No, I Do Not Hate A Book

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

One of the questions I got asked a lot from yesterday’s “Ask Me Anything” was, “What book do you hate the most?”
My answer is simple: “Why would I hate a book?”
The best a book can do is disappoint me, or not interest me, or irritate me, in which case the same thing happens: I put the book aside and never return.  I do have some Magic writers I dislike intensely, but that’s because as the ancient editor of I was forced to read about a hundred or so articles a week to keep up on things, and in many cases I repeatedly read/edited things that were not to my tastes but pleased our audience.  That was part of my job, and every job has some things you don’t want to do.
But books and short stories?  It’s hard to develop a hate for something you can abandon so easily.
“But what about DAN BROWN?” some oafs might cry, thinking that as a writer I must hate anyone who writes quote-unquote “poorly.”  But no.  That’s someone pleasing an audience that’s not me, and again, I can usually avoid that sort of thing.  I’m not irritated by someone else’s success, because I think every bestseller has something that’s appealing to people – even if I can’t see that appeal.  I’m not snobbish.  There are plenty of people who love James Patterson (my mother among them) even though I think his prose is awful.  Some people are always going to be more successful than me, and I won’t always like what they do.
Rather than getting my nose up about the unfairness of the world, I think I’d be better served by asking, “So what is he doing right?” and trying to analyze that.
I don’t hate books.  I recognize some books aren’t what I like, but “hatred” would involve them injuring me in some way, and it’s hard to injure me when I can walk away.

1 Comment

  1. Marc
    Mar 29, 2014

    Aren’t you the same guy who famously professed his hate for Lord Of The Rings? 😛

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