Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.
JULY 23: DOES HAVING A POSITIVE MESSAGE AUTOMATICALLY MAKE A BOOK GOOD? (RUKKY)
Prompts: If you see good representation in a bad story, do you still consider it a good book? Are you more lenient with an ‘okay’ book if it has an important message? How do you deal with a book that you disliked/hated if you think it still has an important theme? Do you think we should actively recommend books with positive/important messages even if we personally didn’t like the book?
Welcome back everyone! I can’t believe it’s almost the end of July already, time is seriously passing by so quickly, feels like summer is basically over. Today’s topic is thought-provoking, as I usually don’t rate books as “good or bad” right off the bat unless its egregiously out of line. Let’s explore the prompts that our lovely host Rukky has set out for us!
If you see good representation in a bad story, do you still consider it a good book?
For me, that’s a nope. Yes it’s great to see good representation anywhere. Is it enough to salvage a terrible book? Probably not. Of course, this all depends on many factors than just the representation and the story. But for me, it’s almost like what’s the point of having great representation if the story is so bad that no one wants to read nor promote it? Who will get to see and read about the good representation? So it’s a no from me for this one.
Are you more lenient with an ‘okay’ book if it has an important message?
This question on the other hand, I would have to say I do tend to be more lenient. I might even try harder to look for
excuses reasons as to why it might be a good book over an “okay” one. Sometimes I think the moral of the story (or even just the journey) can truly be a very critical one, and therefore I might try to promote it even if it wasn’t the best book. That being said, I don’t run into these kinds of books too often, so I’m speaking more from a hypothetical standpoint.
How do you deal with a book that you disliked/hated if you think it still has an important theme?
I…fortunately don’t think I have run into this problem yet. I think the most is that I thought there could’ve been improvements, but since the book still had a good message and theme, I’ll give it a pass for not being the most superb of writing. Besides, writing style, etc. could also be subjective, right? Whereas the importance of some theme cannot be denied nor is it up for debate. Hypothetically speaking for a book I disliked/hated though… I’d have to say that I’d probably be honest with it. Like yes the book does seem to explore and talk about an important theme but I personally didn’t like it for x and y reasons. I think it would probably be best to acknowledge the shortcomings while still being honest with its strengths.
Do you think we should actively recommend books with positive/important messages even if we personally didn’t like the book?
Now this is an interesting one. For me I think the keyword here is “actively”. It would be easy enough for me to passively say “seems like it had a good message” without putting too much other emphasis on it. I feel like it might just be better to acknowledge such books when it comes up, but I think it would be even better to find books that you did like with a good message to promote. It’s always more effective to recommend and promote books that you personally enjoyed – people can definitely tell. The “important message” would be weaker if you are only half-heartedly promoting it, and therefore might lose value.
What do you all think though? Is the message of a book that important? Or just something trivial?