Thursday, January 23, 2014 19:33

Fairytale News | The hard life of a reader (6)


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

It has been a while since I talked about things that make our life as a reader harder. Today I want to share you three new problems we all might encounter.

Judgemental people
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“But, YA is written for teenagers?” The main target is indeed teenagers, but where does it say on the cover that “older people aren’t allowed to read these books”? The media is filled with critic on YA and I hate the fact that people always feel the need to label and judge. Just because the MC is a teenager doesn’t mean that we aren’t able to connect with her/him. Saying that would also mean that we can’t read books about monkeys, because we aren’t monkeys? And what about the fact that the authors aren’t teenagers? Just shut up and quit being so snobby and narrow-minded. I read YA because I like it, the end. (I’m very happy to say that I don’t get this type of critic from people around me. Do you?)
Recommendation
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It’s great when someone else recommends you a book. I like to try out new things and how cool is it to read a bloggers/friends favorite book(s)? But there comes the tricky part, what if you dislike it? I know it’s sometimes hard for me to see someone disliking my book, so I don’t want to be too harsh – but I do need to be honest. I do tone my opinion down if I completely hated it.
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My enemy. I love buying books, but we’re not as lucky as Belle unfortunately. I already have 5 bookcases filled to the nook and I’m now scattering piles of books around my room and boyfriends apartment. I know that I should stop, but buying books is just too tempting! There are so many awesome books, If only I had more space to put them..(money issue aside) I'm currently picking out books I'll be giving away to friends/bookstore and some of them are even shoved at the back of the shelf to make rows *shivers*

How about you? Do you encounter judgmental people in the media or your surroundings? Do you find it hard to tell someone you disliked their recommendation? And do you have the same shelf problem I have at the moment?
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

52 comments:

  1. I have this problem when I have people over. They browse my bookshelves and immediately snicker because they know I'm a fan of reading YA. I have started buying Adult fictions though and have also started to read them. I'm slowly moving my teen fiction books to my basement book cases - but not because I'm ashamed of them - it's just I need to make room for my current read pile.

    Great post, Mel.

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    1. So annoying.. It shouldn't matter what you read.

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  2. I have had #1 before but then I've adopted the attitude of "Is what I'm doing illegal? unethical? bothering you? No? Then your opinion does not matter to me. Go away." It's marvelously effective at silencing the over-opinionated.

    I pretty much do the same for #2. I go with a kind of awkward "yeah, it was pretty good! Different from my usual but I liked it."

    #3 I buy e-books now. Exclusively unless the thing I want is not available in ebook format or it's a library book. I don't have space in my apartment for any more books unless I start giving away furniture. :/

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  3. I love #1... YA is for teenagers. Like how can you like it.. and half the market is YA... all these movies are YA.... like I should be embarrassed. I have read some YA that is truly for teens. I usually don't love those because yes... I am too old. But I think most YA can be read by everyone and enjoyed by everyone!!! Confession... I am a YA reader!!

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    1. Confess and be a proud YA reader :D Say it loud, say it proud!

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  4. Most of the bloggers I read are YA fans. I myself love YA so why would I stop reading it if I'm still enjoying it. I don't care what people think I just read what I want to read.

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  5. Pshhhhh YA is totally NOT written only for teenagers. Plus YA = Young Adult. Which we are until we say we are not! Hey I will still say I'm a young adult at 60! :P Plus a lot of YA books have very serious and mature stories. People who say that usually have no clue what a good YA book even entails. And #2 = YES! I hate disliking a book that was recommends to me, or even worse, one that was a gift from someone who loved it! Eeek!! I'm ignoring the 3rd because "looks at overflowing shelves" If I don't think about it it's a problem that doesn't exist LOL

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    1. No, but it is targeted for them. Haha, yes. We all have young minds and spirits :D

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  6. Friends and family don't say anything about my reading YA, largely because they all know I want to work in publishing--preferably with YA and middle grade--so I'm keeping knowledgeable and because as an English major in college I spend a lot of other time reading publicly-accepted books. When it's not for school, I want to enjoy what I'm reading, and I enjoy YA! (I enjoy the other stuff too, but YA is fun.)

    Space is becoming a big problem for me! My main bookshelf is now double stacked and has no space left. I have a shelf at school that I'm about to have to double stack. I suppose I'll have to get rid of some or put them in storage soon...

    Great post!! :)

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  7. I feel so bad when I don't like a book a fave blogger recommended-so awkward! I definitely try to soften my opinion and emphasis how it was just my reading experience and probably loads of other people will have a better time with it.

