What do Amazon, Goodreads, Apple, and tons of blogs all have in common?
If you guessed bad book reviews, you're right.
When you're a constant book lover and devourer you're always in the search for new books. Some of us wander into our local indie or B&N, find our section and typically pick up one that catches our eye and has an intriguing jacket description. Others like myself, we read reviews online. Reading reviews online is typically like sticking your hand into an alligator's mouth. Catch him on the wrong day and you could pull back a stump.
Readers today have a power stronger than any advertising could possibly offer, and that's reviewing or blogging about a recent book they've read and how they felt about it. And when we find a book we love, we can't shut up about it. Which is great and all, but what happens when the book isn't something everyone likes?
Of course I'm not saying any book or every book out there can be enjoyed by everyone. There will always be someone who will find the book you're obsessed with less than enjoyable. Hell, they may even hate it. When most of us find a book we don't like, we put it down and move on. But there are those who wont just stop at putting the book down. Instead, they try to put your book in an early grave.
Some people can't look past a book when it holds some kind of negative value to it within the story. Elle over at The Book Memoirs showed us a current iconic example by citing Twilight. While there are tons of us on one side of the coin objecting to the bad image imposed upon teenage-angst-romance, the other coin has people swearing their love to it because of the simple theme of 'Love Trumping All.'
After reading her post, she shed a piece of light on something I wasn't all too keen to admit. I was book bashing, too. Me, playing Negative Nancy. If my life were played on a board game of Clue, it would be me in the Kitchen with the candlestick. As Elle so blatantly points out, who are we to tell them what is good and bad? Sure, some of the stuff within the book (Edward watching Isabella while she slept... before she knew, obsessively denying her visiting rights to her friend Jacob) isn't exactly all sunshine-and-rainbows, but to some, they hold a love for it like a martyr for the cause. Thinking about it now, I can't say anything bad about them: I'd do the same for any Harry Potter book you try to abuse.
We don't have the right to tell someone off because we don't like what's inside the pages. No matter how justified our point is, no matter how driven, it's just not our place. Just because we don't like one book doesn't mean someone else won't. Maybe they'll love it and start a fan club. Maybe they'll love it and petition for it to be made into a film. Regardless of what's inside those pages, you can't tell them the book sucks when they love it. Because the only thing you're doing is looking like a jerk who forgot your morning coffee.