Bookish opinions: good, bad and ugly


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

I wasn’t really sure where to go with this one so I’ve probably gone off on a strange tangent but here are some of my probably unpopular bookish opinions:

  1. I don’t finish a book if I’m not enjoying it.  I used to be absolutely completist and read dogmatically through a book whether I was enjoying it or not.  I think I’ve come to realise that life is too short and there are a lot of good books.  Therefore if I’m going to find all the good books then I’ll have to stop reading the ones I’m not enjoying.  This probably makes my blog and reviews look as though they’re always glowing with praise – but that’s primarily because I only continue reading the books I’m enjoying.  Otherwise reading becomes a chore and I tend to go into a slump.
  2. I’m an absolute convert to e-books.  I know – break out the pitchforks!  I just find them so convenient. I love physical books, the tactileness of reading them, just turning the pages, well, everything.  But, I can’t deny I’ve totally gone over to the dark side.  I read on kindle.  My kindle has a backlight which I just love.  I can carry around hundreds of books – which might feel unnecessary but, hey, you never know.  It’s really easy to just highlight chapter headings, names, places or even make notes and I really like some of the other features like knowing how many minutes are left in a chapter – so I can easily prioritise between sleep and reading.
  3. Similar to the above, I’m starting to get on board with audio books.  They don’t all work for me I have to admit and I know there seems to be a whole body of opinion out there that this isn’t really reading, and technically, maybe it isn’t actual reading – but I’m still mentally digesting the book so I say it counts.  I did worry that audio wouldn’t work for me and that I’d switch off and miss huge swathes of infortmation but if anything it’s exactly the opposite.  And, if you’re listening to a book with difficult place and character names you have the added bonus of correct pronunciation – and if you heard me making a totally ass out of some of the names I’ve read you’d truly understand what a gift this is.  Yep, I’m very pleasantly surprised with just how well audio is working out for me.
  4. I don’t mind books that pay attention to detail.  In fact I welcome some of the detail – obviously I don’t need every leaf on a tree or stone in a house detailing, and I don’t want a room describing in full every time a character enters but I like the extra attention that helps to bring the world alive even though I recognise that others may feel this sometimes slows the plot down.
  5. Ratings.  At the moment I don’t rate the books on my blog – basically I don’t always think I make the right choice for my ratings and so I prefer to go off the tone of the review.  So, if I’m gushing like a love sick puppy then it’s probably a full 5* whereas if I’m just giving a very straightforward review that tends to have the words ‘enjoyed’ and ‘liked’ as oppose to ‘smitten’, ‘in love’ etc, then that would be a book that was okay, a decent read, but probably 3/3.5 stars.  (However, I am considering changing this in the near future.  I have to rate my review books after all.
  6. I like adaptations.  I know this can be a mixed bag and that some books adapted to screen can be a disaster but overall I just really like to see some of my favourite books converted into movies or series and I’m happy to take the risk – after all, if I don’t like the adaptation it doesn’t spoil the book for me.
  7. I can’t listen to music and read.  It’s just not possible for me at all – too much conflict of interest – one of them always wins out and usually I realise that I’ve read the same page twenty times and not absorbed a single word because I’m too busy singing – badly singing at that.
  8. I don’t like every type of book!  This is a fairly common misconception – people see you read a lot and so very kindly pass on their books to you – but more often than not they’re not your type of book.  Just picture it – somebody brings in a box of books and says ‘you love reading don’t you, so I’ve brought you in some books I was getting rid of’ – firstly, my anticipation has now skyrocketed, BOOKS – what sort of books will they be, excitement am I.  Then I open the box and can’t discover a single thing to stay excited about – BUT – because I’m very polite I have to maintain this expression (that is killing my cheeks btw) that everything is just hunky dory.  Not to mention this person is then going to relentlessly pursue me for the next six months asking how I liked them all.  Doomed. I’m not being ungrateful, seriously I’m not but more often than not I’d sooner not be the local second hand book depository because it rarely works out – I mean, what are the chances of somebody giving me a whole set of amazing fantasy books??
  9. Certain popular book tropes just don’t work for me – to name a few off the top of my head – instalove (lust by another name), love triangles, mysteriously never present parents, etc.
  10. I’ve told you mine now tell me yours….

