Thursday, June 23, 2011

That thing just happened wherein I read a book and now can't decide if I loved it or hated it.

It feels like such a weird reaction, you know? Like, isn't it black or white? You love it or you hate it. The end. But I'm finding more and more that I can read a book, finish it, pull up Goodreads to add some stars or write a review, and then have to close the tab because I'm not ready.

Is it a sign of a well done book if I have to let it settle in my brain for a few days before I know if I loved it or hated it? Or is it a sign that I need to read it again? Maybe it's a sign that, if it didn't grab me and shake me and make me woozy (in a good way), that it's never meant to be?

(photo borrowed from

Right now, I'm working on a quiz to help me figure things out.

If I read this book again tomorrow would it make me:
a. dance around in ridiculous circles of joy
b. want to punch someone's face
c. sigh dramatically
d. write a satire of it for McSweeneys

If I saw someone about to buy this book at the store would I:
a. slap it out of their hands like a live grenade
b. shake my head, but say nothing
c. Engage them in a confusing discussion about love/hate relationships
d. point out better choices

When I put the book on a shelf in my office, will I:
a. Hide it behind a snowglobe
b. lay it on its side on top of other books
c. laboriously make space for it by moving other books around
d. forget to shelve it and leave it on the kitchen counter

When my friends read it and discuss it, will I:
a. jump into the conversation
b. sit back and listen to what they have to say
c. base all my opinions on their opinions
d. ignore them and post a Facebook status about how I'm ignoring them

If the author comes to town, will I:
a. skulk around the bookstore, spying on him/her
b. wait in line for hours for an autograph
c. be overly polite and say things like, "Wow. You write words."
d. not care

If this book was a condiment it would be:
a. fish sauce
b. BBQ sauce
c. spicy mustard
d. mayo

Maybe this quiz will help you decide if you love or hate a book, too. I'm still so confused I can't answer my own questions. I feel like I'm leaning towards hating the book right now, but I don't know... it's becoming kind of like the fish sauce of YA to me. People tell me it tastes good, that it can even be transcendent at times (if mixed with the right stuff), but I can't quite get there. It smells a little off and I'm worried it might be poisoning me.

Please don't poison me, Book I Kind of Hate, But Might Have Loved At First. Maybe we just need some time away from each other to sort out our feelings....


Anonymous said...

Love this, lol.


bibliophile brouhaha said...

Haha, this great! i Just had a love/WTF relationship with a book. I settled on the 'really appreciate & like' side, but I was very 'okaaaaaaay' it for a little bit. Completely get it.


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