Discussion: judging people because of books

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!!

Okay so I had this discussion idea in my drafts for a while labelled as “books that are telling of people’s character,” which I think is the official title of this post. But it definitely is just me judging people based on certain books.

Personally, there are certain things that I find telling of people’s character. How they treat waitstaff, for example, or whether they thank the bus driver. I get really wary of people who are unnecessarily rude to people. I think that’s why I like that Sirius Black quote so much. One of the things I judge people of is their reaction to certain books.

I should clarify that this isn’t book preferences. I don’t judge people for liking romance novels more than literary fiction, for example, because who am I to judge and tell people what books they should like. Who am I to say one type of book is better than another type. I also should just clarify that this isn’t judging people based on their opinions of these books. People can like or dislike these books as much as they want.

It’s more certain books and how you react to them. It’s how people react to specific things about them. I do the same with movies and TV shows. I think what we identify with is a strong indication of our character. So I thought it’d be interesting to talk about some of the books I judge people based off of and why.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This is one of my all-time favourite books. I think it’s stunningly written and is super interesting. What I find most interesting is the discussion around it. This is clearly a book about love and infatuation, but it’s not a love story. I never trust people who think it’s Dolores’ fault or put any blame on her. It’s victim blaming and overlooking the fact that she is a literal child. I don’t trust people who feel bad for Humbert Humbert even a little, for the same reasons.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Again, Fight Club is one of my favourite books and movies. It’s ultimately a book about toxic masculinity and the dangers associated with it. I don’t trust people who identify with it a little too much, if you know what I mean. Obviously people can love it. I love it so much and think it’s such a great book. But people who think Tyler is such a great genius without seeing his flaws? I don’t trust them. People who don’t seem to get the point about how dangerous toxic masculinity is? And have the entire message fly over their head, even when it’s explained to them (or actively reject it when explained)? Don’t trust them.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

Tbh this one is mainly how you view Sansa. My angel darling Sansa. Let me tell you, I hated her in the first book. Everything she did infuriated me, and every time she talked I wanted to kill her and thought she was so unnecessary. BUT she has some of the best character development in the series. She goes through so much and faces so much hardship. I don’t trust people who still dislike her. I think it just shows a lack of empathy towards women and a lot of internalized misogyny. 

There was another book, but it’s a little controversial and I couldn’t find a good way to word what I was trying to say and didn’t want to offend anyone, so I left it out.

Let me know your thoughts! Do you do similar things? Do you agree or disagree with me about any of these? Please let me know! I’m interested in what other people think!

Thanks for reading! Ally xx

22 thoughts on “Discussion: judging people because of books

  1. Ooo that’s so interesting! Reading this post made me realize I do the same thing, I’ve just never realized it. One of the things I tend to judge is what people think of Snape and Dumbledore in Harry Potter, but there is heaps more books I judge people on too.

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  2. Great post! I have to admit that I *loathe* Lolita! Lol. It’s all because I think of it as a book that glorifies statutory rape. Although, I find your perspective very interesting because it gives me insight into why people like this book. Don’t worry…I don’t judge you at all. I enjoy the conversation. I did like Fight Club for the reasons you mentioned, and I do like Sansa Stark. I’m very curious about what your last book was.

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    1. Thank you! I totally get it when people dislike Lolita, my mom feels the exact same way as you! I think the conversation around it is so interesting!
      So glad you agree about Fight Club and Sansa!
      Haha I can give you hints: it was a popular YA book last year about race and the BLM movement


  3. I haven’t read any of these books, so I can’t compare my thoughts to yours on these specific cases. I do agree, though, that how people react to certain characters can be quite telling of their personality. (Of course, now that I’m trying to, I can’t think of any specific examples.) That Sirius Black quote is one of the best things in the Potter series, though.

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  4. I love this post! I’ve literally gotten into arguments with people who don’t like Sansa Stark. I will never trust them. And AGREED completely about Lolita, I adore that book but when people describe it as romantic or victim blame Dolores that’s a huge red flag.

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    1. Thank you!! And SAME I don’t totally trust people who don’t like Sansa. And also a HUGE red flag for Lolita. Like, disliking it for other reasons is fine, but as soon as someone tries to blame Dolores in any way, I don’t trust them

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  5. Great Post! I love judging people! (is that bad?) but I also feel I am very good at not letting my initial judgments take root until I have more proof. I haven’t read the first two books, but I have seen fight club. I think all your examples are very good and I would judge people the same way! My only question is, do you allow room for misguided opinions? Maybe someone never realized that Sansa had so much growth? They could have been blinded by their initial reaction and then not paid enough attention to the rest of her story. Would you still judge them if they initially said they hated her and then conceded that you were right after some discussions and explanations? The only judging book moment that comes to mind is Paper Princess. When I read it I loved it at first, but then, after reading other people’s reviews, I realized that the story is actually pretty messed up. It romanticizes a lot of series issues. I won’t judge people for loving the book but I would judge people if they won’t admit its pretty messed up once it has been pointed out to them. Does that make sense?

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    1. Thank you!! I totally get you, I love judging people but I try not to let my judgements mean anything until I get to know them (or I keep them to myself lol).
      And no, I think misguided opinions are totally valid too. I hated Sansa until partway through the second book and it wasn’t until I really thought about her character and circumstances that I started to like her. I think that’s one reason discussion is so important!
      I haven’t read the Paper Princess, but I looked it up just now and it seems very yikes. And I totally get what you’re saying too – I think it’s still totally fair to like a book if it’s problematic AS LONG as you’re willing to see the problematic parts and admit it’s problematic. Like Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favourite books, even though it’s rampant with slut-shaming and basically allows for cheating. But I acknowledge that those things are shitty and still enjoy the story.

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  6. Whoa- I think I’d be super wary of anyone that blames Dolores and thinks Humbert Humbert is anything other than the creepiest dude of all time. And I had the exact same thing with Sansa- I hated her in the first book/series- but I totally love her now and think she’s had some incredible character development (I kinda don’t get why other people still hate her tbh)

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  7. Oh my god yes! Sansa’s character development totally made me love her. She’s turned in a completely different person. She is so strong and independent now. And she learned so much from her mistakes, she is so intelligent now. I seriously don’t get how people just miss that?

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  8. I love posts that make me think. 🙂
    I could not agree more re Sansa. She has been through some seriously tough times, she grew and changed from a shallow girl into this strong woman who has courage to stand on her own. I know of many people who dislike her character and I kind of see that they may perceive her as weak because she is not hot headed blazing fire Arya.. but.. to me, courage is not necessary just fighting and kicking back. To me courage is having hope and being able to say: I’ll try again tomorrow even when things are looking very, very bad… I’ll talking Joffrey / Ramsay Bolton…

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    1. Thank you! 🙂
      I totally agree! When I first started the series, I totally thought Arya was the badass brave one and Sansa was such a weak baby. But they’ve both grown so much as characters, and it’s, as you say, a different kind of courage/bravery.

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  9. I totally agree with you on Song of Ice and Fire/ Sansa. I still know so many people who don’t like her – though a lot of them are not book readers, but she show character still goes through similar development and I don’t understand how people still dislike her. A great post!! 🙂

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