I am going to be honest. I am getting sick and tired of hearing this from people who dislike negative reviews. Have you ever actually thought about that statement before? I mean really?

It doesn’t even make sense. On soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many levels. “If you don’t like it… Don’t read it!” Now someone please, tell me exactly how can you know that you won’t like a book before you’ve read it?


You can’t, but lets look at some of the most popular tagged on statements I’ve heard.

1. You don’t like the cover.
2. Your friends don’t like it.
3. You don’t like other books like it.
4. You don’t understand it and question it too much.
5. You’re too old to like it.
6. You’re too young to like it.
7. You read it wrong.
8. You don’t like the author.

Those are the just some of the statements that I have personally seen being used either before, or just after, the use of “If you don’t like it. Don’t read it”. Now, please let me be the first among us to stand there scratch my head, stroke my beard, sigh and utter


Look at those statements I mean really look at them and try to get behind the mentality of them. “You don’t like the cover”… Big freaking deal, I don’t like the cover for lots of books that I love. Covers have nothing to do with the writing of a novel.

“Your friends don’t like it”


I AM NOT A SHEEP! I read quite a lot of things that my friends and co-bloggers dislike. And vice versa. And as for my real life friends… Practically none of them read anything that I’d like. We have different tastes… IT’S PART OF BEING HUMAN!

“You don’t like other books like it.” This one actually holds some semblance of a good point, however, just because I didn’t like a previous book that was similar to this one, doesn’t mean I won’t like this. If I’m interested in the synopsis of the book then I’ll give it a try.

“You don’t understand it and question it too much”…

I don’t even… There are no… DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW PETTY THAT SOUNDS? You have to understand a book to enjoy it? You have to not question a work to gain enjoyment of it? I’m sorry but what? If everybody who loved, lets go with Harry Potter, understood it and questioned it at more than face value then it would not be loved by children around the world. But also if it didn’t have a deeper meaning that people had to think about to understand, and to question the underlying subtext then, conversely, it wouldn’t be loved by adults.

“You’re too old to like it.”


“You’re too young to like it.” See above? Then keep fucking off.

“You read it wrong.” The fuck does that even mean? You can’t read a book wrong. Yes I will bring different things to a book with experiences of my life than, for arguments sake, Kat will with hers… But neither of us can read a book wrong. That statement doesn’t even make any fucking sense whatsoever!

And last but not least, my personal favourite: “You don’t like the author.”


What utter crap. Just because I have disliked an authors previous works DOESN’T mean I will dislike all of them. I disliked Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency By Douglas Adams… But I love The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy.

None of those comments make sense to me… I have failed to get into the mentality behind them… Wait, my beard senses are tingling again… they’re telling me that’s because I’m not butthurt. I have recommended books I don’t like to people, because I genuinely think they will enjoy them. But I didn’t know I wasn’t going to like it going into it. I never go into reading a book, knowing and/or hoping I won’t like it. Why would I waste my time on something I knowingly dislike so much?

So all I can say to people is this…

if you get told “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it” just scratch your head,


momentarily try and comprehend the idiocy of the statement


and then move on. Otherwise you’ll go a bit weird… the way we are here at Cuddlebuggery…





Reviewer at Cuddlebuggery
Archer is a scouser currently residing in Australia, yes he does realise that he is about as far from home as it is possible to get. He enjoys reading anything that can hold his attention for more than the first chapter and he doesn't really care what genre it is either. Reading has been something he has done since he was a child and it is still, in his mind, one of the best ways to kill time. Outside of reading and writing book reviews, Archer is a serious gamer and he reviews the games he plays when he gets a chance. He is also a very keen amateur photographer, an enthusiastic cook and enjoys spending time watching films and essentially trying not to stress. Find him on GoodReads.
@PaulyPMC you’re so lucky - 2 days ago

65 Responses to “If you don’t like it… Then don’t read it!”

  1. Fangs4Fantasy

    Oooh I recognise all of those excuses. They’re so patently ridiculous but they keep getting dragged up over and over. The best covers I’ve seen in UF recently is for the Fallen series – and I hate those books. Most of
    Is it so very very hard to believe that *gasp* we don’t like a book because we ACTUALLY DON’T LIKE A BOOK, could there even be – now be ready to catch me folks, because this revolutionaryn concept may make me feel faint – some actual PROBLEMS with the book? Could it even be – dare I say it – not very good?!
    Yes yes, the impossible has been said – these books may NOT BE PERFECT! Oh what a terrible bully I am!!!!

