Can A Book Be Trash?

I admit to being on Facebook instead of editing yesterday. While there I saw one of those photos people post with funny sayings. It talked about Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, and War and Peace. I can’t remember what the funny statement was, but two comments really struck me. One person said that listing War and Peace with the other two was just wrong as the other two were a waste of time. The other person said if a book resonates with a person, there’s a reason for that and that should be enough.

I agree, as I’m sure the majority of you do, with the second comment. While I haven’t read Twilight and probably won’t as it seems too romance/mushy, I have friends who love those books. Who am I to say they are wrong simply because tastes differ?

Yes, a book may not meet certain literary standards, or may be weak in the craft of writing, but we’re all learning as we go. Does that mean the book is no good? It might be no good to me, but not to you. So who’s right and who’s wrong?

I have read books I didn’t like. Books where the quality of writing made me cringe. I remember one that was almost 1,000 pages, and halfway through I still didn’t know what the protagonist’s name was. I remember one where the solution to the whole plot revolved around a series of very unbelievable coincidences. I thought those were terrible books. But the first one won awards. Obviously there were people out there who liked those books as they were on the shelves.

Book store shelves by the way, not thrift store shelves where I found one of mine recently…

Speaking of thrift stores, I believe books are in the same category – what’s trash for one is treasure for another.

9 thoughts on “Can A Book Be Trash?

    • That’s great! Never thought of the ‘instigator’ angle but you’re right. I’ve had people tell me ‘well, if that can get published, I can, too.’

  1. I found that sometimes the story is great and so intense that I need to finish it but the writing might be really bad. (Thankfully “50Shades” is not very long). And its just like with movies, some stories are light and fast to read, some need time and a quiet place, the writing might be more difficult and intense. Since I love teenage romance I loved Twilight and it pulled me right in. And then at the moment I am reading a book which is written in a very weird way (1st person present tense) and there is hardly any dialogue, but I kind of want to know whats going to happen. So again the writing is not very good in my opinion, but the story intrigues me. So I keep on reading…

    • I think that’s what it boils down to – moving past the technique of a story and getting to what resonates with the reader. That’s what’s important, and like you just said, that’s what keeps a reader from tossing the book and moving on to something else.

  2. On the one hand I don’t think a book can be trash. On the other hand, I can understand the feelings behind the comment that 50 shades and twilight are rubbish. I’ve not read 50 shades myself, but I believe a safe word is ignored at one point. And the relationship between Edward and Bella in twilight is really messed up and probably isn’t the best influence on the teenage girls that read it. So I wouldn’t say that those books are trash, or that people are wrong for liking them, but I would say people should be more wary of the messages in some books.

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