I need to catch up on some reviews around here, do a little blog maintenance, shuffle some covers out for others, that kind of thing. I’m on this really strange scifi kick right now – strange because it’s rare for me to want to read the same genre back to back for three or more books. Hopefully that trend will continue because I’m enjoying them for the most part. For the moment.
Honestly, I haven’t been online much this year and I’m starting to feel a little disconnected to everyone as a result. So today I’m on my twitter feed and see a link to what appears will be a review for a “badly written book” on Goodreads. I click over and from what I can take away from the person’s review, the book indeed sounds pretty badly written. But the book has also gained a lot of praise and even some quotes of “Brilliant!”. I really am of the mindset that you enjoy what you enjoy and that’s all there is to it. But. Yep – but. When I see a comment that readers don’t care about the poor quality in some books, of the grammar/spelling/sentence structure variety, I have to say waitadurnminute.
Actually, readers do care.
This reader cares. I can overlook a few typos or a grammatical error or two. We’re human after all and as someone who works in a creative field I know how easy it is for errors to slip through no matter how tight you may think your editing process is and the team managing it sharp and with it. However, if the majority of the book is a poorly written hot mess of a land mine, I’m not giving it a pass. I don’t care if the characters are endearing or hot or saving the world with only a toothpick and a chocolate bar to their name. If the author hasn’t gone through the trouble to present the characters, plot and world within a well-written structure that shows some skill, then I’m really not obligated to give that a pass.
I have no way to measure, really, how the majority of readers feel. Maybe many don’t care about a well-written book when the hero is a hawt, ripped Studly McStud Muffin. I….may have been susceptible to such books at one time. Over the years, though, what’s become apparent to me is that it matters, personally, when an author has gone to the trouble to make my $7.99 worth it. Or my $14.99. Or even my $0.99! Not to mention my time.
I understand how the generalization that readers don’t care can be made when books don’t have good grammar/punctuation/etc. for the most part (and make it onto a NYT-type list), but whenever I see it pop up, I wonder about the other side, those that do care. Surely there’s plenty of us that care. To demonstrate how much I care, and because I can’t ever get enough scifi lately, let’s review in gifs:
Someone has proclaimed again that it seems readers don’t care about the lack of quality in books….
See? You’ve made Picard one sad panda. And then you get some agreement that readers don’t care about the quality level in books…
At this point, Picard could fucking cry.
There there, guys, even the Daleks don’t think it’s quite that bad. Though…they have a really weird way of showing it.
Unfortunately, the original crew can’t come to a consensus. Set your phasers to “screwed”.
However, I do believe plenty of readers care about having good quality books to read. I refuse to believe the publishing industry as a whole will give up on editing books and striving for the best in quality they can achieve. And other such ideals! And Data agrees with me.