Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Discussion: Reading against your principles

Guys... this discussion is really tough for me.  I want to talk about reading something by an author who stands for everything you are against.  This... it's not easy.

So I was at the library looking for books on writing (world building and characters mainly) so that I could try to improve my own writing.  And I found this fantastic book for fantasy:

I've found some awesome things to think about for my world building in here.  But this isn't the book I wish to talk about today.

Check that name there.  I found this book by Orson Scott Card in the public library.  I seriously debated as to whether or not I should check it out.  You can see that I did end up taking it.  And it is very insightful on making better and improved characters.  I just wish I didn't feel so scuzzy while reading it.  

If you're not familiar with Orson Scott Card and some of his beliefs, you can find them herehere, and here.  To make this clear:

I do not care what you believe or don't believe. The problem I have is when you flaunt your beliefs and try to enforce them on others.

And so, I had an internal crisis on whether or not I should even read his book on writing advice.  I have found that most authors I like to read share similar beliefs with me.  At least for the most part.  And if they don't, I don't know about it because they aren't being openly awful about it.  I get there is freedom of speech in this country.  I get that authors can say whatever they want.  But they are trying to sell their product.  And in business, a little tact goes a long way.

I decided a while back that I would never read any of Card's books, because he is very open about how he feels.  And he clashes with my feelings pretty much everywhere.  So when I saw this book, I nearly set it back on the shelf when I noticed the author.  I was only able to convince myself to take it by telling myself, "I'm not buying it.  I'm not giving him any money.  I'm just borrowing it from the library.  The book has already been paid for."

Pathetic, I know.  So the question is:

Do you ever stop reading an author because of their views?

1 comment:

  1. Well, I believe that the art and the artist should be separated, and for the most part this works well for me. I've always sort of been able to do this subconsciously. This goes for movies, books, and music. However, there are the few cases that really set me on edge and make me think, "No, I can't give them my money." In this case, I do try to borrow the product, if I'm still interested (which I often am), from either the library or a friend. I've never really felt bad when reading the book/watching the movie/listening to the music, because if it's enjoyable, I enjoy it.