Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grab the BULL by the Horns. . .

Wow, next week is Thanksgiving!  Where in the world did the time go?  Didn’t I just mention that last weekend?  (Chuckle) 
When you hear people say life is short, that’s such a true statement, especially as you age and you realize you really don’t have time to waste.  With Thanksgiving coming, it makes me reflect on the entire year and seeing how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go.  I’m happy to say I’m in a good place, as of now, but as the days roll on, you never quite know where life is going to take you.
As I’ve been reflecting, I took a look at all the books I’ve read for 2013, and it’s rather impressive that I’m close to 65 books this year, which is a feat in and of itself.  My mom, on the other hand, has read close to 500 books for the 2013 year, and I suppose that’s what happens when retirement comes into play.  Umm, I’ll be so thankful when I can retire and sit back and do what I love—reading!  No matter what you set your goals for this year, the key is sticking to it, and get ‘er done!  You have about five weeks left!
While we’re on the subject of reading, as we’ve discussed in the past, one of the most important things to do after you’ve read a book is to review it.  It’s great to talk with people who tell me they now see the importance of reviewing a book.  Again, it’s not hard to do, and you don’t have to be mean, rude or insensitive toward the author, but rather give a great solid review of what you thought of the book, which brings me to something that disturbs me a little.
When you go on Amazon or any website that allows you to review an author’s work, most of these sites, such as Goodreads, allows for others to comment on the review you gave.  I don’t know about you, but this sort of gets under my skin a little.  For one, listed under the book, there’s a question, “what did you think of the book?”  So, the reader takes the time to write what he/she thought, and all of a sudden, you get a notification advising you that someone has made a comment on your review.  Hmmm, that doesn’t seem right? 
You click on the comment to your review and you may find that another reader totally disagrees with your views and they certainly have no problem advising you that your opinion is wrong or slightly off.  Well of all the friggin’ nerve!  I’m sorry, the last time I checked, the box under the book said, what do you (meaning me) think of the book?  I didn’t know that extended to other readers advising me that my opinion was totally incorrect.  Are you serious right now?  Where does another reader get off telling me anything about a review that I gave?  Why does anyone else get to comment about the review I made?  This is where I think these sites need to change their practices. 
If you want readers to write reviews, I don’t think it’s necessary for other readers to comment on the review you’ve made about a book—hence, that’s why the question states, “What did you think of the book?”  Write your own damn review and leave my comments alone!  If these sites are going to allow others to beat you down with their words because they didn’t like what you said about a book they happened to like, is there any wonder that many don’t want to leave a review for fear of what others will think of what they said?
It all seems to fall in line with this new wave of bullying.  Everyone has something to say and when you don’t agree with how they feel, you suddenly find yourself subjected to harassment by some.  My thing is, when I read reviews, I take in what is being said, but I will still read the book and draw my own conclusion and write my own (let me stress this folks, my OWN review).  I don’t go on someone else’s thread/string, and tell them they’re wrong for the way a book impacted them.  Who the hell are you to tell someone else how a book makes them feel?  Where the hell do you get off even adding your two cents to something that has absolutely nothing to do with you?  The box under the book doesn’t say, “What did you and every one of your friends think of this book?  All of you comment on each other’s opinions and start a discussion.”  No, the question doesn’t say that, it says, again, and I quote, “what did you think of the book?”  There is nothing more to add.  These websites should end it right there. 
It’s such a huge pet peeve of mine when I get notifications from people telling me they didn’t like what I said, or they disagreed with what I said, as if that’s going to make me go back and rewrite my review based on how they feel.  Aaah, no, I damn sure don’t think so!   You got the wrong one.  As I’ve mentioned in several posts back, my reviews are not up for discussion, debate or negotiation.  Once I’ve made a decision and chosen the correct words to explain my feelings, that’s that!  There’s nothing else that needs to be said—and by that I mean, there’s nothing more anyone needs to say regarding what I’ve said about a book.  You most certainly are entitled to disagree with my views of a story or even agree with it, but to write under my review what you didn’t like of what I said, I’ve got a problem with that.  In other words, keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself.  I could really care less what you think about my review!  Amazon and Goodreads should do away with the “Likes” and “Comment” features underneath an individual’s review.  I didn’t ask others to comment on my review.  My perception of a story is just that—my view, not yours!
I never do that to anyone.  The only time I’ve found myself commenting was when someone totally went off-the-wall and stated something on my review that pissed me off totally.  Other than that, I don’t write under my friends’ reviews because they’re entitled to think and feel however they wish without my two cents being added.
Goodreads has thousands of groups wherein any individual may join, talk, discuss, debate and negotiate your opinions on books all day long.  That’s the proper place where those things should take place, but certainly not on someone else’s review.  I think that takes balls to do that in the first place, whether your comment was nice or not.  Writing a review is strictly that, your review and no one else should comment on what you’ve said about how a book impacted you personally.  Everyone interprets differently, but that doesn’t mean my opinion is wrong or yours is right.  It’s an opinion!  Stop harassing people about what they’ve written on a book!  You wouldn’t want someone doing that to you, so don’t you do it! 
What the hell is wrong with people anymore? I tell you, every time I turn around someone is stealing the “J” out of joy or hijacking the “F” out of fun. Come on people grow up and stop harassing others based on their reviews. If you really want to know how to deal with people who insist on putting their comments on your review, don’t respond period! I find when I ignore them totally; I’ve taken the fun out of their silly ways. I feel like I’m back in high school sometimes with these petty, idiotic childish ways of some. A word of advice, grab the ‘bull’ by the horns and toss it to the side!
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
Some Things are Better Left Unsaid!