Hello there! So last night I was on my Goodreads
instead of actually reading and was adding more books to my already extremely long TBR.
I stumbled upon reviews of Smash It! and A Deadly Education which pointed out how problematic these books are, which made me wonder, What should we do with problematic books? What actually makes a book problematic?
So today my friends, I am going to show off my poor discussion skills in another discussion post! without any further ado, lets get straight into the post!
What Makes A Book ‘Problematic’?
- Representing a minority in the book inappropriately or stereotypically.
- Hatefully or mocking comments to a specific community.
- Racism, bigotry and ignorance towards current events.
There could be many, many more aspects that make a book problematic. These are usually ignored by people who aren’t very educated about the problematic aspects the book has.
Its not secret nothing is perfect, and so aren’t books and authors who write them. Everyone makes mistakes. Terrible people aren’t always the ones doing something wrong. Good people mess up too, but that doesn’t mean we should let it slide.
How Should We Deal With Problematic Books?
Firstly, before a book is published, it should be fact checked very, very carefully to avoid and remove any hurtful comments. There are sensitivity readers who read the book to ensure that the book isn’t quote unquote ‘problematic’.
But what if the book is already published?
Those with a platform should speak up. Readers like us are the only reason publishers are able to run their business. If the publishers who published the book were unaware about the book’s problematic aspects, they should made aware of them. If they really care about their readers, they might double check the book and edit out any hurtful comments.
What if you read a book which is a problematic without knowing it was?
If you read a book or an ARC which turned out to be problematic, do not hesitate to write an in-depth review of it to make others aware about the book’s problematic aspects. Educate the ones who are unaware about the content of the book.
STOP RECOMMENDING IT. Please. Don’t recommend problematic books and stop promoting them on your platform. No matter how much you liked them, it is not right promoting a book which is hurtful to certain communities. If you still continue to promote it, it is very well understood that you support the ideals of the book.
Use your platform to boost and amplify marginalized voices and promote the importance of diversity.
So is the author cancelled now?
Well, it depends. Sometimes the author might not have done proper research before writing the book. If they acknowledge their mistakes and correct them, then you know the author is a real one, who takes constructive criticism professionally. If the author stays silent and refuses to accept their mistakes, you know book twitter is gonna take care of them.
At the end of the day, they are humans too and you should never target and hate an author, problematic or not, to a point that it impacts their mental health. Always remember that.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to leave it a like (or rate it) and follow my blog for more.
What do you think about problematic books? Have you read any ‘problematic’ books? Let me know in the comments!
Till next time, Stay safe!