We all have our unpopular opinions. For example, I don’t like plants or anything to do with gardening. I like their vibes, but the thought of taking care of a plant gives me anxiety. I’ll stick with my fake plants, thank you very much.
If I found someone who shared my thoughts on plants, I think it would be a bonding moment for us. No way, you don’t like plants either? It’s a pretty harmless thing to dislike.
I find people are more often able to connect via the things they dislike than the things they like. We both like sausage on our pizza, ok. But we both dislike “Star Wars?” I finally have someone who understands me.
The more popular something is, the more cool it is not to like it. Of course I don’t like some popular things. I’m a girl who doesn’t find Machine Gun Kelly attractive; I’m a Wisconsinite who doesn’t like beer.
But I’m not loud in these convictions. In fact, I try to find beers I enjoy. I love baby Yoda even though I’ve never seen a “Star Wars” movie.
There are many avenues people use to broadcast their dislikes and encourage others to also hate these things. The biggest one we are seeing now is Taylor Swift. It seems to be the “cool” thing to not like Swift and to call for the NFL to stop showing her during games. To be clear — we’re talking about less than 30 seconds of screen time in a nearly four hour broadcast.
The book community is no different. The biggest name in fantasy romance, Sarah J. Maas, and the biggest romance author, Colleen Hoover, have become prime hating grounds.
People say they will never read a Colleen Hoover book because of XYZ reasons, but they’ve also never read her to know if those reasons are validated. Don’t get me wrong, there are millions of books out there, and no one should read books they don’t want to read.
But readers are using their platforms to dissuade other readers from reading an author they’ve never even read.
In December, a trend went around where readers shared the authors they are retiring in 2024. They go on to name authors they won’t be reading anymore and all the reasons why.
One influencer said she will no longer be supporting four major authors with extremely positive Goodreads reviews because she believes “toxic positivity” will be the downfall of our society.
One said “Let’s cancel some authors and ruin some careers,” before posting her list.
I recently came across an account with a large following, and I noticed the only videos I saw were negative ones. I went to her profile and saw she gets her following by degrading authors and those who read the books.
One of her most popular videos is her “deinfluencing” people from reading popular books. More than 120,000 people saw this video and it breaks my heart to know they may miss out on something good because of one person.
She tells readers to stay away from Hoover because the books “prey on your emotions.” I’m sorry, isn’t that most entertainment? Movies, TV shows, books – they all try to get us to feel something.
There was a popular Lucy Score book she discouraged people from reading because it’s too long to be a contemporary romance. People can see the length themselves, they don’t need to be told.
In one series of videos, she attempts to recommend books she didn’t like. Here’s her “recommendation” of “Fourth Wing,” the most popular book of 2023. “Great if you like fantasy with a side of dialogue you could hear from an elder millennial on a cell phone… A ton of fun if you just ignore everything about this book.”
Instead of retiring authors in 2024, why don’t we retire spreading vitriol for the sake of popularity? Not only is it damaging to the authors, but also to readers who could be missing out on a new favorite.