Being Too Critical? | BOOK CHAT

In which I discuss hating 90% of what you read and what you can do to maybe change that cuz that sounds rough…

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Spectacular says:

I’ve had trouble with being overly critical earlier this year. What helped me was appreciating 2 and 3 star reads more. I started using Bad/Okay/Good/Great/Amazing as a metric of reviewing as it more closely mirrors the GoodReads ratings, and I adjusted some ratings accordingly. Reading an Okay book can be just that, Okay. It had some things I enjoyed and isn’t a total loss. For me, 3 Star books are still Good – I enjoyed more about them than I disliked them. My average rating is still pretty low (2.46) but I’ve shifted my focus into thinking that that’s Okay. One plus side of being fairly critical is that when I do rate something 4 or 5 Stars it truly is special to me and one of my all time favourites, some of which I read because of you, Sam! The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Leviathan Wakes and Trail of Lightning specifically.

Katarina Dioneda says:

This is actually a really interesting book chat! I’ve been rating a lot more books two or three stars recently, and I guess that happens when you’re trying to branch out.

Ontario C. says:

this is a really insightful side of an issue i hadn’t previously thought about. i see channels that exclusively give bad review after bad review with all caps titles like “I”VE TRULY FOUND THE WORST BOOK OF 2018” like hey is this really necessary? who does it benefit and why is your time so invaluable that all of it is spent making content like this when you could simply find things that you like. idk

FiksiDust says:

loved this discussion! it took me a really long time to realise that I’m just not into fantasy and I much more enjoy contemporaries. That being said there are certain fantasy books that I like and I’ve found certain reviewers, like yourself, who enjoy the type of fantasy that I sometimes like and I agree with what you’re saying there should be a balance and sometimes I think “am I not negative enough because I either DNF books or I say something negative about something that I didn’t like but also try and point out something that I did like” but honestly that’s just how I like to talk about things and I’m just a lot better at scoping books out that I’ll enjoy now.

Catsandcamera says:

I read for enjoyment, I’m not about to try and look for things I can twist into something I don’t like. I just read stuff and if I like it I like it, if I don’t I don’t. But I don’t see the point in trying to find things wrong with everything you read. My average rating is 4 stars because I know my tastes, I’m really picky with giving out 5 stars, but I’ve literally never given out a 1 star. I do give out 2 stars for things that are bad or I don’t enjoy, but it would be super lame to only read things you don’t enjoy. That sounds exhausting!

morgan radley says:

I totally get what you’re saying! I know a lot of people who aren’t into reading BUT they will read a book that I give them. Why? Because I go into frickin FBI mode trying to track down a book that fits THEM. I don’t give people books I think I will like! Nor do I recommend books that I liked! I recommend books that I think are well written, have an interesting plot or characters and fit the personality of the person I’m suggesting the book to. WHYYYYY???? Because if I’m going to go tell them to read something I wanna make sure they have a golden gosh darn time!!!

Holly Hearts Books says:

After reading some absolutely amazing books (Kings of the Wyld, Senlin Ascends, Half a King), I have totally become far more critical with my reading and I strive on that mind set.

SMSisita says:

I’m really good at picking books that I know I’ll like. Almost everything I read is 4 or 5 stars cuz I know I’ll like it before I start. I don’t have enough videos or subscribers for anyone to call me out but I can see that conversation coming up someday haha I think there’s only 1 book with a 2-star rating on my goodreads page

Kate Pfeil says:

I feel like every time I watch one of your discussions I’m just like “YES CHICA PREACH.”
I haven’t come across reviewers who hate 90% of what they read, but I definitely can relate to needing to change up what you’re reading/doing when you’re rating everything 1-3 stars, or a 4 star is high. I was NOT enjoying reading in 2017, but I kept forcing myself to do it and pick up popular hyped up books until I realized earlier this year that 90% of the popular, hyped up YA books everyone talks about I just simply don’t care about. This year I’ve given the least about of 1-2 stars than I have in my LIFE after changing what books I’m reading and it’s been wonderful!

