewhere about reviews (because that is mostly how an author finds out how readers feel about their books). The author of that post suggested that you look up your favorite book, or a particular favorite book on Amazon and then look at the reviews. So I looked up Anne of Green Gables and found this one-star review: “Didn’t read it.” 

I also found a review on IMDB for one of the Lord of the Rings movies. The reviewer accused J.R.R. Tolkien of ripping off J.K. Rowling’s plot. Blink, blink.

So, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. And we all see the world—and the books we read—through our own eyes. As the blog post author pointed out, not everyone loves chocolate and bacon either. Or fill in the blanks with your favorite food or something else you think everyone should like. 

Another factor in liking or not liking a book is obviously its genre. While I tend to wander among the genres in my reading, not every reader does. Sometimes a reader’s genre tastes are very specific, sometimes they just tend to like a wide range of books in a particular genre.

When I branched out from romantic suspense into science fiction romance, I was very worried about how my reader base would take it. So I reached out to some of them and asked if they’d read an advanced copy. I hope they really meant it when they said they were surprised they liked it. Authors live on a lot of hope. Lol

But I know that my voice, the way I use words, and craft stories is consistent across all the genres I explore. I have a fairly simple formula for how I write.

I write a book I would like to read. 

So it stands to reason that not everyone—even those in my circle of friends and family—aren’t going to like every one of my books because we don’t agree on everything already. 

It’s not personal, but it feels personal because reading is such a personal thing. I’ve learned to focus on the wonderful things we do share and try not to sweat the lack of reading compatibility. But it is hard because it is fun to discuss a favorite new read. (It happens with shows and movies, too!) One of the pleasures of reading the Harry Potter books was talking about them with my son.

Have you run into people who don’t like the same books you do? Do you have a good book friend you can talk to? 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

2 Comments

  1. Have I run into people who don’t like the same books I do? All the time. Lol. None of my friends read romance, and quite a few read the so-called classics, which I hate. It’s the style of writing I can’t get on with, and as for the Bronte’s and Jane Austen. *shudders*. I always wanted Jane Eyre to finish with *reader, I murdered him”, and run off with his ex wife from the attic, who after all, was just a feisty woman he couldn’t cope with, or he was an early portrayal of a controlling bully.
    I do read across genres too. Scandinavian Noir, or fiction with elements of romance. I’m thinking Jacqueline Winspear here.
    Gill

    1. LOL! I love your perspective! I decided some time ago that life is too short — and so is reading time! — to waste time reading a book I wasn’t enjoying. I might try a book a couple of times before I completely give up on it. It feels like (to me) that people don’t talk about the books they read as much anymore, so I don’t always know we might diverge on our reading. Thanks so much for sharing!

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