September 27, 2013

"Do Not Read" and "Skip This Author"

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

We've all heard the term "must read". Someone reads a book, love it so much and insists that everyone they know read that one book. You also might use the term "auto-buy". Someone reads everything by one author, loves it so much and pre-orders every book by that one author.

But how about the opposite? Is there a book that you really hate and you tell everyone not to read? How about an author whose books you really didn't like and refuse to read any more of their books and maybe tell other people to stay away as well?

I'm not talking about bad author behavior or whatever else. That's something separate and I'm not interested in getting into that right now.

I'm honestly only talking about your own personal preferences based on plot or whatever else.

As for me, the same way I don't have "must read" or "auto-buy" books, I also don't have "do not read" or "skip this author" books. If I don't like a book, maybe I'll tell someone why I don't like a book (just as I think all readers who review in any capacity do) but I don't like to wave someone away from a book. It makes me uneasy. I don't want you to miss out on something you might love.

I also won't entirely dismiss an author even if I haven't liked their previous books. I mean, I'll probably be less inclined to pick up another book by the same author, but I won't completely dismiss it. You never know what might change. Maybe their new book is in a different genre or they've learned something between that last book I didn't like and this new one. It's really about the plot and the sound of the book more than anything else.

Maybe my inclination to not mark something "do not read" or label an author "skip this author" leads to making my friends suffer or more reading things I won't necessarily love, but it feels wrong to me to come down hard with absolute labels.

Are you guys soft like me or do you come down hard on these kinds of things? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I don't write the author off if I don't like one of their books. I mean look at JK Rowling, I LOVE Harry Potter but The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling don't interest me in the slightest.

    Authors can learn a lot and will try different genres, only you can judge if that next book will be something you want to read or try to read. :)

  2. I second the comment above -- just because I loved, loved, LOVED Harry Potter doesn't mean that I will auto-buy everything that J.K. Rowling writes ... I couldn't get into the Casual Vacancy, and I don't plan to try the Cuckoo's Calling. I don't think I would make a point of not trying out a certain writer, but at the same time there are so many amazing writers out there with amazing books (my exploding TBR is proof of that) -- I don't really have the time to be thinking about writers that I don't want to read ... I have enough trouble keeping up with the writers that I DO want to read! And, even though you said you weren't mentioning the Goodreads drama, I'm going to go there for just a second ... I can't fathom spending the time and energy creating a shelf for authors' books that I specifically DON'T want to read. I'd prefer to focus my time and energy on authors whose books I DO want to read. But maybe that's just me =P

    Great post by the way!

  3. There are definitely books that I don't like, but I really just to not sway others to feel the same way. What I do say in my reviews, though, is that they might want to borrow it from the library first (as opposed to buying it), in case they end up not liking it.

    We all have different likes and dislikes, and just because I hated a book doesn't mean everyone else will. It's good that we all have different opinions and relate to books in different ways. It's what makes things interesting.

  4. For me, one of the books that is on my 'not to read list' is Fifty shades. That is just not something I'm interested in and books in the same category are also on that list.


  5. I don't have any authors like this. I guess it's because I'm always willing to give an author another chance. I try not to be black or white about books/authors because that's something I do A LOT and I know I miss out on things because of it. I also think a lot of the reason why I don't have authors that I avoid is because I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the author if I don't like the book. For me it's more about the specific book/story, and not the author themselves.

  6. I certainly have books that are on my "skip this" list, and it's just usually because of their subject matter or because I'm just not in the least interested in what they involve. There are certain authors I'm not likely to buy books from, but it's only because I don't like the type of books that author writes (like romance novels, for example). From authors that I've already read - I certainly have ones that are more likely to be library reads for me (because I didn't like several of their books and am more hesitant to read).

  7. I have written certain authors off. I don't want to read any other books by David Levithan because I find some of his characters pretentious and extremely annoying. I don't think something like that is necessarily going to change in future books. And I don't think it's being very kind to myself if I were to subject myself to his books again and again in the hope that something would change. Some authors' books just don't mesh with some readers.

  8. I've found some really amazing surprises because I don't write authors off. I wasn't a big fan of Stiefvater's The Faerie's Lament, but I recently read The Raven Boys and I was completely blown away! She's grown so much as a writer, and it was a nice reminder that authors are humans too and their art is always evolving.


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