Book blogger hop: plot disagreements

book-blogger-hop-finalThis week, I’m once again joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…
Would you stop reading a book if an element of the plot strongly clashed with your personal beliefs, or would you continue reading until you finished the book?

My answer is most of the books I read don’t have a “position” or make statements so there isn’t much of a chance that I would disagree with them. I tend to read crime fiction more than anything so there is more chance I would stop because it was too graphic in it’s description of murders. And I have done that, more than once. I have gotten squeamish in my old age.

Occassionally, a character may express opinions I find offensive or uncomfortable and whether I would carry on reading would depend wheather I felt the author was doing it because it was their personal view or if it was their characters and they were doing it to present that chatpracter in a certain light.  I can’t think of a case where I have stopped reading as a result but I can think of a few male authors I have felt were sexist in their writing and the way they presented female characters and so haven’t read any more of their books.

I do like to read books (sometimes) that challenge my thinking or are likely to remind me that complacency isn’t really an option but I would say I know I’m picking these books up and so would likely carry on reading them. A lot of these tend to be non-fiction and political so I don’t expect to agree with everything and sometimes I have read a book to try and understand a point of view that I just don’t understand.

Have I ever put any of these down? Yes. But normally because they were dull, not because I felt I disagreed with their viewpoint. Disagreement I can cope with but boredom, well that’s another thing entirely…

What about you, have you put down a book you’ve disagreed with?

Emma

20 comments
  1. Hi Emma! What a well written answer. I have a couple of friends who will also put a book down because the murders are to graphic or violent. For example, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter was one of those.

    Hope you will have a good weekend and here is my answer to that question: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2017/04/friday-meets-21-april-2017.html

    1. Thank you. Pretty Girls was on my list of books to read and maybe I need to check into it more if there is gore?

  2. Great post Emma! I haven’t you put down books I’ve disagreed often but there have been a couple it seems that child abuse is a very sensitive topic for me. I can read the topic. I’ve read many books about child abuse where the topic it’s presented as it is… a felony. However I have encountered a couple of books, like the Original series by Tiffany Reisz who I admired very much as a writer, where having sex with minor is romantized and I DID not like that a bit!

    1. Thank you. I don’t think I have read anything like you mention re: child abuse, though books with children being killed I do tend to avoid as I know I find them hard to read.

  3. Oh yes. I’ll read books where the political or social situation posited is in opposition to my personal beliefs – but I do not persist if the book is too violent, or the violence depicted makes me uncomfortable. It’s a highly personal issue and each person has to decide their own limits. But reading happens in your head, which is why it can be so powerful – and I have the right to carefully monitor what I allow to affect my inscape.

    1. I agree. Reading is so personal and no one forces you to do it (once you leave school!). Violence is different for different people but for me I always have a sneaking suspicion that too much graphic detail means the author isn’t clever enough to say it without gore.

      1. Oh yes – I second that! I have a fairly low tolerance to gory violence as I’m prone to nightmares, which can be horrific:(.

  4. What a wonderful, carefully thought-out answer.

    Love your thoughts.

    I have put down books that were debasing women.

    Have a good weekend.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. Thank you. Yes, anything “anti-female” is hard to read. I don’t like it. Maybe I don’t come across it much as I read mainly women writers?

  5. I’m similar in that most of my books don’t really touch much on topics that might go against my beliefs but for the most part I’ll keep reading as long as isn’t too preachy or I feel like the author is trying to manipulate me. But like I said I don’t come across those that often.

    1. It’s a plus side of being predictable in my reading 😀 I agree on books not being preachy- that does put me off even if I agree with the opinion.

  6. Great answer! I normally don’t have a problem in the crime novels I read but since I read a lot of different genres now and then something doesn’t bode well with me but not often.

    1. Thanks. I think certain genres are more problematic than others because they will tend towards violence or opinion more,

  7. No, I’ve never put down a book because I disagreed with an opinion or stance. While I read for escapism, I also read in order to understand others’ points of view, even if they differ from my own.

    1. I think understanding other’s point of view is important- it is why words can be so powerful.

  8. Emma, I enjoyed reading your response. I, too, enjoy crime fiction, as well as a subgenre of urban fiction where there is significant gang violence. While I do not agree with the behavior, it doesn’t disturb my psyche as much as books that present peculiar religious traditions. That being said, those are the only books I would have to set aside.

  9. Generally the reason I will not finish a book is because of boredom also. I find that with my reading too that it doesn’t generally clash with my personal beliefs–not often. Sometimes. There are certainly certain topics or opinions that might make me feel uncomfortable. But I don’t see that as a negative thing necessarily. I think it’s good to take in different viewpoints and ideas.

    Great answer, Emma. Thank you for sharing!

  10. […] Friday I wrote about whether I stop reading books I disagree with as part of the book blogger […]

  11. Most of the time, I don’t put down books I don’t agree with, but really it depends on why I’m reading it. Happy reading!

    eli @ the (book) supplier
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. I think purpose is a big thing – I know when I’m reading a book that’s about politics my blood is likely to boil at some point because I don’t agree with something but I expect it so wouldn’t put the book down.

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