32 Responses to “Bookish opinions: good, bad and ugly”

  1. Jorie

    Hallo, Hallo Lynn,

    When I first started blogging, I had intended to only blog about the books I really loved and/or the ones I had finished. Then, of course with hosting blog tours, that wasn’t always the case because some weren’t my cuppa and others were just unable to move me towards wanting to know how they ended. The typical moment where you realise you have a DNF. It took me over a year to resolve that layered guilt – but since then, I’ve developed a very transparent method of revealling my truer thoughts – whether I write a review of criticque and criticism or whether I’m writing one full of praise and the joys I’ve discovered within the story. We each decide how best to approach this and I think there isn’t any one right way to go about it as it is whatever we’re each comfortable with doing. 🙂

    Alas, with chronic migraines of the variety I endure, ebooks are never an option – however, I have embraced audiobooks these past 3x years and I love them immensely as much as I do reading in print! 🙂 Why everyone continues to harass those of us who listen to audiobooks, I’ll never know.. its bonkers! I sometimes find narrators who aren’t clicking with me – some of whom have really killed the story for me outright and others, wow! I can’t get enough of the stories they’ve narrated because of how well of a job they convinced me I #musthear their voices again!! 🙂 🙂

    Descriptive narrative is what hooks me into a story and a world, too!! 🙂

    I usually listen to ambient electronica or classical selections but sometimes I can handle certain tones of music with lyrics as well. It depends on the story, really.

    You’ve touched on quite a lot I can relate too. I don’t like overt vulgarity or graphic violence which I know is most likely an unpopular opinion but it is something I regularly discuss on my reviews. I also don’t like lust driven relationships and I am forever and a day curious why there is a complete absence of parents in MG and YA titles. (for the most part, anyway)

    Loved your post! Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Hi Jorie
      Thanks for the comments. I hear you about the migraines. I don’t get a lot – they’re pretty much hormonal so I had a rush of them through puberty and also a few hideous weeks when I was pregnant – other than that I only get a couple a year and they are awful – I just have to go in a dark room, but I’m pretty good at spotting the onset now so I can take something early but they’re so exhausting.
      I never even thought about ebooks being a trigger and they don’t seem to bother me so fingers crossed – but, like I said, hormonal.
      I do read grimdark style books – but not all the time and even then if the author seems to be pushing the boundaries just for the sake of it I really don’t like it and tend to stop reading that author.
      Parents in YA – always missing – how do they get away with it? It’s just not possible!
      Lynn 😀

      • Jorie

        Ooh I wish I knew how they cleverly subjected the parents – it seems though that those are most often the books where there is an unhealthy perception about parents & families in general – it is very rare where a book w/o parents is one that wins me over because I find them to be quite negative round the edges and those aren’t the kinds of stories I prefer to read.

        You’re lucky you can handle the ebooks but I understand what you meant about what triggers yours; I most likely have a shared trigger with you in that regard but not for all of them. They really put me under – the last batch was the most I believe I’ve had back to back as 5x really is brutal to shift past, I must admit.

        Sometimes I can shift back into reading if I seek out say Love Inspired Suspense and/or Harlequin Heartwarming – where the font is larger? Or just listen to an audiobook – this time round? I just had to wait out the migraines… the after effects prevented me from a faster turnround. 😦

        Ooh wow. Your braver than I am when it comes to grimdark!! #justNO I couldn’t handle that myself!! 😦

        Lovely to speak with you, today.

      • @lynnsbooks

        I really feel for you with such a horrible batch of migraines. I can’t even imagine that – especially as they continue to make me feel bad for at least a couple of days after – hugs.
        Lovely to talk to you too.
        Lynn 😀

  2. Jules_Writes

    I LOVE my kindle and ebooks 😀 Great list.

  3. sjhigbee

    Yep. Absolutely with you regarding your policy of DNFing a book you don’t like. I can’t see the point of continuing to trudge through a book I dislike when the world is FULL of books I’m probably going to love? So many books, so little time… And yep – my Kindle is my friend, too. We are both avid readers and our house is littered with faaar too many books. We are trying to declutter and get rid of a lot of our print copies – but Himself prefers reading ebooks these days… And, like you, I’m a very recent convert to audiobooks and LOVING them. Marvellous also, for listening to the classics, when I know sitting down and reading them wouldn’t be half as much fun. I’m also listening to Stephen Fry’s Mythos right now with alllll those complicated Greek names!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’m totally loving audio right now. My biggest problem is remembering to start listening when I’m doing chores. Sometimes I just forget, go in the kitchen, start chopping up and cooking up a storm and then think ‘dagnabit – I’ve just wasted an hour of listening time!’. Your decorating is perfect for Audio Sarah 😀

  4. Nadine - NadsBookNook

    With you on the ebooks. I was completely against them when they first came out, now almost every other book I read is an ebook. Sometimes I need options!

    • @lynnsbooks

      They’re just so easy and convenient – if I read something on your blog about a great book I can literally go online and buy that book and it appear on my kindle immediately – come on! What’s not to love about that.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Davida Chazan

    Lots of good ones here. Thanks!

