Whenever you stick your head above the parapets and declare undying love for a particular book you can bet your bottom dollar there are a set of reactions from everyone else.

a) YES - I agree;
b) Well I wouldn't go that far, but...;
c) Good lord woman, what are you smoking (vbeg);
d) You smoke too much of that stuff, you are obviously a moron with no taste and deserve to be put down immediately.

Now I tend to automatically regard option d) as the other person needing an injection of manners or at the very least a good laxative, but the other reactions can sometimes give pause for thought.

How do you find yourself reacting - do you reconsider your initial reaction to the book, do you become more convinced of your reaction, do you dither, do you start to wonder what you were smoking yourself?

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Well if it's (d) I tend to get very annoyed that this person has set themselves up as some arbiter of taste. Whether or not you like something is very subjective. While at times I may wonder about an individual who loves something I loathe, to tell them they are deficient in some way because they love it is arrogant in the extreme. You don't win friends carrying on like that, that's for sure.
Generally, I'll read a book and be disappointed by some aspect of it. Then when I hear someone else got a big kick out of it, I'll reflect on the better parts of the novel and eventually upgrade my personal rating, but still have a niggling feeling that something isn't quite right.
I'm in a book club and frequently find myself thinking C (what r u smoking?) But that's what makes horse races.
Like Daniel, I sometimes hear what others have to say and revise up, but I never seem to revise down. If it moves me, it moves me, and nothing anyone else can say is going to make a difference. I only hope other readers are kinder, when my humble effort is published!
I love book discussions because I love hearing other peoples' opinions. I learn a lot from people whose opinions are different from mine, but I don't think I have ever changed my own opinion. I've maybe appreciated something I didn't before, or seen a flaw that I maybe didn't while I was reading it, but my initia gut reaction is the one that I stay with. Although, sometimes, with the passage of time, I do sometimes change my rating if, for example, I am still thinking about the book 2 weeks later.

While I would love it if the books that are special to me are special to other people, I know that's not going to happen. Some of the best discussions about books I have had have been with people who hate a book that I love.

Like Sunnie I think d) is very rude. It's one thing saying "Tell me why you loved that book, I hated it because xyz" and another thing completely saying "You're stupid for liking that book, you blockheaded numpty. I actually don't mind at all when people don't like MY book. My own mum doesn't like it, and one of my best friends at work didn't like it. We had a great conversation about it, she's still my friend and I value her judgment. It didn't upset or hurt. Everyone has different tastes, and I love hearing the differing opinions.
I think that a) and b) are perfectly reasonable and very civilized responses. Response c) is fine if you know the person quite well and know that they'll just laugh. However, I think that response d) is arrogant and unacceptable in any circumstances.

There are many books that other people have raved about with undying enthusiasm that I have tried to read. I even valiantly tried three times with one particular book, because it seemed that I was the only person in the whole world who couldn't get past page 50. I even tried the audio book of the same thing but it still didn't appeal. I tried.

I think it's perfectly reasonable that we don't all enjoy the same things and the world would be a much happier place if everyone cheerfully accepted that. (Anyone else for World Peace?)
World Peace - some days I'd just hope for household peace :) Actually the few crime fiction books I've talked himself into reading he's quite liked, I've read quite a few of his Science Fiction books and haven't minded most of them.

Himself did mention something really interesting the other day - the difference he says in Crime and Science Fiction is that Crime tends to analyse society and people from "within" whereas Science Fiction comes at the same questions from the "outside" - he just happens to favour Science Fiction and I favour Crime. Interesting observation I thought.

And you're right - but then I've made a decision in the last few months - anybody playing the d) card goes straight into my killfile - if you spend as much time online as I have to - life's too short for trolls - whether they are consciously or unconsciously behaving in that manner. (Not that I believe there's such a thing as unconscious trolling).
It depends on who's expressing the opinion. I'll stick solely to forum comments, and not from this forum, so that people don't wonder if I'm talking about them. One forum I read has a few regulars that are...extremely opinionated. To the point where if you like a book and they don't, they'll tell you you're an idiot right out. Their behaviour is rather atrocious.

I don't take a word they say seriously, in terms of questioning my own tastes.

If, however, someone I really respect has a different opinion on a book than I do, I'll think it through, try to see it from their perspective, maybe give the author a second chance if it was a case where I didn't like the book.

I do find myself wondering, when everyone expresses love for something and I didn't like it, if I was just in a foul mood when reading it or something. A good example was Casino Royale. I really didn't like it. And I felt like a complete outsider until someone else admitted they didn't like it either. Then I was relieved I wasn't alone anymore. This was a case where I knew my opinion wasn't going to change... but I kept wondering how I could react to the movie in such a different manner than everyone else. Well, except my husband. We agreed on the movie, which was probably why I didn't doubt myself more when I was feeling alone.

And sometimes, when people hype up a book that I think is good, but it isn't that good it turns me off the book a bit. Mostly, though, it depends who's expressing the opinion.
I think I am easily persuaded, or perhaps I'm just excessively tolerant :-) I really believe that someone can love a book I couldn't read and vice versa. I'm willing to believe that I have peculiar tastes, but by the same token so can other people. After all we don't all love the same food, or clothes, or animals, so why shouldn't we concede that someone else may just be right about a book?
I don't know about anyone else, but writing has ruined my leisure reading. I can't pick up a book and read it without picking the life out of it. I was glad to read Fran's post and know I'm not alone. There are some best sellers that everyone is raving about (my husband has read all of this author's books and loves them). I can't get past the first few chapters. However, once I've read a book, I rarely change my opinion. I think in part it's because as a reader I bring my life expereinces into the picuters that form in my head. Right or wrong, someone else will have their own "pictures."

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