Five things that should never be said about books.

Hello, world. In news completely unrelated to this entry, the little bar that tells you where you’re typing is not appearing here right now, and it’s driving me nuts.

Anyway, I felt like going off the beaten path of book reviews, and so I’m doing something different tonight. There are some things, I feel, that should never be said about books and novels. These things just drive me crazy to hear. Again, this is all just opinion, and I’d love to hear how you feel, as long as you’re willing to be civilized about it. Okay?

5. “Well, I saw the movie, and it was good.” This one is only number five on the list because it genuinely depends on the context it’s said in. If, for example, someone is saying that about the movie for a book they already read, then great. If they’re saying it about a book they haven’t read and plan to read the book since they saw the movie, that’s fine too. I don’t even mind if they like the movie better than the book- I’m that way on a few books myself. It’s when someone says that about a movie and does not intend to read the book that irks me. I find it ill-informed for people to just assume that the movie is a perfect indication of what the book is like. Prime examples that this is not the case: Eragon, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and Howl’s Moving Castle. I love the last movie on this list, actually, but it doesn’t follow the book very well at all. The other two were just, well, sort of an insult to the books, in my opinion. Heck, you can even see this principal with The Last Airbender, and that’s not even a book.

4. “Reading/Writing doesn’t pay the bills, so why waste your time?” All I have to say about this one is that A) writing pays the bills just fine if you get published, and B) Come back to me with this one when Professional Television Watching becomes a viable career choice.

3. “I would never read that book. It’s stupid.” You can say it’s not your type. You can say you don’t like the author. You can say you don’t find it interesting. But you can’t say it’s stupid. You have to read the book to know whether or not it’s stupid. Once you’ve done that, call it whatever you want. But I just hate it when people refuse to read something because it looks stupid when they’re uninformed. It’s one of the things I dislike about many anti-Twilight fanatics- several of them haven’t even read the book to know whether or not they like it. I’ve read all four, therefore I feel perfectly justified in saying I don’t like it, because I have valid reasons.

2. “Why do you want to buy that book? You’ve read it already!” I finally broke my mom of this one just recently. The way she figured, if you’ve read a book once, that’s it. What she didn’t understand is that I consider books a precious commodity, and don’t want to spend my money on just any one. I read it from the library or borrow it from a friend first to see if I like it. If it’s really good, I’m going to want to buy it for two reasons- first, I reread books. All. The. Time. The books from my favorite series are all on the verge of falling apart because I read them all the time. Second, I want to share the joy. My official title for my bookshelves is the Marci Stevenson Private Library. If I own a book, a friend wants to borrow it, and they’re willing to follow my rules, then they can borrow it. I want everyone to be able to read the good books I have read, and to form their own opinions about the ones I disliked so we can either agree or debate. I’m quite glad I broke my mom of this one, though- I literally bought a book I already owned on my nook in order to loan it to a couple of friends who I’d been telling about the series. And it was a neato imported copy, too!

1. “They’re just fictional characters. I don’t see why you’re getting so upset.” Argh. Just argh. This one irks both my inner reader and inner writer. On the one hand, as a reader, I’d like to point out that fictional characters, whether they are in a book or a video game or anything else, are there to tell you a story, and hopefully one you’ll enjoy or relate to on some level. They can’t do this unless you feel for them just a little bit. So I feel for them way more than most. That doesn’t make me a freak, or a fantard, or any other highly offensive name you want to call me. The point is, when you refuse to feel for a character because they’re fictional, you’re basically sentencing them to silence. On the other hand, as a writer, I have my fair share of fictional characters, of course. And they’re far from passive. So much of what I’ve written never would have been in my plans if my characters hadn’t occassionally taken control of the pen or keyboard and written their own story. I seriously collapse and can’t write if I allow myself to consider the fact that my characters aren’t real. I just can’t do it. Therefore, when people say this one, it’s like a shot to the chest for both me and the fictional characters they’re referring to, in my opinion.

So in the course of typing this, that little bar that tells you where you’re typing came back. Yay! Anyway, those are the things that most get on my nerves to hear people say about books. Are there any you would add to the list?

10 Responses

  1. Scarlett DuBois Says:
    March 14th, 2011 4:38 pm

    I must say, I totally agree with all of the 5 points, especially the bit about why buy the book when you’ve already read it and my mum never gets this either, but I refuse to stop buying them, because I will read them a thousand times and I’m starting to run out of room to keep them but that’s not going to stop me =P What I’m also not fond of is e-books, I just don’t think it can ever be as good as having a real book in your hands, sure it may be convenient and all that but I like to read my books in bed or in a library or in the back garden under a cool canopy in the warm sunlight, therefore I have no desire to my a Kindle or download any novels on my iPhone. Sorry I started a rant, but good post!


    Scarlett x

  2. greysprincess Says:
    March 14th, 2011 10:44 pm

    Glad to know someone else feels that way! I was running out of room for my books too- I got my dad to build me ceiling-level bookshelves all around my room to fix that problem! I always thought I’d never like e-readers until I actually tried one. My lit teacher kept going on about how nice hers was, and so I decided I’d try it. It turns out they’re not that bad, although owning a nook has caused a new problem with me- now I want to buy two copies of every book that comes out, one hard copy and one electronic copy! After all, there’s nothing like real paper. Maybe someday they’ll take a hint from the movie industry and sell hard copy books with ebook download codes?

  3. Bluesky2000 Says:
    March 16th, 2011 3:16 am

    I don’t like to read e-books, I just like the paper books which can give me the feelings of reading. I have been used to it.

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