Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion meme created and hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books! This week’s topic is about whether your love for an author causes any bias in how you react to their books and vice versa. Some of the examples to consider for this topic were whether if you like an author if you’d be more willing to overlook faults in their book or if you dislike an author if you go out of your way to find faults.
The short answer to this question is that it’s complicated. Overall, I don’t think my like or dislike for an author causes bias in how I react to their books. For example, after reading Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited, I thought that Becky Albertalli was my new favourite YA author and that I’d like anything that she released. Unfortunately, I struggled to get through Leah on the Offbeat and I didn’t finish What If It’s Us, despite being a fan of her earlier works.
However, despite my belief that I’m not biased, I feel like there are times where I try harder to find redeeming qualities in books. For example, if I’m disliking a book that was highly recommended to me or that I was highly anticipating, I think I’m more likely to push through and finish it and seek out some positives. I also know that if I dislike a book, I’m not very likely to pick up another book by that author, unless it comes highly recommended to me by someone I trust.
The other thing that’s relevant to talk about with this topic is everyone is biased. Unconscious bias is a thing that exists, and we aren’t in control of it. I remember taking an ethics class in University, and our professor told us only to put our student numbers on our assignments and never to put our names. Our professor said that the reason for this is that she may have some unconscious bias that she didn’t know about. Unconscious bias also applies to our reading, I think we try to be objective readers and book reviewers, but we all have some unconscious bias that affects how we react to a book, whether we love an author or not.
Overall, even though I don’t think I am biased, I am biased because unconscious bias is something that we can’t escape.