Every Book Is Not For Everyone

Haven’t we all picked up books recommended by friends, family members, neighbors, or book reviewers? Often, they are wonderful reads, but occasionally they are books that we just can’t stand, can’t finish or find to be mediocre at best.

I was reminded of this recently when one of my coworkers posted a comment on the book lovers’ site www.goodreads.com.  

She read the popular book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson and really did not like it. She thought the book was filled with “child abuse and sex abuse and violent behavior against women”. She even stated that the author might be a misogynist. Then, another coworker wrote a comment defending this book calling it “a well-written, fresh, dramatic and suspenseful read” and said she could not wait to read the sequel.

I bring this to your attention because I respect both of these accomplished women. They are thoughtful and intelligent and each has a deep love for the pleasure of reading. But, they obviously had totally different opinions on this particular book.

Recently, I read Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. This was a book that had been on my ‘to read list’ for quite a while and I was excited to finally sit down and read it. So, why did I dislike it when so many reviewers, book clubs and others just loved it?

It started out very promising and gripped my attention right from the beginning. Ms. Gilbert is a beautiful writer and there are more than a few poetic passages in her story. But, when the author began her journeys to Italy, India, and Indonesia and continued to complain about her life and her loves while experiencing such wonderful meals, breathtaking scenery and interesting people, she just lost me.

I found her to be whiny and self absorbed and it irritated me that she did not appear to appreciate how fortunate she was to get away and “find herself” in places that most people only get to read about from afar.

At any rate, read what you like and never, never apologize for it. Your point of view is just as valuable as the book reviewer or your next door neighbor. And remember, there  are enough good books to go around for all of us to find many to enjoy!

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