Loving something is not a contest

This is a post that has been a draft for a very long time. A post I dug up from time to time to add some more lines pretty much every time I felt the need to hit someone over the head with a book and shout at them that loving something is not a contest. I just had to get it out in a way that did not involve me turning into Hulk. As there was another situation yet again I thought it was finally time to actually publish it. 

Loving something is not a contest!

Everyone loves something in their own way, shows his love in their own way and just because their way is different, doesn’t mean they love it any less than you do.

 

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read the book. Someone who has read a book only once doesn’t love it any less than someone who has read it 10 times.

It doesn’t matter how many copies you own. Someone who doesn’t own a single copy because they borrowed the book, doesn’t love the book any less than someone who owns 5 copies.

It doesn’t matter when you read the book. Someone who only recently read a book that has been out there for months/years doesn’t love it any less than someone who has read it when it was published.

It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read by an author. Someone who has only read one book by an author doesn’t love them any less than someone who has read all their books.

It doesn’t matter how your book looks like. Someone who keeps their book in pristine condition doesn’t love it any less than someone who adds a ton of stickies and marks all their favorite lines.

It doesn’t matter if you forget details about a book. Someone who forgot a lot of details doesn’t love it any less than someone who remembers every tiny detail about it.

It doesn’t matter how often you think and/or talk about a book. Someone who hasn’t talked and/or thought about a book in years doesn’t love it any less than someone who talks/thinks about it daily.

 

Sometimes I come across people who seem to think otherwise and it just baffles me. People who seem to feel the need to best you in everything related to a book/series and make a contest out of it. I for example have read the Harry Potter books only once. I only reread the first three for the first time in 2013. I’m actually really excited to reread them this year and find out all the things I forgot. I know it will be a lot. All this doesn’t mean though that Harry Potter is not important to me. This series means the world to me and I love it with all my heart. I just don’t show it by remembering everything about it, by rereading it every other year or by constantly talking about it.
I really need such people to stop pretending to be bigger/better fans. The same goes for people who think they are more excited/eager for a sequel btw, just because they waited longer for that book.

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  • Aaah ja, genau genau genau! Mich regt es immer so auf, wenn das ganze zu einem Wettbewerb wird und Leute teilweise meinen, sie hätten mehr Anrecht darauf ein Buch gut zu finden, weil sie es ja schon viel länger kennen (zB bevor es bekannt wurde) oder sonst was. Dass man nicht stattdessen einfach froh sein kann, dass auch viele andere das Buch toll fanden und die eigene Meinung teilen.

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      Oh Gott ja, dieses “ich fands schon toll bevor es berühmt” war finde ich auch ganz furchtbar. Als würde das irgendwas an dem Buch ändern dass es berühmt geworden ist^^

  • Well said. Very thought-provoking. Every reader is different with different ways of expressing their devotion to a book or an author. We each have our own habits and idiosyncrasies. Thanks so much for putting these thoughts is writing.

    Paula
    http://thankyoumsbowen.blogspot.com

  • Especially the details part! I always feel a bit bummed when I don’t quite remember all the details about a book/series/story even though I really love it. I’m just horrible with details and it usually just comes back to me when I read the story, and the way some people act makes me feel a bit guilty about it. But as you said, if you love something you love it, and it’s really not about how that love manifests itself.

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      I’m always somewhat embarrassed when someone asks me something about a favorite book and I have to answer with “I don’t know” even after I’ve read it multiple times. At least I have more fun rereading that way :D

      • Two of my most read series are probably Harry Potter and Darren Shan, and I still only see some details/connections after the nth re-read. xD It just works differently for some people … (which is unfortunate if you go to a Harry Potter pub quiz and they want details. There are actually sorta study groups in the HP Society for these events.)

  • Ich bin ein wenig überrascht, dass dir das so oft begegnet. Tut mir echt leid für dich. Ich kriege von sowas so gut wie nichts mit, aber ich kenne das aus meinen Teeniejahren mit dem Thema Musik. Wer kennt die Band schon seit dem ersten Album, hat die meisten Poster usw.

