Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!
This week's topic is: Unpopular Bookish Opinions
For some reason, I thought this topic was going to be hard, but once I started thinking of a few unpopular opinions, the rest just started barreling into me. I tried to narrow it down and stick to ten as possible, but apparently I have a lot of thoughts. These are listed in no particular order. As always, I hate to make a 'disclaimer,' but do note that while I do hold these opinions, I am in no way judging you or angry at you if you hold the opposite ones. Differing opinions make life fun and exciting! I in no way mean any offense with any of these opinions. Now, let's get to it!
2. I don't really care if a series is unfinished or doesn't have an end date in sight. I don't even check for this when starting one.
I see so many people refusing to start a series because it's not finished and I get it. It's hard to wait when you're really into a story and then you just have to put it all down and then try to remember everything for when the next book finally deigns to be published. I get it. But I personally don't care. There are so many books out there that I have no problem waiting because I know I'll always have something else to read. I've actually started using a book journal to jot down thoughts/important plot points when reading now so I can refresh myself for the next book and it's been working extremely well. Plus, the biggest and possibly most important thing to me is that if the first or second book in a series doesn't do well and sell enough, there might not even be additional books in the series. Books need to sell and show the publishers they are doing well in order to keep selling. And obviously I want authors like Rothfuss to finish, but I also just don't feel a huge sense of urgency--it'll get here when he thinks its ready and I trust him so that's good enough for me.
4. Deckled edges are better known as the devil's edges to me.
I can't turn the pages! I don't know if it's just because I have super dry hands or if other people also have this problem, but it's the most frustrating thing. I like the idea of adding some design to a book, but it's so obviously fake that it doesn't feel 'old' or special to me. I'll still buy books that have deckled edges, but I won't be happy about it.
5. I don't care at all about organizing my books in a specific manner (such as alphabetical order, rainbow, etc.).
|Note: Not my bookshelf
6. There is a huge problem with some readers (especially in the YA community) labeling books 'problematic' simply because they don't line up immediately with what they want it to say. These days, I almost like it when books become 'controversial' because it shows that people are being challenged and discussions can be sparked about this.
Okay, I had a really hard time figuring out how to word this one, so let me explain this better.
This is an issue that mainly pops up on Goodreads, Booktube, and book Twitter (again, specifically usually in the YA Twitter community, which I generally avoid, though it does spill over). Some of the ways in which books have been attacked--and the frequence in which it happens--has me imaginging that some readers read books with a pitchfork sitting next to them, ready to attack an author for any thing they don't agree with. Look, life itself has problematic issues all the time. Why shouldn't books also tackle those topics? I often see this happen when a book has a bigoted or generally unlikable protagonist who has controversial beliefs and readers will simply stop halfway through the book and claim that the entire book is racist or homophobic or whatever it is. Everyone has a right to stop reading books they don't like or that bother them, I do not have a problem with that, but my problem is when they then tell other people not to read the book. One example would be the whole The Black Witch by Laurie Forest fiasco from a couple years back. The main protagonist is indeed racist against others and has judgmental notions about various ways of life.. in the beginning. She says bad things and she does bad things, but that's the whole point of the book--to show what it's like and how that sort of person can change and grow and develop into someone better. It baffles me how books like this are treated. There's a huge difference between characters/narrative voice and the author's personal voice and I think people need to remember that. As long as the book isn't showing that doing or believing in harmful things is good (there are usually consequences), then I think they are great ways to open up dialogue about these types of situations in real life as well.
7. YA could use a few more male protagonists.
The majority of my reading is usually made up of 'adult' fiction, but the majority of the YA I do read is almost exclusively fantasy, so I can't entirely speak for other genres in the 'YA' umbrella (I'm not even getting into my thoughts on the 'YA' label), but I've found that 99% of the ones I read have female protagonists. I totally understand why this is and that we do need more female protagonists in general, especially in adult fantasy, but I kind of wouldn't mind having some more main male perspectives. I'm mainly directing this towards YA because adult fantasy is overflowing with male figures and I just don't see it as much with YA. I was just trying to think of YA fantasy books with male protagonists and all I could of think of was Scythe and the Unwind series, both by Neal Shusterman. This isn't a huge issue or anything, but I do think it would be nice to add in a bit more to the mix, even more nonbinary characters would be great, though I feel like I've started to see a few more here and there popping up with the latter so that's pretty encouraging already.
8. I keep almost all the books I read, even if I hated them.
This is one of those unpopular opinions that I almost feel nervous about, especially in this age of 'unhauls.' My dream is to one day have a house (which, living in California, that's problably the hardest part of this dream! 😕) with a library where I can just have shelves and shelves of books. Read, unread, loved, hated, all of it. I want to be able to think of a book I like and pick it up anytime to re-read (plus, if I spent money on it I hate to just toss it out right away). I want to be able to have enough books that friends and family can come in and pick up a book to borrow, or maybe they've heard of a book they want to read and hey, I have it! I'm still going to be, uh, picky about some of the books that I won't lend out, but for the most part I just want books around. I want my husband and future kids to have the option to browse through so many books, even books I didn't like. I don't want them to just be mirror images of me and my taste, I want them to read widely, to challenge me with their own opinions. The main reasons I'll donate books is if they're actually bad or harmful, I genuinely don't care about it at all, or if it's one I got unsolicited or I just didn't realize what it was about when I got it.
9. Most really old books don't actually smell good. They smell musty and give me headaches.
10. If a series 'doesn't get good' until the second or third book in a series, then it probably isn't the best series ever and I wish people would stop trying to shove it down other people's throats.
The number of times people tell me to keep reading Malazan because 'it gets better in the next book' or 'you'll appreciate it once you finish the series' is too. damn. high. I'm not going to keep reading a series that confuses the hell out of me in the hopes it will get better. I don't like being 100% confused for 100% of the time. There are too many other books out there that I can actually, you know, follow. Now that I think about it, maybe this unpopular opinion is really just about Malazan and I don't care about waiting for a series to get better...
And because most of these weren't book-specific, here's two bonus book-specific ones that are really going to be unpopular:
I do not like To Kill a Mockingbird and I find it highly overrated.
Look, I'm not saying it's a bad book and that's awesome if it's your favorite--I'm not judging you! I just didn't enjoy it at all and could never consider it the best American novel, even from an objective point of view. I understand it's importance when it was published, but at this point I just don't get the appeal.
I don't hate Holden Caulfield.
I don't think he's supposed to be a character you fall in love with. He's a kid with a lot of problems in his life and he's just trying to live and survive with them. Maybe I just don't hate it because I was also a pessimistic kid who complained to themself a lot, but for whatever reason he doesn't bother me so much. It's not that I love the book, I just think it gets too much unfair hatred directed towards it.
Well, those are my unpopular opinions! Do let me know your thoughts on these and/or some of your own bookish unpopular opinions!