Wickedjr Reads says:

So much yes to everything you said here! I don’t understand hate reading personally. I’ve figured out my own tastes, and while I do occassionally pick up something to “try it out” I don’t go into a book expecting to hate it. I like most of what I read. Not everything of course, but most. Being critical can be important, but everything is flawed and not every flaw is equal, like you said. I’ve gotten more critical in my reading over time but I still read for enjoyment, and usually succeed. If I rate a book 3 stars, I still liked it. Most of what I read though ends up being 4-5 stars. Mostly because I know what I like ^_^

Kudzaiishe Ziyera says:

When does being critical become grinding an axe with a certain genre or author though?

capricioushelen says:

I very, VERY rarely rate books less than 3 stars but that’s mainly because if a book is a 2 or 1 star read for me then… I’m probably not going to finish it. I’ve also, over the years, got pretty good at seeking out books I’m going to enjoy. But yeah I can’t imagine hating most of the books that I read, like that would be so exhausting. Who has the time? :’)

Paola Mancera says:

Exactly! You need the good and the bad and weigh in what you love and what you don’t love about the books that you’re reading and that is an active decision somebody has to make. Thank you for making this video and clarifying what critical reading is and what is just straight up not liking books, which is fine.

Nikita G says:

people really are so negative if they rate every book 1 star

TorrentialxRain says:

I give out mostly 3 stars, and I think that’s because if I liked the preview enough to buy it, then unless it’s so bad I’m clawing my eyes out, I’m committed. It doesn’t help that I’m super picky about a romance subplot and most fantasy books have one….But I also can’t turn my inner editor off, so instead of kicking back and enjoying the story, I’m rewording sentences and getting caught up on the writing style. I’m thinking of how scenes could have been done better or how dialogue could have been refined. If I stop editing, I’m fully captivated, and it’s a 5 star book. Unfortunately that’s pretty rare, but I think I do need to turn my brain off a little more while I’m reading and just enjoy a book for what it is rather than trying to rewrite it as I go.

takeit says:

I was not liking 50% of what I was reading. So last year I looked at my reading statistics, I looked at how I rated books in each genre. Turns out I don’t enjoy YA anymore and all my sources for book review were ya. So I started avoiding anything ya and looked for new sources that recommended adult books.I also found some tropes I did not like or read to much of and started avoiding those. I read less books this year but I rated them much higher.

TimeAndChance says:

1. What do you think of the person who rates everything 2.5/3 stars? 2. To me the 5 star book doesn’t exist. Books that are between 3.85 & 4.5 are great books, but few attain these high numbers. Am I highly critical? Yup. Am I consistent? Yup. Some books are good for…landfill. Some books deserve lotsa praise. Just like some fine art & some music.

Unphilosophize says:

I really like how you’ve framed how some people just don’t like reading. I think people in bookish communities often act like that is some crime against humanity, where in other hobby groups, like gaming or knitting, everyone is pretty chill about people not loving what they do and it’s really something that the bookish community can work on.
Also, your nails, as always, are stunning

Shaegeeksout says:

This is something that I feel completely! My average star rating is 4 stars. Those are books I like. I rarely give 1 star. 2 stars means I really didnt like it. If I give 5 stars, its something that is a new favorite and I will read it over and over again.
Thanks for always making great discussion videos!

Archivist Fox says:

Thank you so much for this video! I so agree with everything you said. Sometimes I need to recharge on my passion for reading. It also helps to recharge with a book that I know I’m going to love.

After watching a few hate reading videos, the saltiness gets old and unwatchable for me. To much negative videos makes me wonder why one only wants to read stuff that makes them miserable. As a newbie librarian I want to help them find something they may like. (I hear the “I only read bad books” complaint all the time and it is mostly a reader taste not the book itself. There are not any books that works for everyone.) Thank you for this video!!

Margarita Churaeva says:

I don’t think I agree with you on this on this one. I obviously don’t know what comments you’ve seen, and if people do say that actually 90% percent of what they’re reading is a 1 star, but that seems like the worst case scenario and the less likely one to occur. What I can relate to is giving most of the books I read this year 1,2 or 3 stars, and that’s uncommon for me. I’ve been reading for a long while now, and only this year I’ve noticed that the majority of books I’m reading, even in varied genres, I’m not enjoying. There haven’t been five 5 ratings, and the 4 ones have been scarce. I think that most people who are going through this are speaking about it now because it’s a recent thing for them, not liking what they’re reading. I struggled with it this year and definitely asked myself if I was being too critical and trying to find flaws in books. When I saw your video, I thought you’d tell me something that I’d be able to relate. Unfortunately, I don’t think that “you just don’t like to read” applies to people who have been reading for years as much as you tried to make it seem.
But anyway, your opinion is your own, I have no problems with it. I just thought that what you chose to focus on wasn’t on point.

Ghost Toast says:

I rate things pretty low quite often and I couldn’t find good books. After I’ve read lots of books I finally found out what I like! So I think this video is very helpful especially to people who are just now getting into reading.

Maria Fer says:

Love you and your videos!~

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