Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Burning, Really?

People have different tastes. This is good. The world would be a very boring place if we were all alike. This is also true when it comes to books. Recently, I have been reading reviews and ratings of the books I read on Goodreads and I noticed that virtually every book has all the ratings – from one to five stars. Of course some books have more five-star ratings and almost none one-star rating, and the other way around.

So far so good. However, what bothered me was seeing so much hate some one-star raters expressed towards certain books they did not like. The top of it was a commentary that said a particular book should be BURNED and the writer of this review says the author of this book was condemned to hell by writing the book in question.

It is perfectly all right to dislike a book. It is perfectly fine to say so. But I was and still am appalled by that comment. Book burning? Such a hateful statement. Are not people entitled to form their own opinion based on their own reading? I think they are, no matter which book it concerns.

It made me go over some of my reviews and see whether I am imposing my opinion on anyone. I think not. I hope not. I try not to. What do you think? Please do tell me if you think I might be doing this, because it is the last thing I want as I know how awful it looks like.

I dislike some books too. In my reviews I say why it is so and I usually add who probably would not like the book. But I try not to force my opinion on others. The same goes for the books I like. I realize some of my reviews are very enthusiastic, but I think I make it clear enough others may think differently. I also state this in my review policy. And I wholeheartedly mean it.

Anyone can like or dislike any book and express their opinion. But I think it is necessary to allow other people do the same. Tolerance and peaceful cohabitation in this world starts with little things, books included.

What do you think? When it comes to a book you dislike or that is against your beliefs, do you discourage other people from reading it? Or, would you condemn people for reading certain kinds of books?

I must say that judging from the reviews by you, my fellow book bloggers, this post is preaching to the choir. I have not seen any hateful reviews on any book blog so far since I started blogging more than a year ago. I am very happy about it.

Now, I am done with preaching and I apologise for it. Please, feel free to express your opinion about the questions in this post or anything related in the comments.


  1. Hm sad to hear this! But then again, there really are just some hateful people out there. Doesn't even matter what they're hating on, if that makes any sense. Poor books though :( Fortunately like you, I don't think I know anyone that is this hateful towards a bad book or author!

  2. Great post! We can't love all books, naturally, but just because I don't like a book, this doesn't mean it's actually bad or that it should be burned. This is taking things a bit far, I think. As far as I'm concerned, it's just an immature way of expressing an opinion, simply because that person has nothing definitive to say.


Don't hesitate to drop me a few strange new words! I'd love to hear what you think!