I’m getting into the good habit of writing a brief review for books I’ve read on my Goodreads (see side bar). I’m getting into the bad habit of taking a bad book personally, as if its inability to woo me is a personal insult. I think part of that behavior stems from having so many books on my “to read” list that I get pissed off if I waste time on one I don’t like.
I started a new shelf on Goodreads called “aborted efforts.” I hope to utilize that shelf more in the future instead of wasting my time on something that doesn’t float my boat. There is only one problem with aborted efforts and that is hurt feelings. Worse than seeing a bad review of your work is seeing someone couldn’t stomach to finish it. Yikes.
After I post my review, I read what others had to say and I’m starting to see a pattern. Those books I’m most emotional about—good or bad—have the widest ranging views. For instance, if I loved a book and gave it five stars, I then notice about half the other reviewers also gave it five stars and the other half one star. Sure there would be a trickle or two in the three star range but the pendulum pretty much swings to the far sides. The books I give three star ratings also have abundance of three stars from other reviewers.
This lends the question of if ever I am fortunate to have my book read and reviewed, which would I like more: to be liked by all? Or be loved, cherished, and praised by as many people who hated, banished, and ridiculed it? I know that bad publicity sells as many books as good publicity. In fact, I admit to reading books just because of the emotional outcry of its horribleness more than its wonderfulness. I want to see what the fuss is about and why so many feel so strongly about its awfulness. (My overuse of –ness is not lost on me. I’m aware of it and feel like breaking a rule. Let’s just be thankful I’m not making up new words today.)
Would the fanfare of love be worth the hate I must endure? But in answer to my earlier question I think I’d choose the strong emotions one-star/five-star response over the safe three-star. Which would you choose?