Interesting Threads Online

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.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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12 Responses to Interesting Threads Online

  1. Angie says:

    See, I totally don’t get authors like Angela Knight, Katie MacAlister or Lyndsay Sands. Authors who, by all intent and appearances I SHOULD enjoy because they write in a genre I love (paranormal romance). But that’s not the case so when I’m asked that question, who don’t I “get” I respond with choices like those, not so much to kick the author but more in search of an answer from someone about why they love the books. Am I missing something in their writing that would turn the lightbulb of love on? hee, okay, that’s not likely to happen, but I like to hear differing opinions from mine, maybe someone will point something out that I previously missed, make me take a more open mind to their writing and try again (okay, so this has never happened, but hey, it could, lolol)

  2. Keishon says:

    There are PLENTY of authors I don’t get that I SHOULD but I’ve moved on. Maybe one day, a plot/story will appeal to me but until then, I just don’t bother with reading them. There is just so much out there to read that I don’t think that the light bulb will ever come on for me anytime soon for: Cassie Edwards, Connie Mason, Elizabeth Lowell, Julie Garwood and many other authors.

    My whole rant is that as a reader your choices are unique to you. Don’t worry about what other readers are reading, enjoy what your reading 🙂 Thanks for posting AngieW. I appreciate it.

  3. jmc says:

    I agree that our tastes (in books and in other areas) are what define us as individuals, but I think there’s more to those threads than fear of standing alone or the herd instinct. I think in a way it is a sort of defensiveness or a brand loyalty that we as romance readers are reluctant to break. As a genre, romance is the redheaded step child of popular fiction. When a reader doesn’t “get” an author who is popular and acclaimed by other romance readers, it can feel like she is dissing (for lack of a better term) a member of her community, which is already disparaged enough. If there are others within the community who feel the same, then it isn’t a dis (sp? diss?) so much as a difference of opinion. Does that make sense? Probably not. It made sense in my head but not so much once I tried to type it out.

    Having said that, I have no problem discovering that I don’t care for books or authors who are well-reviewed. For example, I thought Outlander was an okay book, but nothing extraordinary. I blogged about it once, but don’t feel the need to rant or complain every time I see a thread about how Jamie and Claire are the BEST COUPLE EVAR! Eh, there’s more interesting stuff to blog about.

    I will admit to being curious and reading those threads, though, because I’m always interested to see what other readers saw (or missed) in book that I may have read and liked or may never have tried.

  4. Keishon says:

    Jamie and Claire are the BEST COUPLE EVAR!

    Hi JMC – appreciate your sharing your thoughts. Don’t you just hate those type of topics? I find it curious that many readers find Laura Kinsale boring. While I can understand that for her books, it takes a little digging to get to the hook. Some readers don’t want a book that makes them work that hard. Completely understand that.

    Aside from romance genre being a step-child that is out-selling popular fiction – why as a group are we so defensive? I remember reading on a couple of message boards where authors were upset at authors for reviewing their books and not giving them a good grade. I see it as business but some see it as personal attack.

    And I’ll never understand why books are not seen as products. I don’t return every book that I buy and if I read it I keep it. But if the book stinks and I’ve only read a few pages, then I will return it. Just like at the theatre, you are allowed to get your money back if you exit the film in the 15 minutes or 30 minutes. I view it no differently.

    Romance community is an interesting collection of readers that I like to pick on and make fun of just for fun 🙂

  5. Kristie(J) says:

    I read that thread and while I found it interesting, I didn’t add my unfavourite favourites. Just seemed a little too much like pouring salt in a wound. One thing I’ve really seen since being online is that while we all have the love of a good romance in common, what we each consider a good romance can differ quite a bit. So I’d rather dwell on the overall common love than the individual love.

  6. CindyS says:

    I think I have become immune to many things in the romance community but hey, it took like 8 years. Like you said, those threads will come and go but there comes a point where I no longer care.

    Ooops. Lying. I do get a twist in my gut when I see Eve and Roarke win for bestest couple ever every freaking year. Could we pull an Oprah and remove them from ever being voted for again? I guess when trying to find the next great read it is annoying to discover that yet again, a perfectly good category gets taken up by a couple you don’t read 😉

    Ah screw it, apparently I’m not above it all 😉

    CindyS

  7. Kristie(J) says:

    As one who adores Eve and Roarke with an abiding passion, even I agree with you on that one Cindy.

  8. Keishon says:

    “Eve and Roarke win for bestest couple ever every freaking year. “

    Must agree with you on that one, too. I don’t run the site and wouldn’t want to but I think I’d get a little tired of seeing this couple get voted every year. They should have like a permanent position somewhere on that site’s award page and have readers vote for other couples out there who are just as worthy but that’s what your blogs are for. Maybe we should create a favorite couple list?

  9. Jane says:

    Oh, I always look at that as an opportunity to say to the other readers “What the hell?” LOL. You are right, though, it doesn’t serve much purpose but to affirm to the minority that perhaps they aren’t in a minority.

  10. Bev (BB) says:

    You know, this particular recurring discussion doesn’t bother me for the same reasons others do. For example, discussions on reviews bother me because they’re always recurring, neverending AND unresolvable. There’s just no way there’s going to be agreement when the terms mean so many different things to so many people.

    This one, however, bothers me not because it always comes up sooner or later but because when it does, it’s never indepth enough. And possibly can’t be within the context of the threads it’s always started in. Put it this way, there’s no way someone is going to convince me to try an author I already don’t particularly care for by telling me she/he is the greatest author ever.

    I need a little bit more detail than that. (G)

    So if the discussion is simply a surface level comparison of what everyone likes and doesn’t, that’s great. But if there’s any intention of actually enlightening me on what so great about authors I don’t like or am undecided about, it’s not such a great way to do it. Know what I mean?

  11. Keishon says:

    BB you have hit on another peeve of mine: REVIEWING. I am tired of threads that discusses…..reviewing. Makes me crazy because everybody has an opinion, there is no universal opinion on it. So what if you spew a lot of nonsense about a book you hated. It’s your opinion vs. someone who is more articulate and informative. The reading audience has the choice to either read it or not read it. It is as simple as that. I know I can be er mean with my reviews but it’s the book not the author I’m attacking – there’s a difference. Of course comments like “this book sucked” with no explanation tells me nothing or anyone else for that matter. So I just move on.

    It just really annoys the hell outta me when other people tell other people how they should review or formulate their opinions.

    I say spew away – that doesn’t mean I will read it.

  12. Fiona says:

    I loved this post. Thanks for making me think! I went into a really long winded response on my site if you’re interested.

    …Fiona…

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