Most Annoying Generalizations in Book Blog Land

Best Thing You've Read

In an effort to continue flexing my blogging muscles and fight blogging block, I present without comment a list of annoying generalizations.

1. YA is more inventive than any other genre fiction.

2. Women choose books based on desire and emotion, kind of like how men choose porn.

3. If it is written by a woman and has a female protagonist it is feminist.

4. There are no books for boys.

5. If one book is bad, so is the whole genre (especially if it is YA, NA, or romance).

6. People who read ebooks go for quantity over quality.

7. Older books are so much worse at handling political issues than current ones.

8. 50 Shades of Grey __________________ . (It doesn’t matter how you fill this one in.)

9. The future of the book is ________________ . (See #8 above)

10. Independent book sellers hate genre fiction.

11. A pirated book is a lost sale.

12. A loaned book is a lost sale.

13. Those free Kindle books are hoarded, not read.

14. A critical review is a negative review.

15. Self-published books are crap.

16. Amazon and Goodreads reviewers are different from (read: inferior to) book bloggers.

17. People read book reviews only to decide if they want to buy the book.

18. Print is dying.

Happy Saturday!

15 responses

  1. Oo, good list! Number four is my completely least favorite — I was just having that conversation (AGAIN) with a coworker. Her son’s problem with finding books is that he hates all speculative fiction, which I think would disqualify a lot of kids’ books even if he were willing to read books with female protagonists.

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    • I have two middle grade boys, and while neither is a great reader, they both like a wider variety of novels than the industry experts would predict. I think some boys want the swords and battles, and others don’t care, and so that’s why that generalization bugs me. It’s also a self-fulfilling prophesy.

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  2. 2. Women choose books based on desire and emotion, kind of like how men choose porn.

    Eh, I wouldn’t say all women or all romance readers do this, but the way a lot of people read romance does echo the way men and women consume porn. It is largely about erotic fulfillment for most readers, hence the specific lists of qualities the heroes must meet, the popularity of m/m while f/f is ignored and so on.

    I don’t take this as a dig at romance, really. I see it as a sign that we could take porn a little more seriously as popular entertainment and an exploration of sexual fantasy.

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    • I definitely see a lot of that kind of choosing in Romland. Readers with a certain itch they want to scratch. And sometimes it’s erotic (“I want a ménage book.”) while other times it’s more about enjoyed tropes (“I am in the mood for a marriage of convenience story.”). But I also see a lot of choosing based on curiosity, a desire to broaden horizons, to experience something new, to see what everyone is raving about, to read a classic foundational genre text, to give a Twitter friend’s debut a try, etc. So that’s why, to me, it’s a generalization. True of some – maybe, as you say, of most – but not all.

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  3. Number 13 bugs me — though there is certainly some truth to it, what harm does it do? It’s not like you’re taking anything away from anyone by owning an ebook you never read. And generally it just takes one person to try a freebie, like it, and talk about it on social media for a bunch of others to do the same. So it can have great rewards for the author.

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    • Oh I agree. My point in this post is just that it’s not at all true that those freebies go unread all of the time. But as you say, even when they do, who cares? It’s not wasteful, costly, or harmful to collect free books. We all have unmanageable TBRs. What difference does it make if some of those books were acquired for free?

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  4. Wow, this list definitely makes me feel like i’m out of it, because some of these I’ve never heard discussed!

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  5. This is a great list! I wish I had something clever to say, but these generalizations are indeed so widespread it’s sort of almost exhausting to think about deconstructing them. Sometimes it seems like no matter how many brilliant blog posts or articles work to break down the pat answers, they just keep circulating and getting reinforced.
    One thing I’ve been wondering about, related to #’s 10-12, is what the conventional wisdom — or generalization — would be regarding used books? My local indie bookstore is thriving because their business model is 80% used paperbacks/20% new titles in hard and softcover. And they have a lovely and expansive romance section, with separate paranormal section (interestingly, paranormal gets its own section, and not historical, but that’s a different topic from last month!). This is where I sometimes buy 6 or 8 books from an author’s backlist, if I am glomming. Are these considered lost sales, or worthwhile, because they’re building the author’s brand with me?

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