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  8. I feel so awkward when I dislike a rec, like I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I don't like your taste in books. That's the hard part about recommending books. You have to take your audience into account. Just because you like/dislike something doesn't mean they will too, to be a good book recommender you have to be really selfish and really take account what the potential reader will like.

    Great post!
    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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  9. I haven't been judged by the media but I've been judge by IRL friends. Two of my friends can't understand why I am wasting my time reading YA books since according to them, it's childish. Hahahaha. I don't understand how they came to that conclusion because a lot YA novels that I've read have an adult tone.

    At the start, I tried explaining to them that YA novels really work for me more than adult ones but since their minds are already closed, I just stopped. They even got to a point where they're forcing me to read "more sensible" books like those belonging to non-fictions. Seriously? Hahahahaha.

    I also feel bad when I dislike a book that was suggested and gifted to me by a friend, blogger and the likes. And like you, I always try to soften the blow when I am writing my not so stellar review. Sometimes, I am even forced to sugarcoat my feelings. I know it's bad but its badder to feel guilty about not liking a book that your friend really loved. Huhuhuhuh. Gahhh.

    And yeah, those overflowing shelves. It's the reason why my mother banned me from purchasing physical books. As much as I want to experience the feel and smell of real pages, I have to make do with my e-reader.

    Great post, Mel!

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    1. They probably haven't tried a YA before then? And yes, some people are just so narrow-minded that they don't want to listen to anything.

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  10. Luckily I haven't been subject to YA snobbery. Most likely because I was a teenager until halfway through last year, hah! But I remember when I was about to turn 20, I started wondering if I should still read books about teenagers even though I wasn't one. Isn't it weird? I thought to myself. Luckily, I joined the book blogging community and realised that everyone and anyone can read whatever they want; no matter their age. And, like you said, I realised that the AUTHORS of these teen books aren't teens so does that make THEM weird? No. Just because an MC is a teen doesn't mean the reader has to be a teen. Books are written for everybody.
    Ah, not liking a rec. I don't actually get that many recs from people, and when i do, I don't really get around to reading them, haha! But I do eventually want to read the books that people have told me about - I love comparing my opinions :D But I would be sad if I hated a book a friend loved. :(
    SPACE. I need so much more space. My shelves are double-rowed, I have three piles of books next to my door, several piles of books in front of my bookcase, bags filled with books - books are everywhere. But I will not stop buying them, no matter how practical that would be (I am convinced my house will just be one huge pile of books one day). Hopefully when I become unexpectedly and exuberantly rich, I can buy a library like Belle's and never have to worry about space or buying books ever again! :D

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    1. Good! I never like it when I stumble on a snobbery article. That's the fun side of the blogging community. We all have different ages and we go along because of our mutual passion :D There is nothing wrong with reading YA.

      Haha, that is also a way to deal with recommendations :p

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  11. I have the same problem with space. I have stacks of books all around my tiny apartment, every flat surface is good for piling them, this means I don't have a desk or a table to eat, but what can you do...? My books need their space.
    I am also kind of worried when I get a recommendation and read the book and end up not really liking it. I try to tone down my bad reviews to. The same happens when I get a review book from an author that I know and like. I will try to stick to the good stuff of the book instead of making my review harsh.
    Thankfully no one around me really bothers me about YA so I don't have that problem :)

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    1. Everything has to make room for the books :D You could always get rid of your bed and sleep on them, haha.

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  12. I don't really have much of a problem with 1 and 2. I'm a teenager, so I'm pardoned for reading something marketed to my age group. And for 2, it happens, but I couldn't really mind because I borrowed the book. It only hurts if you bought it.

    But for number 3, I have only one shelf. I don't think that it can take any books soon in a year or two, or else it's going to collapse. *sigh* The hard times of being a reader.

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  13. Contrary to the popular belief, I really don’t think YA is exclusively written for teens. For me, I think of it as the age of the main characters rather than the target demographic of the books (though in most cases, yes). There are YA books that have mature theme that can be both enjoyed by teens and adult.

    Space for books…yep, same problem here. If only I live in a mansion.

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    1. Not exclusively written no, but I do think it's more targeted towards them?

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  14. I think people probably do judge me for reading so much YA, but I just love them! SO whatever, I don't care.

    Space is *currently* not a problem for me, as last June I went from 2 book cases to 4 book cases (after giving a bunch of books to the charity shop). But those bookcases are filling up quick!

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  15. Fortunately I haven't encountered any of these problems yet, I'm 19, so I'm still a teenager, I'm usually the one recommending books, and I haven't been buying books for long enough to run out of space. That last one is an amazing problem to have, haha!

