Jo Talks Books: On Buying Books Just To Hate On Them/Their Authors

Hi all! I had hoped to have a second discussion post up in April for you, but since my exams only finished last Friday, I just didn’t had time to write something up before the month ended. I had initially been planning on talking about Bookshelf Organization, which is something I am still planning on talking about, but I’ve seen a lot of the topic that I’m talking about today happening on Twitter and it’s something that I really want to explore, so I’ll be talking about Bookshelf Organization at another date.

This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed most often when it comes to Sarah J Maas books, but I’m pretty sure it happens with other books as well. People who obviously don’t like a book/author/series, will buy said book/series and post threads making fun of it on Twitter. Now, you are perfectly within your rights to spend your money on whatever you want and if someone wants to buy a book just to make fun of it then that’s their decision, but personally it rubs me up the wrong way.

It’s one thing buying a book that you know nothing about, ending up disliking it and making a thread on Twitter about it. I get it, you buy a book expecting to like it and then you really hate it, you want to rant about it and share it with the world. But when you buy a book that you know you’re not going to like, just so that you can be mean about it on Twitter? Quite frankly, I think that’s cruel. You are essentially getting a book so that you can make fun of and be mean about an author’s writing, and whilst I whole heartedly believe in honest reviews, I don’t believe in buying books just so you can make fun of them and their authors. I saw a thread on Twitter recently of someone who bought the latest ACOTAR book and made a thread hating on it on THE DAY of release, posting spoilery excerpts. Not only is that mean to people who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, an author shouldn’t have to see that on the release day of their book (Sarah J Maas isn’t really on Twitter anymore and I would hazard a guess that stuff like this is probably why).

I also don’t really understand WHY you would do this. If you clearly don’t like a book or a series or an author, then why waste your time with them? Book bloggers have A LOT of books to read, more than we can realistically get through in a lifetime. So what is the point of picking up a book that you know you won’t enjoy, just so that you can make fun of it? I understand wanting to warn readers of potential triggers or harmful scenes, but that’s not what I’m talking about here, I’m not talking about getting books to check for problematic content and protect readers, I’m talking about buying books that you know you won’t like, just so you can poke fun at an author. It irritates me when I pick up a book and I don’t like it, because I feel like I’ve wasted time that I could have spent on a book that I enjoyed, so people who purposefully do this? Yup, don’t get it at all. It also makes very little sense to me because people will go out and actually buy these books that they want to make fun of, spending their own money on them and if you don’t like a book or a series or an author, why would you support them with your money? It just doesn’t make sense to me at all.

The internet, and Twitter in particular, have brought us closer than ever to the authors that we love and that’s great, it’s wonderful to get to actually interact with the people who write our favourite books, but I think we forget sometimes that there are people behind those accounts. And whilst you might think it’s funny to buy books that you know you won’t like and make threads about them, there’s no guarantee that the authors that you’re poking fun at won’t see them (and if you deliberately tag authors in them, well that’s just horrible) and feel really hurt that readers have been buying their books in order to make fun of them.

Doing this also makes fun of readers that like particular books. Fair enough that you don’t like a book, that’s fine, but getting a book just to mock it makes fun of the readers who really do like that book and want to share that love for it and perhaps instead of buying a book that you know you won’t like just to get fun of it, we should allow others who might like the series to discover it and move on to books that we actually like. It’s fair enough if you go into a book and end up not liking it, but if you get a book that you know you won’t like and read it anyway, just to make a mocking thread on Twitter? You’re ruining it for the people who are actually fans of that book/series/author.

And do I even need to say why posting spoilery threads to mock a book on release day is wrong? Not everyone has the chance to read a book on release day and not only ruining their excitement for a book but also spoiling the book for them whilst doing it? Really uncool guys, really uncool.

I get that in society we seem to think that’s it’s cool and fun to tear down things that are super popular, especially if those things are liked by teenage girls, but I don’t think that we should be perpetuating that, particular in a community that is meant to be teen-focused. We’re not bound to love everything we ever read, and if we don’t like something then of course we should talk about it, but we shouldn’t be going out there, looking for these books that are super popular, just so we can make fun of them. Stuff like this doesn’t give people outside of the community a very good view us, we’re not going to look like the warm, welcoming community that we are or be very endearing to teens who might be considering starting book blogging, if what they see from us are a bunch of ranty threads about their favourite books which we bought just to tear them down. Life is too short and there are too many good books out there to read for so much pettiness.

