I am famous, or is it infamous?, for not liking things simply because other people like them, perhaps too much. This applies to, maybe, Rolling Stone magazine, U2 during a certain era (because I liked them before!! before you people even knew about them!!), Brad Pitt, ice cream, running skirts, Pilates. Oh, you know. The list could go on.
No where, (no where!) is this behavior more heinous than in Reading and Book Recommendations. If a book hits the best seller list or if everyone's book club happens to be reading it, well, that's a guarantee that I will sneer when I see it, will dismiss it out of hand, will began to hate it without having read a word of it. I am most famous for hating Memoirs of a Geisha, so much so that I had to read it so that I could then defend my dislike of it (which persisted even after I read it!).
Books I still have not read because other people liked them to much: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (or maybe it's the title?); The Secret Life of Bees; Life of Pi; Everything is Illuminated; Special Topics in Calamity Physics (to my credit, I tried to read this one. And I hated it. Also, I hated the aknowledgements where she thanked her nanny for watching her two children while she closed herself into her office and wrote for 9 hours a day. Now why would I hate that?)
I resisted reading The Help. Everyone LOVED IT!!! IT WAS SO GOOD!!!
See, when someone tells me that, I think, it can't possibly live up to the hype and I don't want to read it, because I hate being disappointed. Almost as much as that, I hate the conversation where someone asks me if I've read a book they love and I exclaim (because I cannot help myself), "Oh! I hated that book!" And then this book lover looks at me as if I have just stated that I hate freedom, and puppies, and apple pie (for the record, I love apple pie). (See also: my reaction to "Forrest Gump." You can imagine, right?)
So I resisted reading The Help because I didn't want to hate it. But then I saw the trailer. And I love Emma Stone (hello? Easy A?). And then, because I wanted to see the movie, I have to read the book. It's some weird compulsion. So I got the book from the library and I started reading it and now I want to read it all the time and I really like it and it is so good.
So I promise, from here on out, to be, perhaps, maybe, a bit more open to liking books that, you know, everyone else likes too.