Yesterday I gave you some of my rantings thoughts on ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I had read (and had to finish) for book group. Had it not been a book group choice I would undoubtedly have given it up, yet book group being book group the very nature of it is all about trying books you might not like/normally read and so I had to finish it, no matter how much it hurt. That said I was in part pleased I read it as it brought up the issue of books that you rather enjoy disliking.
You see for me an utter dislike (I don’t really want to use the word hatred, but if you should wish to that’s fine I won’t judge you) of anything at all always makes me ask the question of why I don’t like it? It hones the critical skills in some ways and also makes you really appreciate the good things more. So now when I pick up a new book there is a relief after a few pages that it’s ‘not another Mary Barton’, lovely, and I appreciate it all the more.
There is also that rare moment when you get to the point that you are enjoying the fact you love hating something so much. As I said yesterday, it was actually rather a bonding moment at book group when we all held our breathe as Lucy started talking about the book and, slowly but surely, let out sighs of relief as each one of us admitted we hated it. This isn’t to be confused with a bookish version of bullying. We were soon laughing at how tedious, dull and dire we had found the experience. We all then started discussing other books we had loved to hate and it felt quite theraputic and freeing, though the latter could have been the wine maybe.
So I wondered if you would like to share books that you have loved to hate, and what was it about disliking that book so much that made it enjoyable, in a very weird way? I am hoping some of you will give examples or I might fear I am alone in the world with this feeling.