Bookish Discussion

Sharing a Few Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Hello friends, Vera here! This post came about in a weird way – basically, I wanted to share a tiny unpopular opinion with you all (#2 in this post) which prompted me to try to come up with other unpopular opinions I haven’t yet shared here. Not saying that all of these are unique – after all, a lot of unpopular opinions I see around are actually popular opinions by now and the same is probably true for mine – but I had fun writing these down and I can’t wait to discuss them with you. 😊

As always, these are strictly my opinions! No hate intended, and I’d love to hear different opinions as well. Now, without further ado, let’s discuss these opinions!

Trying to Avoid Recommending Problematic Media

Up to a point, I do believe that you can consume problematic media critically, but there are certain kind of behaviors that will absolutely make me side eye you. With the release of Bridgerton – which I did watch and read for the record – there were some people who argued that the show’s ignorance of consent is acceptable, which, I suppose, is an opinion. My issue was that some these people tried to push others to give a show a chance, even though some of those who were firmly against trying the show are sexual assault survivors.

No matter how you choose to interpret a piece of media, you shouldn’t ever push people to try something that makes them uncomfortable or that can potentially trigger them. That was a very particular example, but more generally, I try not to recommend my “problematic favorites, especially because there are so many books – many by marginalized authors – that don’t receive half as much popularity as the problematic books and I’d rather recommend those. Obviously, I don’t necessarily know everything about the books and other forms of media I consume, so I can’t say I’d never recommend them, but I’ll always try to pay attention to criticism and then avoid featuring problematic things.

The Adaptation Can Absolutely Be Better Than the Original

I think many of us have seen adaptations that did a better job in certain things than the original media. For me, the Hunger Games adaptations are not just loyal to the books and well-done, but actually better than the original novels. I feel like the creators followed the original rather closely while also making it even better, for instance by making the story’s flow and pacing better. Similarly, I was somewhat bored the first time I read Good Omens, as any parts that didn’t involve Crowley and Aziraphael felt subpar to their scenes. But then the creators of the show managed to present every character – and thus every subplot – in a way that made me enjoy it all.

Fanfiction Writers Can Be Extremely Talented

I started to read fanfiction in 2020 – a decidedly bright spot in an otherwise cursed year – and I have to say, many fanfiction writers are incredibly talented. I feel like there’s this belief that the writing in fanfiction must be subpar compared to published books, and I’ll admit that I myself may had agreed with that before diving headfirst into fanfiction. However, this is far from the truth. Fanfiction writers are clever and creative and they can make me love the characters even more than I already loved them after consuming the media they originally appeared in.

Judging Books By Their Covers Is Not Evil

I’ve read about the difficulties of self-publishing and I know that many authors have no means to pay for an expensive cover-design. Also, traditionally published authors rarely, if ever, have a say in what their covers will look like. On top of that, the kind of covers people like is very subjective – I for one still enjoy covers with a cute graphic designs while others have had enough of these.

Because of all these things, I’m not going to write off a book that sounds good simply because I hate its cover, but realistically, the first thing I see of a book is its cover, especially recently, as I’ve been strictly online book-shopping because of the pandemic. Not forming some kind of expectations or a prediction about the content is hard, which is why I think it’s important for books to have covers that represent their content well. In any case, what I’m saying is that covers are created to represent a book and to make it appealing, so I don’t think it’s evil to judge books based on their covers, especially if we know to treat self-published novels’ covers with less judgement.

Book-Twitter Sometimes Unnecessarily Blows Up Drama

I’m not talking about calling out problematic authors or creators here, let’s just get that out of the way. There are, however, certain ‘hot topics’ that keep appearing on twitter periodically, and then everyone jumps on them and starts talking about them, sometimes blowing one person’s bad take up in a way that isn’t very useful, in my opinion. What I mean is, sometimes I would never even have seen a bad take – i.e. audiobooks are not real reading (wrong!) – had people on twitter not blown it up by talking about it for days. Sometimes this is simply annoying, but other times it is actually counter-productive. There have been a few instances when a person with hateful opinions actually got more views and followers because their bad take was discussed so thoroughly. Granted, people should be called out, so I’m not sure how this could have been avoided, but it was maddening to see this person find a similarly hateful audience that they wouldn’t have (not so fast anyhow) had book twitter not shouted about them for weeks.

Let’s chat!

What are some of your unpopular opinions? Do we have any in common? Do you agree that most unpopular opinions are actually popular opinions at this point?

26 thoughts on “Sharing a Few Unpopular Bookish Opinions

  1. I agree with all of thoses! The first one might be a bit harder to accomplish for me- as except for things pointed out by book twitter drama, I don’t necessarely know if something is problematic or not. I do however suggest recommending based on giving trigger warnings, or cautions, so the person can choose wisely knowing if it might cause them problem or not (exemple; my bestfriend loved the show 13reasons and did recommend it to me- however, having seen on tumblr how you have a good see at her suicide in the way that particularly bother me, I now know I must stay away from that one)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait i agree with every single thing you said, and so here’s a super long comment because i loved this post
    #1- a hard yes. i have so many problematic faves, but it’s totally wrong and insensitive tp force it down someone. that would just be plain evil. recommending something lightly versus shoving and telling someone to enjoy it are so different~
    #2 totally. 100% sometimes adaptations outdo the orginals and that’s completely ok
    #3 as a fanfic writer myself, you made me feel very good. there are such good fanfic writers, and the concepts and plots they come up with are pure gold, it’s a whole different world. if people just skip over some of the cringy fics, then they’ll end up finsing really good ones
    #4 i’m unashamedly guilty of this one, but it’s helped me tremendously too~
    #5 so true. cannot argue.
    such a great post, i loved every aspect of this😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🥺