    Oh, and yesterday was the first time somone commented negatively on my reading in public. We were waiting between fashionshows on the viewing days of my school, and a few of us were reading, including me. Then all of a sudden this girl from my class gets almost mad at us for reading? It was so weird, she was seriously frustrated, like she pitied us for not having a life because we were reading (and at a time were we didn't have anything else to do, too!). "You're not a grandma, right? Then don't act like one! Oh you are so boring, blabla" I was seriously confused...

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    1. I think what matters the most is how old your mind is :D My age is not a teenager anymore, but I do feel like one. I don't feel older than when I was 19.. I'm happy you don't encounter these problems, but just wait until your book collection starts to grow!

      HUH, that is so strange..

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  16. I've written about judging and books before and it's something that will always, always piss me off. I dont understand why people always do it.

    Oh. Did I mention I've made shelves in my dorm room just from books? Well because I HAVE NO SPACE, and my room is tiny *sobs*

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  17. Luckily I don't really get judgmental reactions from people in my life, I would hate it if someone would do that. Seriously, it's not their problem what I read or do not read. I have seen so many articles around the internet trashing the YA genre that I'm so used to that already. I still really hate those articles, but I'm not reading them anymore because I know they'll only frustrate me. I don't get why people would trash YA? Sure, there are bad YA books, but there are bad books in every genre. And what is 'bad' is also very subjective. I don't care that I'm technically not a Young Adult anymore, I'll still read YA books.

    Recommendations are at the same time the best thing ever and the worst thing ever. I love giving recommendations because I'm spreading the book love and love it when people read my favorite books and/or authors, but I also worry that someone won't like my recommendation as I feel bad when that happens. I love it when people recommend me books, especially books that I normally wouldn't pick up. But like you say, it's awful when I don't like that book I was recommended!

    Right now, money is more my enemy than space haha. Although I too have too many books for my shelves. I must buy a new one as I still have space for a new bookshelf. No shelving books in rows for me just yet!

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    1. Most of the times I click them away as well. It's only frustrating and there is nothing my opinion is going to change about it unfortunately..

      Yes, definitely two-sided.

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  18. Love this post. <3 I think my problem is with the shelves. They are almost full! Agh! Though, when they are full I can't buy anymore :\ (As the floor might collapse.. hih.) But yeah. So that is kind of a huge issue for me. Sigh. Thank you for sharing your hard life as a reader. <3

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  19. Breaking it to friends about book recs that didn't work out is always awkward. I can't stand judgmental readers, either. Ick!

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  20. I had to get over the snobbery a long time ago -- I read a lot of mysteries and once someone I considered a good friend kind of curled her lip when she saw the book I was holding, like all mysteries were just lowbrow trash. So rude! Who cares what other people read? I do read literary fiction, memoirs, non-fiction AND also YA, mysteries, and whatever else I feel like.
    Yeah, the book rec thing is awkward. One of my closest friends and I have completely different tastes in reading and plays. If she likes something, I usually hate it. Oh well :)

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    1. Reactions like that are so.. I just don't understand it.

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  21. Yes, these. Space is the real issue for me. I want ALL the books but where to put them. Another issue I encounter is dust. the books get dusty and I'm so lazy I don't want to move them. Book recs can be very awkward ;-/ Love this.

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  22. Gooooooood, I actually hate HATE when people judge the YA genre. Or any genre in this case. It's even worse when they critique people reading it, or restrict some books. Warning the parents before books than aren't "suitable" for their children. There's so much drama surrounding this genre and it pisses me off for two reasons. 1) They are freaking unnecessary and invalid. 2) The genre is called "Young Adult" for a reason. Young ADULT. Try being consistent for a change.

    And here I go on a rant about my frustration with the critique surrounding YA. Sorry, I strayed from the point.

    I don't give recommendations that much, neither do I ask for them but it is a little hurtful when someone dislikes the book I suggested to them.

    Oh my, space is my biggest enemy. Especially since my room is pretty small and I constantly need to move things around to fit something that is pretty necessary in there. A new bookshelf was a huge move as I needed to swap places of my bed and my desk to put it somewhere else rather than the center of the room. I guess that is the reason why people like ebooks so much, but I'm too stubborn for that. I will pack my books under my bed if I have to but I won't stop buying them :p

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    1. Oh, also I really love the little change in your header. I think it's even prettier than it was before! ;)

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    2. Thank you! I'm happy the way the new header turned out.