I get that we’re obviously not going to be spreading the love all the time, but I don’t think that we should go out of our way to spread hate. If you don’t like a book, an author or a series, no one is forcing you to read them. But don’t ruin the experience for the people that do like them, it’s not fair to you, who has to buy and read a book that you’re not going to enjoy in order to do this, it’s not fair to the people who actually like the book or author that you’re making fun of and it’s not fair to the author and all of the other people who worked insanely hard on the book that you’re tearing down. So let’s not shall we? We all got into this because of the love of books, and whilst it’s not possible to love every book we ever read, it is perfectly possible to avoid the ones that we know we’re not going to like and allow the others who do to share the love.

What do you think? Have you noticed people on Book Twitter getting books just to hate on them? Let me know in the comments!

I will hopefully have another discussion post for you guys very soon, since I am now done with Uni for the summer, I will probably be talking about Bookshelf Organization, unless I have another idea before I write it. I am also hoping to do a Writing Q&A for my writing corner, I have a google form which I will link to below, but you can also ask me anything you want to about my writing in the comments. I just finished Almost Love today, so I will have a review of that up for you guys very soon-I apologise in advance for the likely bombardment of reviews you will get from me this summer!

The google form for my Writing Q&A:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeB6x9FIDByp8_ppv1ejrj8KdHNx3IGGl4GHAcPKgUYUbZlEg/viewform

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8 thoughts on “Jo Talks Books: On Buying Books Just To Hate On Them/Their Authors

  1. anovelglimpse May 9, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    It drives me nuts when people do this. Why by a book you know won’t like?
    Although, I guess I was guilty of this with Anna Todd’s After series. I didn’t like all but one of those books, but I couldn’t stop listening to them. I was addicted to what I didn’t like.

    • iloveheartlandx May 10, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      Same! It’s such a waste of time. I can totally understand that impulse and I’m not saying I’ve never been guilty of it myself, but I think there’s a difference between continuing with a series you dislike because you’re weirdly addicted to it and doing it just so you can mock it.

  2. crystallinegirl May 9, 2018 / 5:35 pm

    I usually just have to laugh at these people, same as the people that buy books they don’t like, just to burn them (Harry Potter got a lot of that from conservative Christians) or, more recently, people were “boycotting” Yeti Coolers for supporting gun control by buying the coolers and blowing them up. …..C’mon. You realize the company/author/publisher is still getting your money, right? That’s not how a boycott works. Companies don’t really care what you do with their product once you buy it.

    I agree, posting spoilery excerpts the day it comes out is pretty shitty, and making fun of the people that like it is similarly irksome. But frankly, if they’re buying it to make fun of it, I think the author should just be laughing at them while taking the money to the bank. Though I’m sure that’s easier said than done.

    • iloveheartlandx May 10, 2018 / 12:58 pm

      I mean honestly so do I, like what exactly do you think you’re accomplishing here? It would be a lot more effective to not buy a product from someone you disliked. Yes, I think that is a lot easier said than done, books are very personal things for authors and it can’t be easy watching these people making fun of something that you worked so hard on.

  3. pennma05 May 9, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I really hate when people do this kind of thing. I mean, in a time when people are so anti-bullying and stuff like that, this sort of behavior runs rampant. What ever happened to the golden rule and treating other people how you want to be treated?! Common courtesy in all directions. It’s completely unfair to the author and to other readers who love the book these people are ragging on. And to do it on purpose is just ridiculous and unnecessary. I’m all for honest reviews but when you purposely go out of your way to buy a book knowing full well you are not going to like it just so you can hate on the book on social media is just stupid.

    • iloveheartlandx May 10, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Me too! Exactly, we’re supposedly all about treating people kindly and fairly and lifting each other up and still people do things like this, it sucks. Oh me too, I will always be in full support of giving honest reviews, but this is just cruel and unfair to everyone involved with the book.

  4. Diana May 10, 2018 / 6:14 am

    I didn’t know about this. Its shocking! Why would anyone do this? My heartbreaks for the author who has to see such hateful threads especially on publication day. This is so wrong on so many levels.

    • iloveheartlandx May 10, 2018 / 12:54 pm

      It’s awful right? Thankfully the author I was talking about is pretty much gone from Twitter now, but I think the reason why is because of threads like that and that’s horrible!

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