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      Also es ist jetzt nicht so als ob ich persönlich jede Woche solche Sprüche zu hören bekommen würde, aber ich seh so Sachen schon recht häufig das sich Leute da etwas aufplustern.
      Haha, das mit der Musik stimmt. Das war früher bei uns auch schon so :D

  • This was so well thought out! I completely agree with everything you said. It doesn’t matter how someone loves something. There’s no right way to love anything.

  • Oh man, this bugs me so much! I’ve had people being astonished I don’t own the Harry Potter series and saying “So you aren’t that big fan of the books after all”

    Thank you for writing this because
    1) I don’t want you to go Hulk lol
    2) People need to stop this competition!! >.<

    I really hope I haven't come off in the same way.

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      YOU DON’T OWN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS???? :O Kidding! Too bad your birthday is anywhere near :P

      Why would you think you could have come off this way? I didn’t even know how many times you read TRB until your blog post when you could have told us over and over again on Twitter or something :D

  • THANK YOU. I actually really needed this reassurance. I try not to let myself feel like a lesser fan just because I can no longer afford to buy the books I love, or because I don’t have as much time to re-read as I did growing up. Although the book blogging world can be great for bonding over mutual love for a book/series/author, it can also create the illusion that only book bloggers with 50 million (signed) copies of their favorite books are “real” fans. I have to keep reminding myself, for example, that just because I don’t spend hours looking at TRC threads on Tumblr doesn’t mean I love the series any less. Besides, I can just read Sana’s TL. ;) It doesn’t necessarily take 50 re-reads for a book to be a favorite – when you know, you know.

    I also agree about the details. Me forgetting details reflects the way my brain and memory work, not my love for a book. :D

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      You’re welcome!!! :*
      You really don’t love TRC any less, than me or Sana or anyone else!! :)
      I thought a few days ago that I actually needed a break from TRC and I bet if I say it on Twitter or Tumblr there will be people being all “I love it so much, I could never stop” or sth like that^^

      • Sad but true. You should probably keep comments like that off of Twitter/Tumblr, haha. People are so intense on there! But you’re allowed to have other thoughts and interests and favorite books without TRC becoming any less of a favorite. :)

        • Crini • June 24th, 2015

          That’s exactly why I didn’t say anything about it on Twitter :D

  • YESSSS. Thank you for saying this, Crini! BOW DOWN TO CRINI.

    This annoys me so much. I was at a signing for Cassandra Clare and I overheard someone say to another girl ‘So you haven’t been following TMI since City of Bones was released? You obviously can’t love it that much then’ and it made me want to tear my freaking hair out. Just because someone came across a book years after it had been released and four more books in the series had been released since doesn’t mean that they don’t love it all the same. THE TIME YOU READ THE BOOK DOESN’T EQUATE TO HOW MUCH YOU LOVE IT. People just don’t make any sense sometimes.

    (This also goes for the girl who once said that To Kill A Mockingbird can’t possibly be one of my favourite books because I’ve only read it twice and the first time was for English).

    • Crini • June 24th, 2015

      I really don’t understand these people. JUST BE HAPPY THAT YOU LOVE THE SAME THING AS SOMEONE ELSE AND HAVE FUN FANGIRLING TOGETHER. Urg

  • This is a great post. I think we all fall for something and want to make grabby hands and shout MINE! We forget sometimes that we are no the only person the book was written for. In fact, I doubt 99% of us have had a book written for us in the first place. Some people have situations that allow them to buy every version of the book or be given a coveted ARC, but that doesn’t mean they are a better fan than the person who has to borrow everything they read from the library.

  • This is a great point! I don’t think being a fan is quantifiable in any way. And I think authors appreciate (or perhaps I should say they *should* appreciate) every fan, no matter how enthusiastic. I tend to be a quieter sort of fan but I’m always up for recommending good books (or movies or music) to others.

  • OMG I love this! I’m so happy to hear you say “It doesn’t matter if you forget details about a book. Someone who forgot a lot of details doesn’t love it any less than someone who remembers every tiny detail about it.” !!!