      I hate judging no matter what, but YA always seems to be one of the main subjects in genre-bashing. You don't have to apologize, I love reactions like this :)

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  23. Hi, Mel. Space is definitely the number one prob for me. My husband is so annoyed by my hoarding habit but he still let me buy new books. ;)

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  24. People need to get over their judgements. I laughed when you said "Saying that would also mean that we can’t read books about monkeys, because we aren’t monkeys?" Good point!

    I have read and disliked recommendations. You just have to be honest. I feel bad when I recommend a book that someone doesn't like only because I feel I've made them waste their time. But most readers realize that not every book will work for every person, and we all have and are entitled to our own opinions. No harm, no foul. :)

    I have a huge bookcase in my room now covering one wall almost to the ceiling and still I only have room for my favorites. I give away books I will not reread or were just okay. I have an e-reader and this helps with space as well.

    Great post, Mel! :)

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    1. Haha, that was just the first thing I thought of. It would be hard to read any book if we're going to judge like that.

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  25. I hate the label that comes with ya..but thing that bugs me is I believe part of its derision is the fact that is marketed towards teenage girls..I think there is a bit of sexism in that in general anything marketed particularly toward women seems to be devalued by our society....chic flicks or chick lit for example.

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  26. Oh yes, when you disliked a book(same with bands) that was recommended is always awkward. I try to be honest but still nice-ish, and only mention the things I liked. BUT if it was a rec from a really good friend I'm actually more honest about not liking it, since I don't like to lie to them + I know they won't take it to heart and just recommend me something else :)
    Haha, I actually have a lot of space. I could use some more bookshelves though, or I can always make just another book tower ;) I mostly love my Kindle because of the ˝magic˝ of instant gratification. Haha.

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    1. Lot of space, lucky you! I'm just creating my own space by piling it everywhere, haha.

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  27. UGH, JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE! It has come to the point that I rather not tell people that I read YA because the immediate response is "but that's for kids". No. No, it's not. Get your judgments away from me. I don't need them.

    And with book pushing comes the fear of people not liking your recommendations. I'm always nervous when I don't like books that other people rec'd me (or worse: bought for me!) but I do try to be honest. Sometimes books just don't work for me, and that's also important to point out. But yeah, easier said than done...

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    1. Ugh. It's the same in stores. They sometimes make the YA sections (if they have them) SO childish that I'm almost embarrassed to stand there.

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  28. *sigh* if only we had Belle's shelves. Although I don't have a book buying problem. I am actually a pretty frugal person except when it comes to traveling. I do want to own my favorite books, but I don't buy a lot of new books if there isn't a good chance I'll like it. I rely a lot on my library.

    People who are close to me, don't judge me for reading YA. In fact, I've converted my best friend into a reader, and she reads primarily YA. I don't broadcast it though. As I mentioned in another discussion of yours I feel defensive of reading YA because there are so many judgmental people but I shouldn't care what they think.

    And I do worry about disliking a book recommendation. However, I am pretty bad about taking book recs. I am always pushing books on other people and LOVE when they actually read it and LOVE EVEN MORE when they love it too and yet I am terrible about doing the same for others (2014 resolution?) Fortunately, so far what few book recs i've listened to I haven't hated, maybe just haven't loved as much. I would probably tone down my judgement if I did hate it though.

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    1. That's great! I'm really a hoarder and love to buy them. And how awesome :D

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  29. I adore these discussion topics of yours! Another great one here with valid points! Judgmental people suck, I just wish everyone could respect other people's choices or butt out. And you're right: it can be horribly awkward when you dislike a book a friend highly recommended. Like you, I think I tend to censor myself a bit more when writing reviews for those books. I can't help it :) I really like your last one about space though *sigh* I wish we could all be Belle :D Anyways yeah I'm running out of space fast too..with no plans to stop buying books anytime soon hahaha

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  30. I totally feel #1. I hate pretentious readers. If you're in high school and love to read super stingy, adult books that's awesome but don't insult the books I read!! I've actually had a teacher insult YA to my face which is horrible because shouldn't teachers encourage reading?! Same with the other way around, adults should be allowed to read YA without getting comments about it. I'm totally going to be that old women still reading YA. I also have the same space problem. I'm buying books quicker than I have time to make space for them! Great post, I really love your blog:)

    Emily from Blue-Eyed Bibliophile

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  31. Haha, I LOVE your logical argument for young adult books. I'm so tired of getting judged for that, and like you said the authors that wrote them weren't teenagers so why do I have to be? I'm completely with you on the space issue, my books have slowly taken over my room and I JUST DON"T HAVE ROOM for anymore! I keep trying to take space on my mom's bookshelf but she gives me the evil eye. Great post! :)

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