I’ve Reached the Point of Too Much Hate

POSTED ON August 28, 2016 BY Austine IN Discussion

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A lot has changed since I joined the book community over five years ago. It’s crazy because it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. I’ve noticed everyone seems to be more close-knit. There are bonds formed that, with the help of things like social media, have been realized in person which is super awesome. I discover more and more people every day promoting the books they love, sharing their thoughts, helping out authors. I love it because it’s such a positive thing in a world that isn’t always so nice. But I’ve also noticed an increase in some of the negatives.

Today, I watched as people attacked authors.

Attacked each other.

Took tweets out of context to further their own agendas.

Plagiarized tweets and changed words to fit their argument’s needs.

You get the idea. Now this all took place on Twitter as that was what I had running in the background so I can’t speak for anything that has happened on other sites/platforms.

I won’t make any claims to being completely in on all that is happening. I am an observer. I’ve seen these comments go through my feed. What I’ve noticed is that people are hanging on a single comment and running with it. It’s bringing up a lot of hate and the backlash is downright ugly. And a lot of it (though not all) seems to be surrounding the idea of diversity in books.

I’ll be completely honest when I say that I don’t read as many “diverse” books as I should. Perhaps it’s due to the genres I read, or just which ones I pick up as I don’t usually look into anything past the synopsis when I grab a book. But my thing is that yes, diversity is a part of our world, a part of life. To truly capture that in literature would mean to include more than a singular type of character. HOWEVER, the author is the storyteller. It is their creation, their characters, that they put out into the world. Yes, there are more of some types of books than others but I don’t believe that gives anyone the right to attack someone over a book.

IT IS A BOOK.

 

[As a sidenote in all this, it is not okay to send death threats to ANYONE. I don’t care how much you don’t like their book, this is beyond crossing the line and I’m disgusted that it happens in the first place.]

I hate saying that but when all is said and done, you are reading fiction. I do believe that authors should try to include more diversity in their books because it shouldn’t be ignored but there is nothing you can do about a book that is already written and published. It’s out there. It’s done. You’re not going to be able to change it by bashing the author or even readers who support them.

Want to see more diversity in literature? Try starting discussions about it. Civil, respectful discussions that bring out what’s currently on the market and what you, as a reader, think there needs to be more of. Promote the books that ARE out there that really capture your vision of diversity because another thing I’ve noticed is that everyone seems to have a slightly different definition.

Please don’t think that I believe diversity should be ignored because that’s the farthest from the truth. What I’m trying to get at in my late-night-rambling state is that instead of hating and bashing what’s already written, respect those who put the effort into the work. Discuss (in a civil manner) your issues about a particular book instead of being nasty toward each other. Promote books and authors that you enjoy and you feel represent what you want to see in literature. Don’t expect people to know everything because we’re all learning all the time. People make mistakes and that is okay. 

I apologize if I have offended anyone, though I did try to leave out specifics to avoid doing so. But I also stand by what I’ve said and would be happy to respectfully discuss anything I’ve mentioned. As I’ve said, I don’t claim any expertise when it comes to diversity in literature but felt the need to at least comment on what I have been seeing.

Read what you want to read. Read what makes you happy. Don’t bash readers for enjoying a book. Don’t bash authors for writing their stories. There is so much positivity in the book community and it only stays that way if everyone contributes to that instead of the hate.

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8 responses to “I’ve Reached the Point of Too Much Hate

  1. I feel like I’m following the right people, because I never see the actual hate. I only hear about it later? I’m always so confused and behind on drama. Being rude and disrespectful will never help getting a point across. I do agree that there should be more diversity in books. But being rude to authors/readers won’t help. Like you said, starting a civil discussion about it: that will help.

    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted: Series I Won’t Finish #5
    • I must be as well as I didn’t see anything (only hear about it after) until this evening. And yes, it’s quite confusing to me too.

      There are definitely things that literature can improve on but the first reaction to not meeting expectations shouldn’t be to lash out.

  2. This post perfectly sums up my thoughts! I was wanting to do a post myself but I have so many thoughts I wasn’t able to get them down in an articulate way like you have so kudos for that :)!

    • Exactly. There’s no need to spread negativity. If you feel hurt or offended over something, there are plenty of options that don’t involve doing the same to others and making the situation worse. At the end of the day it’s just a book.

  3. Ali

    This: “Read what you want to read. Read what makes you happy. Don’t bash readers for enjoying a book. Don’t bash authors for writing their stories. There is so much positivity in the book community and it only stays that way if everyone contributes to that instead of the hate.”
    I’ve just recently joined the blogging community (in April of this year), and it makes me laugh to see how heated these people get about things. The dangers of being behind a computer screen! I want to just shake these people and find out what world they live in that they can afford the luxury of getting so heated at an author/reader/whatever for not agreeing with them about a STORY? Don’t you have real life things to be devoting that kind of energy to? Of course I don’t ask them these questions, because getting involved in those sorts of discussions would have highly counter-productive. So I just mind my own business, read my books, and have great discussions with happy bloggers. Because at the end of the day aren’t we all just in this to read wonderful books, be happy, and have great bookish discussion? That behavior is mind-blowing, but mostly it is just sad.

    • “Sad” is a good way to describe it. I hope those who go out of their way to be hateful devote as much time to their real life and not just their internet personality. And I’m not talking about those who express their opinions respectfully because that’s totally okay. This isn’t addressing those individuals, just the ones who are being nasty because they don’t like something. That’s not cool. But it’s great that despite all this negativity there is so much that’s positive about this community too. I hope others outside the book world don’t judge us based on the acts of a small portion of the group.

      And a belated welcome to the community! ^_^ It’s so much fun to talk books with others who share your passion for them. I hope you find everything you could ever want from this amazing group of people! 🙂