Discussion: Are we too protective of our books?

March 18, 2014

Today I want to briefly address something that's been on the tip of my mind for a while now. Something I hope you won't judge me on. Maybe this is just me, but do you ever feel possessive over your favourite books, sometimes to a totally crazy extent? Have you ever felt as though your books are so private that the thought of anyone that isn't you or deemed worthy by you, knowing their secrets, is irritating? If the answer is yes, then thank god I'm not alone.

I know this sounds stupid, so let me try to explain it. I think we can all agree that your favourite books will always carry a strong level of sentimentality and importance. In some cases a book can feel like it's a part of you, so it's intimidating to share it with someone who you aren't certain will appreciate it as much as you do. The sensible and logical fangirl voice in your head will encourage you to spread this love and won't stop until the world values this book as much as you. But then I'll find myself automatically rolling my eyes when a non-reader friend is obsessing over a book I told he/she about weeks ago. I feel an urge to say "I told you so. Are you glad I got you to read it?".  Suddenly word spreads and everyone's loving it and all you can do is sit in a ball of frustration.

It's as if I'm sending out two different messages, messages that I don't even understand. "Love it but not as much as me". It's like I need my obsessions to be known and that I loved it first. I don't understand where this illogical and stupid feeling, like I need to mark my territory comes from. I'm not a dog and I am certainly not going to pee in anything other than a toilet.

This doesn't occur all the time and it's not a regular thing. It's a small pet peeve but when this feeling comes, I get really annoyed. It's a different story when I'm discussing or suggesting something to a book blogger or someone I know shares a deep love of books. I know that my books are safe with them whether they like it or not. But it's the non-reader 'I must flaunt about my love and set a trend' type of people that really irk me. When I'm recommending to my friends or non-readers.. this strange dominance comes out. Which leads me to think, is this just selfishness?

When someone asks me why I'm not reading (for example) Divergent, meanwhile everyone else is, I want to scream "Maybe because I already read it. Remember, I'm the one who bugged you to read it ages ago and the reason you are". Or it's especially annoying when you love a book before it gets adapted and then after seeing the movie suddenly everyone wants to read it. You can't help but view them as unworthy, particularly when you were there all along. But it's still silly and stupid to be annoyed over something like this. Because it's these buyers and new fans that make not only the adaption but the book successful. Shouldn't I be happy to see more people loving these books? Shouldn't I be happy knowing that I can now share these things with my friends who took listen of my suggestion?

It's weird, it's crazy and it's strange. But these things peeve me off and that's just for some reason how I feel. I can't really explain it and maybe I am selfish. But is it so bad to be so protective over these books? It's just further proves the power of a great book. Tell me what you think in the comments, whether you agree or disagree. Because I'm totally chewing my nails over here (not really, I have never done that. But let's just say I am mentally). Tell me I'm not crazy or tell me I am. Enlighten me!

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  1. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE, I SWEAR!! I love recommending my fave series to non-readers, but then some of them get so "OMG I love Divergent!!! Four is mine OMG OMG" like "PUHLEASE" It's just....irritating sometimes. And most of the time I talk to myself /internally/ that I've read the book a long time ago. I've known the book a long time ago. I've been a fan of the book a long time ago. Errr. I get so protective about it. And when the book starts to get popular, I am like..."I am both happy and terrified" something like that!


  2. I don't think it's selfish it all! I think naturally, we just want everyone to love everything we love haha. And then when someone disagrees with us we get really possessive! But I just try to hold in the "ARE YOU EVEN WTF OMG SRSLY?! IT'S THE BEST BOOK EVEEEERRRR" because I know everyone has different opinions. :P

  3. I totally get what you're saying. Everyone in school are reading tfios at the moment and I'm like "well, it's about time!!!"
    At the same time though, I'm a little annoyed that everyone else will also love it. Up to now it's been one of those things that are special to me, like a secret, but at the same time something I've been constantly blabbering on about to my friends for months. ..... You know what I mean.
    Brilliant post Sunny!!
    Marian ^_^ x

  4. That happens to me all the time! Even if I didn't suggest the book to them, but I don't particularly like them and they become obsessed with I book I liked first. *insert eye roll here*

  5. YES YES YES! And then when you profess your love for the book that you loved and adored two years ago, people don't believe you because EVERYONE is reading it and loving it. It's like hype is considered this limited puddle of love that can only be shared so many ways until you have to start diluting it. So I would like to just keep books between me and my book blogger friends, but I also want to support the author because they're amazing, and I want more people to understand the love, and it's just a bunch of conflicting book-nerd feelings.

  6. I more or less shove my favourite books down my (book-loving) friends' throats but I can totally see how hesitant you can be if a non-reader reads a favourite book. I also have a thing where I need to make it clear that I was the one who loved the book first... At least we're in it together! ;D

    Great post!

  7. We've had this discussion so many times! It's so frustrating and don't worry it's not being selfish, it's completely reasonable.

  8. I think everyone feels this sort of thing to different extents, whether it's books, tv shows, music, films etc. Part of it probably comes from wanting people to know what we're enjoying but there are so many blogs/friends to keep up with that we forget that so and so recommended such and such to us and then we think we discover it, but really it's been loved by so many others before us! Great topic, Sunny!


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