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Friday, September 5, 2014

The Wonderful World Of Reading Out Of Spite

THROWING YOURSELF OUT OF TRAINS
IS NOT BRAVE but whatever.
This week, I spent more time that I would have liked to reading the second book in a trilogy, the first of which I couldn't stand, all so I can watch the film version of the second book and watch Daniel Dae Kim be sexy (although you couldn't pay me enough to go see it at the cinema). For the sake of transparency, it's the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth - you can read my disgruntled review of the first Divergent book over at Goodreads. And I've already put a hold on my library's copy of Allegiant so I can finish the set.

Why am I putting myself through this if I don't like them? Because I'm a spite reader, and I'm determined to finish the series just so I can understand what everyone else is talking about, while retaining my right to complain about them. (Plus, I've already been spoiled for the Divisive Plot Twist in Allegiant, so the least I can do is see how it actually plays out in the story)

Hello, my name is Sarah and I'm a spite reader! Yes, I differentiate between hate and spite reading, but it's a thin line between 'reading out of hate' and 'reading in spite of myself and my usual reading habits'. But, to be fair, the differentiation between the two is very pedantic on my part.



Don't worry, I've done it with manga, too. I've spite read manga from the earlier career phases of manga-ka like Yun Kouga and Natsuki Takaya, although that was for an online review job. I have read manga I didn't enjoy due to contractual obligations. I've reviewed novels I didn't enjoy for the same reasons.
As soon as I reviewed Phantom Dream, I
forgot the plot of it. It was that bad.

Believe me, I don't do this very often anymore! As someone else put it, live is too short for reading bad books. But sometimes, a mediocre book series like Divergent or 50 Shades or whatever enters popular culture, and I feel obligated to read them just to understand the current media conversation. Same with manga, although I usually luck out and enjoy the titles becoming the 'it' thing, whether it be Attack on Titan or Kuroshitsuji or FMA or so forth.

To do something with spite is to purposefully hurt someone with your actions. In a way, spite reading is purposefully hurting yourself with something you consider a bad book. If you don't think it hurts, calculate how much time it would take you to read a book you don't like - then imagine what you could have done during that same time that you would have actually enjoyed. Ouch.

Whether it's spite reading or hate reading or another category of non-pleasant reading I'm not aware of, I think we've all willingly read something crappy for one reason or another. It could be a job, it could be to read something trashy and lacking value, it could be to understand its fandom.

So, what have you read out of spite lately? You're probably not the only one!