  2. cynicalsapphire

    I have many times read books by authors who I don’t like and been pleasantly surprised. This has happened with Julie Kagawa and Lisa McMann. Generally, not a fan, but they’ve also written at least one book I like. I have yet to really enjoy a Maggie Stiefvater book, but I keep trying because I feel like I SHOULD like it. Even if I hate your books, I might read your new one if it is a dystopia, because I try to read as much as I can of that genre. So deal with it.
    The age stuff is so incredibly stupid. I started reading adult books when I was a wee thing, and I loved many of them. I still read picture books now, and they are sometimes the BEST. I agree that haters should FUCK OFF with alacrity.
    I will say, though, that I have read books voluntarily that I knew I was going to hate. Generally, this is either because I feel like I NEED to read it because of the subject matter being something perfect for me, or because the cover’s so pretty or just I don’t know. Maybe someone gifted me the book.
    Some people on GR do seem to go out of their way to read the terrible books they know they’ll hate from the beginning. Not how I want to spend my time, but, you know what, that’s a perfectly valid thing for them to do. I’d rather spend as much time as possible reading good books, but, as a reader, you can read whatever the fuck you want.There is a sort of perverse joy to be obtained from reading and judging a terrible book.
    You don’t like my opinions? I have no fucks to give.

    • Archer

       @cynicalsapphire Exactly. There have been books I’ve gone into thinking that I will hate them. I was certain, beyond doubt, that I wouldn’t enjoy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime the first time I read it. But I ended up loving it. I went into it knowing in my gut I would hate it. And I was surprised.
      I don’t get why people will deliberately go out of their way to read a book they’re going to dislike completely. 

  3. Cayce

    I agree most of what you said, except for #8. There are some authors I just don’t like. So I gave up on them.
    It mostly goes down like this: I read a book by X. Don’t like it. Then I give him/her another chance. Also don’t like it. I say farewell to X :(

  4. Thank you for writing this Archer

  5. Thank you for writing this Archer.  I agree – I’m really tired of hearing those kinds of statements.  And the odd thing about this argument is it fails to recognize that reading a work allows for discussion and discourse for a variety of different interpretations.  That’s one of the things that happens when you release a work into the world, people are going to take it from a variety of perspectives and they have that right.

    • Archer

       @Rosepetals1984 Agreed. A lot of people expect you to read a book with the same perspective they do and a lot of the time people can’t do that

  6. I’m a very picky reader, and many times things that sound AWESOME to me end up being…not so much. I actually had someone on Goodreads say to me, “Do you really think through what you pick up to read? It seems like you get bored easy with certain books, maybe you should have read the back of the books to see if they’re good or boring.”
    Cuz I can TOTALLY tell from the synopsis if the book is going to be good or boring.
    Love this post, Archer!

    • Archer

      I know how that feels. I get asked that quite a lot too. Some people don’t seem to get that you will never know for certain until you read the book.

  7. Kara_M

    Yay!! Fantastic post, Archer! You know I agree with every word. I also find the related posts this article links to kind of hilarious. 

  8. donnaatbites

    I’ve gotten this a few times on my reviews and I just want to beat people with two-by-fours when they say it.  Those are usually the same people that say “don’t knock it until you try it” and then when you try it and fucking hate it they’re all like “then don’t try it.”  WTF, you schizophrenic douche?  Do you understand the words coming out of your own mouth?  I doubt it.  The bane of the internets.  Too much nonsensical dickbaggery.

  9. Guilty as charged! Once, I commented something like that on a review of Catching Fire. In my defense though, the reviewer hated The Hunger Games and wasn’t really very subtle about it. When you didn’t like the first book in a series, a normal person would abandon said series, right? That person didn’t though. She read Catching Fire, hated it, ranted about it, said she knew it was going to be horrible even before she started reading it and then after, she said can’t wait to read the third book even though she knew she was going to hate it. I was like, “WTF, dude? If you don’t like the series, why don’t you just stop reading it?” 