    I have a terrible book memory and always forget SO MANY details. I actually really LIKE that about myself because it allows me to reread and still be surprised by things and also watch movie adaptions without hating them.

    I still often feel judged by other readers people who DO remember the details… Thank you SO MUCH for saying this!!

  • WHAT?! You’ve read HP only once ;P ?! Rereading is just a personal thing, isn’t it? I mean, I’m big on rereading, others prefer reading a greater variety of books. That doesn’t mean anything at all.

    The “when” part is also very interesting – and really, really silly. I mean, take The Lord of the Rings, or classics. These books were published long before I was even born. Does that mean I can’t love LotR as much as my dad, who just happened to be able to read it before me, because hey, he’s older than me? It’s really not about the when, it’s important that the books are read at all and the love spread so that they reach even more people. I do have to admit though that I’m kind of proud when I discover/read something before it got really popular – but only because then I can push everyone into reading it and have tons of fun reading their comments. A Song of Ice and Fire was a treat – but in the end, I also read it only because of the TV series, although I managed to keep ahead. There are so many other fans who’ve been following the series from the very beginning.

    All in all, there’s just no way to measure love.

  • Solche Leute gibt es tatsächlich an jeder Ecke und auch in jedem Bereich. Mir fällt es aber auch am meisten im Musik-Bereich auf. Wie oft mir schon Menschen sagten, dass sie Band XY nicht mehr mögen, weil die zu kommerziell geworden sein sollen. Ich denk mir dann immer “Hä? Kommt es nicht auf die Musik selbst an und nicht darauf, ob man die regelmäßig im Radio hört?”

    Find es immer ganz schlimm, wenn sich jemand aus solch trivialen Gründen für was Besseres hält. Die haben doch grundsätzlich schon ganz andere Probleme. ;-)

  • There are those who will make a contest out of anything. This actually reminds me of a family member who will actually try to one up you on how she is sicker than you if you mention that you are not feeling well. She’s sick alright. No arguments there.
    Anyway, you make some amazing points. There are so many books that I don’t get to for years after its release, but I don’t think that makes me less of a fan. Too many books and not enough time and all that jazz.

  • Sarah • June 28th, 2015

    YES. THIS. I knew someone who would always get angry if she saw someone else get an ARC of a book she wanted by an author she loved because she felt like she was the “best fan” because she might have read something before the author got super popular. For instance, when Isla and the Happily Ever After came out, she even got really passive aggressive on Twitter and would respond to a tweet with, “I’ve been a fan of Stephanie Perkins since Anna came out. Since you got this ARC, I really hope you love this series as much as I do”… when really she was saying, “I deserve it, and you don’t!” No, no, no!!!

  • “The same goes for people who think they are more excited/eager for a sequel btw, just because they waited longer for that book.”

    Yes, that bothers me. I can have the same amount of love for something that I read back-to-back as someone who waited for years. I just lessened the pain of waiting and is my preferred reading method!

    It isn’t a contest and sometimes I feel like *unpopular opinion* ARCs can turn people into crazies.

  • Crini, you spoke my mind. I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and it’s actually saddening me a bit. Just because someone doesn’t talk about something 500 times a day, or doesn’t squeal about something with everyone, or WHATEVER, doesn’t mean they don’t love something. Just because they aren’t excited about it publicly doesn’t mean they aren’t excited about it at all.

    I just feel like sometimes people think they “own” things because they’re more vocal with their love for something, and that’s not how it works at all. Loving something ISN’T a competition, like you said. And the fact that people make it one kind of ruins it a little bit, if I am being entirely honest.

    I don’t want to feel like I’m not a “true fan” or I don’t love something “as much as x does” because only YOU know how much you love something, and no one else really knows the depth of that love – especially if you’re not shouting it out from the rooftops everyday.

    Anyway, this was a great post, lovely <3

    • Crini • July 17th, 2015

      Thanks!!!
      I feel the same way! People making it a competition do ruin it!

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