I follow someone on Goodreads who reviewed a popular book recently and she did not like it. I could see the comments people left and one person basically said (paraphrasing): “Oh yeah i hate read that, i agree so over hyped.” I had no idea that hate reading even existed. That comment made me thinking to many of the negative reviews and people that hate certain books. I couldn’t comprehend why someone would read a book just to point stuff out and hate it just because there’s a popular negative opinion and such. So I wanted to talk about this concept of hate reading, why people might do it, my thoughts and see what you guys think.
Should we hate read something? Absolutely not! Our time is valuable and we should fill our time with things we love, our duties and family/friends. When you are reading a book so that you can point out every flaw/trope/writing that you find annoying, you’re not supporting the book community. If you don’t like something, don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. People have been hate reading certain YA authors just because they’re friends, favorite book reviewers, etc. hate it and they want to zone in too. But that does help you as a reader? Does that help you feel better about yourself? Do you think authors do that too? Those are important questions to ask.
I don’t have much time to read as I used to, so I have to kinda plan out what I want to read. If a book is getting negative reviews, I leave that book alone for a while because I don’t want those negative feelings to affect me personally.
But at the same time, I’m okay with labeling a book as a DNF if I didn’t enjoy it, personal reasons or structural/technical I saw in that book. If I feel like I’m forcing myself to read something, or feel bored/frustrated and not motivated to read it, it’s going in the DNF pile. I think that shows self control and also opens your time up for other books you would enjoy.
I personally think you can have healthy discussions about important topics with people. The internet is pretty much a mirror when it comes out to our thoughts; we can say all we want. But a lot of the time, those thoughts don’t really come back to us. Instead, they’re something that we might not expect. As far as books are concerned, here’s a few tips that I can suggest before you consider grabbing that book off the bookstore shelf, library shelf or from a negative rant on Goodreads:
1. Do your research! I can’t emphasize this enough. If you don’t read ARCS (advanced reader copy) of books before they come out, please do research when the book does come out. Talk to friends who have read it, read both good and bad reviews with a fresh mind. If you see that something is in the book that could be triggering, traumatic, etc, DON’T read it. It’s not worth jumping on the “hate reading” wagon if you know you’re gonna be upset.
2. Take time to decide when to read it: When I see books that come out, especially on BookTube, I tend to wait before reading it unless I had already read a sample/Net Galley and pre-ordered the book. I take every review with a grain of salt. This is crucial! People will not have the same reaction that you do to a book. If you feel that special feeling of the book calling to you, look into it and see if it’ll work for you. If so, go for it. If not, wait and give yourself time to digest what people have said before blindly jumping in.
Linked here are a couple sources I have found relating to “hate reading.” One is a New York Magazine article and another is a website article. Both have interesting points on the concept of “hate reading” and other like hate watching listening, etc. Please check these out and see if it helps at all. Comment below and let me know what you think of hate reading, how you’ve seen it in the book community or what you think of this post. Thanks guys!