Wednesday, July 19

Walk away from the book

So, I've spent the morning blog hopping and discovered by floating around the pool for the last 2 days trying to avoid the heat, I'd completely missed the latest disaster to hit the romance reading world. You'll have to search for it yourself, I don't think the whole thing was worth the hour I spent searching it out.

But, something posted at Dear Author got me thinking.

When I see a complete stranger in a bookstore looking at a book that personal experience tells me is a wallbanger, I've always wanted to say something to the effect of:

Wallbanger Alert***Wallbanger Alert
Put down the book, step back, now slowly walk away, no, no, no run, run as fast as you can.
Wallbanger Alert***Wallbanger Alert

I once asked on the RT Readers Board if you wanted to post a comment to the effect of "Don't do it, it'll be a complete waste of your time." Of course, there were people who were horrified that I would want to say something so mean,they didn't realize I was being sarcastically tongue-in-cheek.

Maybe I shouldn't be so shocked when my son comes out with his rude comments, maybe he takes after dear old mom.

Have you ever been tempted to warn a complete stranger "Don't do it, it'll be a complete waste of your time"?


sybil said...


I have done it. I generally end up talking to a few people when I am in a book store. Could be the stack of books in my hand or the fact I can be there for hours ;).

Jane said...

I've done this but only on rare occasions and usually in response to a woman holding the same book in her hands for a while and looking questioningly at it. Ironically, this happened to me about a month ago which is why I reacted to Ms. Leto's comment.

I was in Waldens looking for my new release fix. A reader picked up Rhonda Thompson's book. Then put it down. Then picked it back up. I asked her if she was having trouble deciding on the book and she said, yeah. She liked werewolves but wasn't sure about ths one. I told her the one Rhonda Thompson I read was a wall banger. She laughed and said she wondered about that. I asked her if she had read any Kelley Armstrong? She said no. I told her about it and that I loved them and she went and bought Bitten and Stolen. That's my story.

Whether that was rude, mean or scathing to the author never once entered my mind. I was just one reader talking to another. I don't go around the bookstore stalking readers telling them what to read and what not to read, but if it looks like a reader's indecisive, I would probably offer up an opinion. I would want a reader to do that for me.

Kristie (J) said...

I haven't really been tempted to warn against a book, but I have been very tempted to recommend a book quite a few times :) I think it's that approaching and talking to strangers thing that keeps me from doing it.

And to Jane - now see - I read the first Ronda Thompson book and really enjoyed it! I don't know which one you warned her about - but that's why I wouldn't warn against a book - because what I might not have enjoyed someone else might enjoy. One person's F is another persons A

Tara Marie said...

Sybil and Jane, I've done it to people I know, but not strangers, but I will politely lead strangers towards books I love.

Kristie, I talk to everyone. I come by it genetically, my son has been going on outings with my parents lately and the other day Junior said to me "You're just like Grandpa, you talk to everyone." And, I've passed this on to him as I'm having a heck of a time explaining about bad people and strangers. "Don't talk to strangers!!"--"But, Mommy you do."

Fickle Fiona said...

I won't usually tell someone how bad a book is unless they ask my opinion...which happens a lot. I hang out at several indie stores so when you're a regular, your opinion gets asked more than not.

I won't hesitate in telling someone if I thought a book was bad or good, but I will tell them why. I feel if they have all the facts, then it's their decision to buy it or not.

My friend Rachel likes super strong heroines so usually her comment that a book was bad because the heroine was TSTL doesn't ring true with me because I don't need a Buffy type character. You have to take all reviews at face value.


Jane said...

I know that opinions are subjective, but I don't see any difference in giving my opinion to a reader in a bookstore as opposed to the blog or A reader is free to reject it or accept it.

Kate D. said...

I've never steered someone away from an author, but I give plenty of recs. I also tend to be the person my friends go to when they want to START reading romance novels, so I try to influence them early to stick with the good stuff!

Suisan said...

I don't think I've ever steered anyone away from a romance--I can't tell who's going to like what, and I have fairly particular tastes, so I'd be hesitant to jump right in there.

But I have pointed out books I like, or commented on a good book once someone's actually holding it.

Mostly though, I shop at an independent bookstore which doesn't stock much romance, and I buy most of my romances online, so it's sort of a moot point.

sybil said...

I generally ask the person for a few titles they like then give recs. And am always honest if I liked it or not.

Really I have rec'ed books other bloggers lurve that I hated or dislike or not even read.

If someone tends to like the funny I often rec books I have seen jay mention or if someone likes linda howard and/or RS I might rec a book you liked.

It is funny though if you ask someone to name a few books they like they almost always take a few mins to think of something.

I have sold a shit load of books to people I don't know and will most likely never see again because I send way too much time in book stores and have a great memory for trival shit. Go figure, I often find myself jealous of how much money some people can drop in a new book store.

I do find it a lil sad that I will never know if they liked the books or not.

CindyS said...

Hmmm, I don't think I have ever told someone not to buy a book while in a store but if I was asked, I would definitely be honest in my opinion. I would also tell them my favorite books so they know what kind of books I like. Some people are so opposite that they might like the book they have in their hand.

More often than not I get someone standing there wondering what to get - then it's game on ;) I've never read Diana Gabaldon but I have told people about her - especially those who are out looking for gifts for someone else.

And if a book sucks I say so on my blog and even give reasons. That's why I read reader blogs - some people can't stand a quirky heroine where they don't always bother me. Still there are things that are universal in reading. Grammar, plot, chemistry. If it wooden and dry then it's probably the same for everyone.


Valeen said...

Absolutely tempted. I'll see another customer pick up the book, look it over, read the back cover (which usually all sucked me in) and I want to tap her on the shoulder and say "Don't waste your money, honey." But I've yet to actually do it.