As I put down The Da Vinci Code for the fifth time, I decided to go online and look up some information. I did my usual blog hops and visited message boards, scoping out new books to read, author buzz, etc. Then came across a thread as old as time.
Readers amuse me with the threads that they initiate on message boards these days. Some threads provide for interesting discussions whereas other threads seem to be only for amusement—mine or they serve some other cross purpose like maybe pity?
I recently came across a thread online that asked readers to list authors who they just don’t get. Readers had a field day naming authors who they disliked or just don’t understand why they are sooooo popular. Kicking the author and their readers in the ass. A regular ole pity party, hee, hee. Such lists are amusing as I don’t care if Laura Kinsale puts you to sleep or that Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series just doesn’t turn you on. You don’t need to understand why she works for me and she doesn’t for you. She just doesn’t. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the why of it all. Life’s too short. Just move on is my motto but as a reader I must rant.
This topic sort of relates to my reader’s pet peeves list a couple of years ago. Have I been blogging that long? Give me a moment here. OK. I made a list and on that list, I said that readers seem to need or crave some type of validation of their reading choices/tastes. As if you really care that I don’t like Catherine Coulter or that I like Diana Gabaldon. Readers, asking themselves: Why does everyone like her but me? Is there something wrong with me if I don’t like –enter any author’s name here. And the dreaded question: is it only me?
My question to you: why do you care? Why does it bother you? I’m just curious. That’s just my nature and I didn’t read the thread in question. I could pretty much guess a lot of the authors mentioned as they make the list everyday, every week, every month of the year, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Anyway, such threads come and ago and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In life we feel good when we make someone else feel bad. It’s relative. I used to participate in these threads but now I find them predictable. Every once in awhile, a reader will want to start a pity party and twenty readers will show up and give the reader what they asked for, some validation to say: yes, Diana Gabaldon does blow chunks as CindyS would say or that Laura Kinsale truly is boring. Then the little reader in their corner of the world can sigh a breath of relief that they are not alone.
I think that’s part of the problem right there: afraid of standing alone. In life, there’s always the crowd, the clique, the cool people who seem to think they’re better or that what they read or say or do is better. You’d be thinking that of yourself, I wouldn’t be. Your reading tastes is what defines you and nobody else. So what if you love Cassie Edwards and most of the world doesn’t – you like her and that’s all that should matter.
You would think that would be enough.
There is no universal appeal in anything. As a reader, I’ve never really been a fan of the category for Authors Others Love that You Don’t on ballots. What purpose does that serve? To show diversity? There will always be diversity in reading material. For every ten people who love one thing there are ten more that hate it. So, get over yourself.
I was just feeling snarky today and this had been a post I’d written earlier this week as the thread I’m referring to is probably pretty long and gangly-looking. I’m not saying that I haven’t had my share of participating in such threads mentioned above but I’ve moved on. There are better things to do with my time than giving authors a good kick. I do that enough with the books that I pay for and don’t much like. She without sin –
Pretty sure threads like this won’t die neither will the request for books with heroes who are jealous with ten readers or more providing recommendations. Funny, funny stuff.
Back to The Da Vinci Code.