Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Unpopular Bookish Opinions. I’m a little stymied by the topic — I’m not sure that I have any bookish opinions that would truly qualify as unpopular… but here goes:

1 – I’m not fond of the genre described as literary fiction. What makes something literary? Versus what, non-literary fiction? And what does that even mean? Too often, I’ve found that books described as literary fiction are really just books where the writing gets in the way of a straight-forward plot.

2 – I’m not a fan of reading challenges. I know lots of people find challenges fun, but I look at them as an obligation. Every time I’ve committed to a reading challenge, I’ve ended up feeling resentful that my reading choices were being dictated to me.

3 – I say a big HECK YES to DNFing. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable. If a book isn’t working for me, I’d much rather stop than waste any more time on it.

4 – Sometimes, TV adaptations can be better than the books! Especially when well done or when a TV version expands the storyline beyond the plot of the original, it can be so engrossing to see how far the characters and situations can develop.

5 – I don’t like trigger warnings in book reviews. I understand they can be important for some readers, but I often find them overly broad or too spoiler-y. I prefer to know next to nothing about plot details when I’m starting a book. Maybe reviewers on Goodreads could use the spoiler formatting to hide the content of their trigger warnings, so only people who want to know will see them? Just a thought.

6 – Book signings should be free. Okay, maybe this isn’t actually an unpopular opinion — but over the last few years, there were several times when bookstores in my area charged admission to an author event, justifying it by saying it included the purchase of the book. But what if someone already has a copy? Or maybe someone wants to hear the author speak and then decide if they want the book?

7 – I hated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just hated it. Hated the writing, hating the sense of wallowing in the violence. I know people loved this book and series, but I just could not.

8 – Sometimes series can drag on too long. And why does everything have to be a series? I get really frustrated by continuing stories that really could have been told in one solid book.

9 – Just because something is called a classic doesn’t mean I need to read it. Take the Great American Read list. I’ve read a bunch, there are a bunch I want to read, and there are some I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

10 – Okay, for sure this one doesn’t really qualify as an unpopular opinion, but… I read for me. I read what I like, when I feel like it. No “shoulds” allowed when it comes to picking my books! I don’t care how much praise a book gets, if it doesn’t appeal to me, then I’m out.

Do you have any unpopular bookish opinions? If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

  1. Triggers warnings in reviews are such a trend now! It bugs me when people get mad when you don’t include them. I mean, I get that people with mental health issues maybe need them? But it irks me when I hear about people who won’t read a review if trigger warnings aren’t included. For me it’s not so much about spoilers as having the right to leave them off! I guess I have a lot of opinions, lol😁

    • Yes, definitely, your review = your decision about what to include! Wait, so do people want trigger warnings about the reviews themselves (TW: this review contains reference to violence), or they want reviews to include trigger warnings about the books being reviewed? You never know these days. I guess because I don’t want trigger warnings for myself, it would be awkward for me to start including them when they’re not something I think about. Oh dear, and now I sound insensitive.

    • No, I agree, you should read what appeals to you. I actually do read a lot of classics, but I won’t pick up a book just because it’s on a list of books everyone should read at some point or because it’s considered a masterpiece.

  2. Great list! I think you’ve made an interesting point regarding trigger warnings – for me I mostly use them when I’m going to discuss sexual assault, particularly because I know survivors of sexual assault so it wouldn’t feel right for me not to include that warning if I’m going to discuss whether or not it was handled well in the book I’ve read. I think they’re one of those things everyone’s still trying to work out!

    I totally agree with you about book series, and I think that’s why I’ve developed such a love for duologies over the past year – I love having a part one and a part two to a story, if it’s really too big to fit into one book, and trilogies so often have a pointless filler book that didn’t really need to be there. =\

    • Yeah, trigger warnings are definitely a tough subject, and I get the argument in favor. I just feel like if they’re going to be provided, it should be in a way that’s optional for the reader. Duologies can be great! Middle books in trilogies rarely have something exciting to offer, so why bother?

  3. Thanks for sharing, I’m not a fan of book challenges either. Love this post, what’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2019?

    • Hmmm, best book in 2019 — that’s a tough question! It might be The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See — it was such a new and different subject for me, and I thought it was fascinating. How about you?

  4. This is great, Lisa. I love knowing everyone’s strong opinions – because I have a few of my own ;). As for some of yours, I almost always stay away from series because I don’t want to commit to a long list of books about the same thing. I’m probably missing something, but there’s only so much time. That said, I LOVED the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, although the violence was tough. I think Lisbeth Salander’s character got really great over time, so that’s why I kept going. I also know what you mean about book challenges. I do the summer one at our library since I work there, but I don’t stress about it. Sometimes it’s fun to stretch your reading list, but I much prefer to read what I want to read. So here’s to opinions – keep them coming!

    • Awesome, thanks! I feel like my book group gives me “stretch” books pretty regularly — since we decide as a group, the books are often ones I wouldn’t have chosen myself, and I’m usually surprised by how much I like them!

  5. I agree about trigger warnings. Sometimes a reviewer will use so many that it seems spoilery. With so many people in the community, if you need trigger warnings or don’t like trigger warnings, you can follow or unfollow accordingly.

    • Very true. I understand that they can be valuable, but for me personally, you make a good point — I could always choose not to follow someone if I feel like their trigger warnings exceed what I’d want to see. It’s tougher on Goodreads, because so many are right there at the top of the posts.

    • Yes, it seems so weird to me to have to pay admission to go to a book signing at a book store! I really resented it when it came up a couple of times. I even called the store when it was an event for a favorite author (and I already owned the book) — I offered to pay the ticket price and get a different book, but they said no, the ticket price comes with that particular book, and that’s that! Needless to say, I didn’t go.

      • TV adaptations can sometimes be better than the books 😒…. nope. I have yet to find a tv or film treatment that I prefer to the book. Otherwise, you are entirely correct!

    • Through my 20s, I felt like it was a badge of honor or something to always finish a book once I started. Luckily, I finally saw the light and was amazed by how freeing it felt to walk away from a book if I wasn’t enjoying it!

  6. I must admit that I am a bit fed up with trigger warnings in reviews. They are everywhere and warning against everything. I get that sometimes they can be considerate but I feel like there are too many recently.

  7. I agree with number 8 – sometimes I hope a book I read actually won’t become a series as the writer can draw out the story and add really weird bits. I found this with Red Queen and Me Before You and many others. It could be also because the first book of the series is really strong and a almost-too good start. I also don’t like book challenges too, it puts too much pressure on you do finish books and read quickly. Love this post!

    • Sometimes it feels to me like a sequel cheapens the story somehow, especially when they come out years after the fact. It can be disturbing to realize that a story that I thought wrapped up well or was pretty perfect all on it’s own is now going to be dragged out and turned into something different — it can really lessen the impact.

      Thank you for your comments!

  8. hahaha I am absolutely not a fan of literary fiction either. In the past I’ve tried to read the books nominated for literary awards (like the Booker) and they’ve just never done it for me.
    And absolutely to DNFs! Life’s too short to read mediocre books.

    • Glad I’m not alone — I check out the lists of award winners, but except for ones my book group chooses, I just mostly don’t bother anymore.

  9. “Sometimes series can drag on too long.” 100% true. Definitely. It’s especially exhausting if the series was supposed to end or it was said it would only be two/three books and then another bunch of them get added (sometimes with even more novellas between them).

    • Yes! There was a trilogy I read that I was perfectly happy with, and thought it ended really well — but then it turned out that the series kept going after that! I opted out — I felt like I’d read a complete story and didn’t feel the need to start a new chapter with the same world/characters.

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