    •  @rachelmosq I think some people do that for an entertainment level. You know how you are reading a book and it’s bad. You know the ending is probably not going to change your mind, but somehow halfway through it’s so bad it’s funny. For popular books I think some people like to say they’ve read it because everyone else has read it. Even if they aren’t liking it. I tend to believe if a person *really* hated something they *would* stop reading it.

    • Archer

       @rachelmosq I actually carry on with a series. For two reasons. 1 in the hopes it gets better and 2 because I have leaving a story unfinished. 

    •  @Stephanie Sinclair I get what you mean. I only watched the first three movies of Twilight because I found them funny even though they mostly grated on my nerves. The third movie, I really hated so I stopped watching halfway through. I can’t speak for the said reviewer, but on her review, she sounded anything but entertained. When people ask me what I think of the Twilight movies, I’d say “horrible but hilarious!” The said reviewer didn’t say she found it hilarious or entertaining instead, she just thoroughly bashed the books. She even said “yuck” and “disgusting” and wished Katniss to die. The reviews disturbed me a lot, TBH. It seemed like she only read the books so she’d have all the reasons to hate them. :-s

      • Archer

         @rachelmosq  @Stephanie Sinclair Yeah that’s something I don’t understand. Me personally I hope to find something I enjoy in things I read/watch. But there are times I’ve gone into a story not expecting to like it and then falling in love with it

  10. CatherineHaines

    @Cuddlebuggery How am I supposed to know I won’t like it until I read it?

  11. CatherineHaines

    @Cuddlebuggery Okay, I can accept “Why did you read X when you knew it was a Y story and you haaaate Y stories?” but that’s never the case

    • Cuddlebuggery

      @CatherineHaines There have been times when I’ve hated a certain kind of book, but went out my comfort zone and ended up happy I did.

    • Cuddlebuggery

      @CatherineHaines Too big examples would be Girl of Nightmares and Forest of Hands and teeth. I dislike zombies and ghosts, but I liked

    • Cuddlebuggery

      @CatherineHaines those books a lot! In fact, I didn’t even like Anna Dressed in Blood, but loved Girl of Nightmares.

  12. addiction2books

    @Cuddlebuggery I’ve got plenty of that before. Wth.. I’m not a psychic.

  13. ExperimentBL626

    Sometime I read books because I’m series-OCD. Sometime I read them because I want to know why everyone is hating/loving it. Sometime I read books because my friends are reading it and I wanna join along. I don’t always read for the entertainment.
    Everyone have their own reasons for why they read. We should respect that.

  14. lizzylessard

    Best post ever…just saying.

  15. [...] Cuddlebuggery on that oft-used phrase: “If you don’t like it, then don’t read it!&… (via Experiment BL626) [...]

  16. I’ve always been a fan of reviews which explain the reader or reviewer’s final view. Like, there’s a world of difference between a one-star review which says ‘This is a turd sandwich! Don’t buy it!’ – and a one star review which says ‘This is a turd sandwich for this, this and this reason.’ If someone dislikes a book, then more power to them. But explaining -why- they dislike it lends a greater credibility to the review, and so the return comments you mentioned make even less sense. Especially the ‘you didn’t read it properly!’ bit. Which, for the record, I’ll never understand. What do you think we did, read it standing on our head or while flailing on a rollercoaster?

  17. Laura

    Could not agree more!!! And note how you can never win against people like that. If you hated a book or series so much that you couldn’t finish it, they go, “Well how can you know you don’t like it for sure if you didn’t read ALL of it?!” and then when you do finish it and still hated it, they go, “Well if you didn’t like it, why did you read it?!”. What do you want from me??? You can have it both ways! PUH. 