  6. Tammy

    I can’t listen to music and read either! In fact, complete silence is my preferred reading environment, which makes it hard for me to read anywhere outside my house😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, and sometimes in the house is distracting too!
      Lynn 😀

  7. iloveheartlandx

    I love listening to music and reading and I thought that was an unpopular opinion not the other way round! I find silence really distracting, I always need some background noise. I’m not a big e-book fan, I read more than I used to, mostly because of Netgalley, but I use reading as my “away from screen” time so physical (or audio) would work better for me in that respect.
    My TTT:

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, it could be an unpopular opinion but I do know a few bloggers who discuss music they like to listen to whilst reading so I figured it was just me who didn’t like the distraction :D.
      E-books are definitely useful in terms of ARCs – I do love a good book but I’ve just had to stop accumulating them as I literally became bogged down with stacks and stacks and no space. I’ve recently started with audio and I’m enjoying the experience so far.
      Lynn 😀

      • iloveheartlandx

        I think I’ve just seen more people who say they don’t like to listen to music when they read, so that’s why I thought I was a bit strange for liking it, I’m glad to know there are other bloggers out there who do like it! Ha ha I definitely feel that, I basically get no physical ARCs, because a) I never request them and b) I don’t have the space. Ah that’s good to hear 🙂

  8. lydiaschoch

    I can’t listen to music and read either. It’s far too distracting.

    My TTT.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m like a goldish with a three second attention span. Well, probably not that bad but if music is on I tend to switch to the music and only realise that I’m distracted after reading the same page 20 times and still not absorbing it.
      Lynn 😀

  9. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I’m totally on board with your point nr. 1: life is indeed too short, and even if I could read all day long I could not manage to read all the books I’m interested in, so it’s necessary to draw a line at some point and decide that reading a given book is more work than pleasure. As for ebooks, I became a convert several years ago and I’m never far from my faithful Kobo, companion of my daily travels 🙂
    And for some time I’ve been thinking about inventing a rating system that’s not depended on stars but rather on the overall “mood” (for want of a better word) that comes from each book. It will require some serious consideration… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I look forward to seeing what rating system you come up with 😀

  10. Greg

    I’m the same way with #1. If I try to force a book I’ll slump and then not read for a week haha, so DNF’ing is necessary for me sometimes. 🙂 Same with ebooks- they’re just so convenient and while I’ll always prefer a physical book, I read a ton on my Kindle now.

    Love triangles are not my thing either!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I just find reading ebooks so convenient and the other bonus of course is space saving.
      Lynn 😀

  11. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I am still a diehard completionist. Dammit, I wish I could stop myself. Part of it is probably my OCD because in my head I know life is too short for crappy books, but if I put a book aside, I will feel guilty about it and it just keeps eating away at me until I just have to finish, even if it’s skimming. Still working hard on trying to overcome this!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s not easy – I used to be the same but nowadays I seem to have got past it. I think it’s because of all the commitments, plus I’m driven by the relentless pursuit to find good books and reading the ones I’m not enjoying has started to seem futile. That’s another reason for checking out blogs such as yours – you’ve managed to sway me away from a number of books in the past that I just don’t think would have worked for me but were up to that point on my wishlist. So thanks 😀

  12. waytoofantasy

    I never really thought I’d love ebooks either but now that I can read them on my phone they’re so darn convenient! Same with audiobooks.

    I have a hard time giving up on a book and usually slog through, there are only a few that I have put down but I always think I may pick them up again some day. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Actually that was one of my tricks about being able to put a down – I always tell myself that I can always pick it back up in the future – less guilt that way.
      Lynn 😀

  13. Brooke Lorren

    I don’t rate books on my blog either. It’s just too subjective.

  14. cherylmahoney

    I actually agree with almost all of your “unpopular” opinions! I still haven’t converted to ebooks, but I feel much less martial about it than I might have several years ago 🙂 I feel like there was a brief period where one camp said that print books were dying out and the other camp reacted by swearing our paper books would have to be ripped from our hands, and…yeah, the war just hasn’t really happened? So the “sides” don’t matter so much. Also re: adaptations, I used to be far more doubtful about them, but I think they’ve improved (on the whole, not always!) in the last 5-10 years. This may be another thing we can thank Harry Potter for…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, you’re right – we can thank HP for a few things I think 😀

  15. PerfectlyTolerable

    Ahhhh thats the worst when someone has books to give you but they turn out to be ones you won’t like 😦 Especially if they expect you to actually read them 😦

    • @lynnsbooks

      It definitely makes a bit of sneaky avoidance necessary when you spot the person coming in the opposite direction – only kidding of course – I just have to eventually admit that i haven’t had time – that old chestnut.
      Lynn 😀

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