Being Bossy about Books: A Bookworm Problem

#BookwormProblems Bookworm Problems - Being Bossy about Books

Recently, I’ve been struggling with a bookworm problem: it’s all I can do to restrain myself and not insert my opinions when I see or hear of someone reading a book I think is a poor choice.

“NO! Don’t waste your time! Read this great book instead!” screams my brain. So far I’m managed to resist, but it is SO HARD to keep quiet. No one is asking me however, so I bite my tongue and think to myself what I would suggest if they did ask.

Pinterest and GoodReads seems to bring this out in me even more – I see people pinning or shelving mediocre books as “Want to Read” and I want to warn them away.

(Of course, it works the other way too – when I see someone considering a great book I want to give my opinion on that one too – READ IT NOW!!!)

Anyone else want to give unsolicited reading advice? Surely I can’t be the only one who wants to be bossy at times and has strong opinions on some titles?

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  1. Yes, I want to offer my opinion. Since people in my community often ask me about books I hate to be too negative if I didn’t like it. Just like in reviews, I try to find a positive because just because I didn’t like it, they still might. Or if I RAVE about a book, I always hate when they come back to me and say they didn’t like it. So, if I LOVED it, I say why and if I didn’t, I say why and leave it up to them. But I know what you mean when I see photos of people posting books and I think….Don’t waste your time….. If I am close enough with the person and we usually like the same books, then I say something!

    • It’s not so hard when it’s a book where I can see why others would like it, but it’s not a good fit for me. It’s those other books though, where I want to give some unsolicited opinions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. You are definitely not the only one with this problem. I can be very passionate about things I like and dislike. But as Stacie said, I try to remember that just because I like something doesn’t mean others will and vice versa. It’s very hard to hold my tongue though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, absolutely, but there are books where I can do that more easily than with others. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Good for you for being able to hold your tongue! I am trying to learn to be circumspect when giving my opinion about books I dislike, since it can just be a matter of taste. Otherwise it can be so awkward, as when a librarian asked me how I liked Owen Meany and I said I loathed it and enumerated just a couple of the reasons why, and she was shocked because it’s one of her favorites. Oops.

    But I think if you are on GoodReads it’s ok to weigh in more. Feel free to tell me if you see me about to waste time on something terrible! I appreciate it when people add likes or something to books so I can prioritize better.

    • Ha! You’ve reminded me of a time where a coworker kept pushing me to read a book (and in general our reading tastes did not match AT ALL. If she liked a book, I hated it.) I kept trying to politely decline, and she kept pushing and pushing. I finally listed a bunch of reasons I DID NOT WANT THAT BOOK, and she finally stopped hounding me. All those reasons I listed were things she loved about the book.

      I have no problem stating what I think on *my* GoodReads. But what I meant above was seeing it on someone’s update feed, and butting in to say “no! don’t read that!” feels obnoxious. A matter of their space vs. mine if that makes sense. But now I’ll feel free to add my comments on your updates if something catches my eye. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Barbara Dillard says:

    Oh my goodness, YES! I have very strong opinions as to whether a book is well written! I think that comes from not necessarily being able to produce a great work myself, but liking to critique and doing it fairly well. (For one who has little confidence, I almost choked on the last part of that sentence!

    • I have opinions on things where *I* can’t actually do what I’m expecting the authors to do, but I still expect it of them. So I know what you mean there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m opinionated in general, and I am super passionate about reading. So being bossy about it just comes natural for me!

    • I like when other people are opinionated about books – makes it easier for me to decide whether or not to read something!

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