  18. Well said Archer.
    Thankfully I don’t think I’ve had anyone make any of those comments on my reviews (maybe I should go check…) but I have noticed on other reviews that they tend to come from the “OMG SQUEE!” fangril (and fanboi) reviewers… You know the type. They only have a handful of reviews; all 5 star; all of the same author; and comments only consisting of “BEST.BOOK.EVAH!, “BEST AUTHOR.EVAH!”, or the ever popular “OMG! SQUEEE!”
    The fact that these kinds of comments (“If you don’t like it, don’t read it”) come predominantly from those kinds of people (fanboi/girls) leads me to the conclusion that the comments are being made by either: (a) 12 year-olds with access to mum/dad’s computer; (b) people who have no progressed mentall past 12 years-old, or; (c) morons.  Personally my money is on option C.
    The complete lack of critical thought behind making such sweeping statements like “You just didn’t understand it” and “You’re questioning the book too much” just astounds me on so many levels. If I didn’t undertsand the book, that is the fault of the author not engaging me fully into the story. Likewise it is not my fault if I sit there questioning the book because we’ve just leapt from ‘OMGMASSIVEINFODUMP’ in the first half-dozen pages to so many continuos flashbacks that I don’t know whether I’m reading a story, or taking part in an experiment to test the theory of relativity and time-travel and wonder where the f**k I am (and who the characters are).

  19. I’m sorry. You disliked Dirk Gently? Clearly you are my intellectual inferior, and did not appreciate the numerous references to (rip-offs of) <em>City of Death</em> and <em>Shada</em>. And I cannot listen to someone who does not appreciate any, even minor, reference or connection to Doctor Who.
    This is all.
    Well, not. But SERIOUSLY. YES YES YES YES. Well said. And… uh… I may have spent five minutes just staring at the owl GIF… because… uh… it’s kind of awesome :D
    Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. In fact, everyone should <em>have</en> one, and not just blindly follow their friends. You know, just because a friend LOVED a book/movie/infommercial doesn’t mean I will, either. Hell. My best friend and I can’t seem to agree on a SINGLE book. In fact, the ones we both love, we love for entirely different reasons (often the things the other DIDN’T like about it :P)
    Well played, sir. Well played.

    • Boo! I’m sorry, it doesn’t like my HTML :(

    • Archer

      Hey I’m a whovian. I’m all for the Time Lords but Dirk just didn’t do it for me LOL. 
      I completely agree though. A lot of my friends dislike, bordering on hate, books I enjoy… Some of them because a few friends don’t read and think of books as a waste, but mostly because we look for different things in novels. 
      The Owl give is pretty much my reaction to everytime I see one of those comments. “New comment, would you look at that, a new comment… ‘If you don’t like it don’t read it’ DAFUQ IS THAT!?”

  20. MusingsinRed

    haha! You poor thing. I quite understand what you mean. It’s the same reaction I get when I confess I’m not a fan of Twilight of the Hunger Games…it seems that by DARING to have different tastes I have committed some grave sin. lol :)

  21. RadiantShadowss

    I also like the “I only read books I know I’m going to like” – which is just another way of saying, don’t read it if you’re not going to like it. But I always wondered how these all-knowing people knew they were destined to like the book. 
    I realized that many book bloggers are also psychic. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

  22. Olive

    That’s a totally valid point and I completely agree.
    Oh, and by the way, love the John Green .GIF!

  23. JustALilLost

    @Cuddlebuggery Ooh cool!!! That’s super handy!!! Hmmm I might have to look into this….. I like the “let person know” feature when replying

  24. Right?! I hate when people are like, “I don’t like negative reviews blah blah blah blah” and I’m just like…. #facepalm. Just because I thought I was going to like a book doesn’t mean I will in the end. Some people.

  25. Stardog

    Possibly the greatest article ever, and it applies to movie reviews too. Example:

    1. If Alonso doesn’t like it then it is a good movie.
    2. I can’r stand this Alonso guy his always bitching about everything in every single movie..hope not all gay guys are like this…
    3. alonso stop being a fucking fagot that movie was awesome
    4. Alonso your nit picking, its not star wars.
    5. Methinks Alonso will catch a lot of flack for this one. Just a little too picky.
    6. is Alonso trying to be a moron in this review? Because hes really doing a great job if so.
    7. Alonso could not possibly be more wrong about basically everything he mentioned in this review. We don’t need to see his face, we don’t need a character arc
    Conclusion – People who dislike anything negative are complete and utter idiots.

  26. BookaddictBieke

    I’ll admit that I’ve said that before, but not with the reasons you stated in this post. The thing I give up as a reason: “You didn’t like the other books of the series, so why do you even bother to read the next books again and again?” 
    If you don’t like a book that’s either the first in a series or a standalone, fine. But why would you even bother to read the next books if you know you’re going to hate it? xD

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