A few months ago, I read a highly-anticipated novel that shall remain nameless. I was super excited about NAMELESS, and the minute I got my hands on the ARC, I dove into it. The narrative/plot immediately sucked me in. But then NAMELESS started to go off the rails… and it made me upset. Overall, I enjoyed about 50% of the book. A few friends who’d read it said the same thing (they were also lured by the hype).
Last month, I decided to read a book that no one liked. HATED BOOK had gotten so-so reviews, and all my friends who’d read it didn’t like it, but I read the first few pages at the library and got hooked. I took it home, emailed my dad that I was reading it, and he wrote back, “I just finished HATED BOOK! I’d never heard of it and then I found it on the new shelf at the library and it looked interesting. I loved it.”
Well, I ended up loving HATED BOOK, too. But, it made me wonder, because I went in with such low expectations, was I expecting terrible and thus pleasantly surprised when I found out it wasn’t?
I just don’t know.
When I was teenager, a teacher forced me to read Ivan Turgenev’s FATHERS AND SONS. When I saw it was about Russian nihilism, I thought I would die. Just die. But I ended up adoring the book.
Reading is subjective, but I really do wonder if pre-conceived notions affect enjoyment.
What say you?