Monday, September 12, 2011

Musing Monday...Stupid Is As Stupid Does.

This week’s musing asks…

What is the one (or maybe two) qualities a book must have for you to pass it along to your best friend as a “must-read”?

Well, it depends.

It depends on what you mean by ‘pass it along’.

Am I physically giving or loaning a book to someone or am I recommending that they go out and spend their hard earned dollars on it?
Because I would have a different standard for each.

For a book that I am loaning...which assumes it is good enough that I want it back…or giving to someone…so I assume I would never want to read it again…my standard is lower. In fact, very few books, a handful, would not reach it. It would just not have to be just awful. Unreadable.

I might love it, like it…or just thought it was OK. Because I do not assume that just because I did not think it was wonderful does not mean they might not like it. Maybe it was a not a genre I particularly like or some aspect of it might not appeal to me but it might be right up their alley.
And after all, if they are getting it for free, I don’t think they can complain. Noting venture, nothing gained…or something like that.

But now, if I am recommending they take their money..or charge their hot little hands and actually plock it down for a book, well I take that more seriously. That is the standard I use when I write a review of a book here, a higher standard. I am telling them what I liked..or did not…and yes, to a degree that is a matter of taste but I also try to give objective reasons, especially if I did not like a book.
Characters, plot, setting- writing, good, bad or indifferent, all are important.

But is there one characteristic that would always stop me from recommending a book?
Yes. It is stupid.
The book, not the one characteristic.
I have no time for a really stupid book.

Whether it is the characters or the plot, how they act or what they say or what happens to them, if the book has me yelling at it as I read things like “OMG, no one would do that.” or “Who in the world would say that?” or “What an idiot, who wouldn’t see that coming?” or ”I am suppose to actually believe that!?” ...well, I have a limited amount of patience for really stupid stuff and that is a book killer for me.

I can put up with a lot, but not really, really stupid.


  1. I thoroughly agree!!!

  2. and unfortunately there are a lot of books out there that make me have that very same reaction.

  3. I find it easier to recommend a book than to loan one out. I hardly ever get them back!

    Here's my MM:

  4. I agree that the standard is different when loaning and when recommending a purchase. I think what I recommend varies from person to person.

  5. I do think you are right to differentiate between lending a book and convincing someone to buy a book. And I don't do stupid either. I won't even put them up at Paperback Swap or offer them in giveaways. It isn't right.

  6. There definitely are books where I say "don't waste your time". But to tell a person to GO BUY THIS book, it better be darned good. Your title of this post makes me laugh...

  7. Hi Caite,

    I echo just about all of your comments I think.

    Unfortunately there are a growing number of mediocre books beginning to flood the marketplace. Everything from terrible spelling, poor quality grammar, to the obvious pathetic plot and terrible characterization.

    I never read a book more than once (yes my 1,000 plus books are all unread), so if I pass a book onto a relative or friend, I do not expect, nor wish, to see it again.

    I seldom recommend that someone buys a book, as the majority of my library comes from charity shops and whilst they may not be the most up to date or current books, I can usually find some great bargains.

    All reviews, be it books or any other media, are purely a matter of taste and can only be someones personal opinion. I do however always try to be objective when putting my thoughts in print, o feel that I owe that to the author.

    Great post, thanks Caite,


  8. Yvonne, I do agree that there seem to be more and more poorly edited books. As I often say, they are in need of the Big Red Pen!
    But editors cost money...

  9. Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Great post! I totally agree with you. Stupid books really bug me too!


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