      Definitely! Also, someone mentioned in a comment that trigger warnings are important and I agree with that – if you love something but *know* there are issues with it (like Bridgerton) than it doesn’t sit right with me when you don’t even mention the issues when recommending it. :/

      Fanfics has helped me so much this past year, so keep up the good work, I’m sure your fics are helping people too. 🥺 I appreciate fanfic writers A LOT, and get really frustrated when people shit on them… I mean, fanfic writers are creating free content? If you dislike it just move onto another or abandon fics, ffs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ahhh thank youuu~ fanfics are portrayed so weirdly in media these days, but the truth is it’s such a good and wholesome community and it’s really just all about letting off stream and writing things you know wouldn’t happen in real life. ah yes, i mean mentioning trigger warnings should be the #1 priority of the recommender because there’s always somethings you like and the other person doesn’t, so it’s always good to tell them if something bad or something they get trigged by is going to happen while recommending it to them😭😭🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you on a lot of these. I’ve always thought movie adaptations are often better than the book (esp with The Hobbit for me) and I also prefer to watch the movie and then read the book.
    And book twitter seems to be more problematic than helpful sometimes. It’s great that people are calling out problematic authors/books and feel it’s a safe place to do so but, on the other hand, it becomes a bit of a toxic environment sometimes as well. If you disagree with the opinion of the crowd, you might get attacked and dismissed. I tend to stay away from it in those times.

    And specifically about the “audiobooks aren’t real books” comment – it’s such a ridiculously wrong statement, I can’t believe it actually became so discussed!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you in terms of both audiobooks and book Twitter drama. From personal experience, I would be able to get through as many books as I do if it weren’t for audiobooks because I spend quite a lot of my day commuting by car. Also audiobooks sometimes help create a certain atmosphere for me which makes me enjoy the story even more. Re: book Twitter I’m also very cautious when it comes to heated debates because it has become very easy to be attacked if you voice even minor disagreement with the mainstream

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so happy I discovered my love for audiobooks – they help SO MUCH with getting some reading done for example while I’m walking or cleaning. I agree about the atmosphere, not to mention that an excellent narrator can increase my enjoyment of the story and my love for the character.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m fine either way – book first or movie first – BUT I don’t get the obsession with reading the book first, especially because usually the book is more detailed than the film, so it can be fun / more interesting to consume that after watching the adaptation.
      The fact that I saw the audiobook discourse brought up since publishing this post.. the same topics get debated like clockwork.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely agree that fanfiction writers are super talented! I was in a class last year where a lot of people felt the need to constantly bash fanfiction. While I don’t personally read fanfiction I think those writers are some of the most creative people out there, and it’s not right at all to judge them.

    I think one of my main unpopular bookish opinion is that I don’t care how people treat their books. Now obviously I don’t mean burning books, but I think it’s become sort of a trend to bash people who write in their books, dog-ear pages, throw out dust jackets, etc. But to be honest, I couldn’t care less what people do to their books! A well-loved book is one that doesn’t look perfect in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, that class – or at least those people – sound terrible. I really don’t get the hate over fanfiction – these people are creating content FOR FREE… if you dislike it just move on? People can be so negative and for what…

      Ah, I agree with you 1000%! It’s everyone’s own business how they treat their books – I’m very careful with mine but I have a friend that loves it when her books look well-loved. I feel the same way about how people display their books – I hate it when people make fun of how someone displays theirs on their shelf. I remember the trend of turning your books so the spines face away from you (I hope you know what I mean, lol) and how much mockery and hate that received.. I don’t understand why people care about what others do with their books…

      Like

  5. I agree with all of them, but especially the one about fanfiction! I’ve been reading and writing fanfiction for years, and honestly, I think fanfiction is what made me a better fiction writer for my own original stories. Practicing the craft of writing with characters you love is a great exercise!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know why I’m only just reading this post now but I totally agree with you here. I think you know my thoughts on Bridgerton by now. I will probably hate watch the next season because at least it’s not about Daphne, but there were definite moments that left me uncomfortable and after rereading some of the series I still have issues. I know that they are older books and we all know older romances can be problematic… but why didn’t they fix the whole thing with Daphne and Simon? They try and claim it’s better but I can’t help but feel I watched a different show to others.

    And I am 100% with you on fanfic writers. I mean, there is fanfic I can read repeatedly just like my favourite books because they take these characters we know and love and create these amazing stories that the original creators couldn’t even imagine. They give secondary characters the depth they never had chance to develop or fix massive issues I had with the original version. I feel like people can be way too dismissive of fanfiction and that’s because they have never read good fics.

    As for twitter drama, it’s exhausting. The same issues get recycled over and over and it’s boring. We do need to call out people being problematic and I welcome the call for us to learn and grow and be better. But it’s exhausting that there always seems to be certain things popping up over and over again. I am becoming disillusioned with social media, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate myself but I’ll definitely hate watch the next season. I agree with you, I don’t think they made it better at all.. in fact it seemed even more premeditated whereas in the book it could be read as Daphne deciding to not let him pull out in that moment. Both are wrong, but the show was actually worse to me. I know what you mean – I saw someone say that they would have missed it had they not known it was coming.. HOW.

      I agree with you, fanfic can make me love the characters even more than I loved them in canon. And exactly.. what I don’t get is why bash it.. if you hate it just move on ffs.

      Exactly. Can you believe that a few days after this post went up I saw the audiobook discourse pop up on my feed AGAIN!? Like clockwork..

      Like

  7. I have taken a decision to step away from booktwt. It just became so toxic for me and I didn’t feel that I could express my feelings or opinions without some form of biting attack (I can take criticism but booktwt can be a scary place for cyber bullying some times).

    Like

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