The Problem with Relatability and Books | Becca’s Bookish Discussion

Great! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking a book even more because it’s relatable. I understand for the need to want to read something that understands you, that makes you feel normal. However, liking a book solely because it’s relatable, this is a problem for me, and it’s not the only one pertaining to relatability and books.

This is what really gets me. I can understand liking a book more because it’s relatable, even liking solely because of that is forgivable. But there’s a line many reviewers use and it’s something I can’t stand: It wasn’t relatable enough for me.

I can understand, sometimes we want a book to makes us feel understood. But books, books. They’re meant to open our eyes to another’s perspective, they’re meant to show us different points of views, they’re meant to splurge our minds in different worlds. Why would you ever undermine that by saying books aren’t relatable enough for you? Books—movies, tv shows, any stories—have this incredible, beautiful purpose and power and it physically hurts me when people bash it with their want for relatability.

A little bit of both. They’re good in the way that they help us feed our selfish want to be understood, and for that purpose they’re great! We all need that sometimes. Unfortunately they’re of no help in expanding our view of the world, in broadening our perspective. They’re bad when relatability is the only thing a reader pays attention to. They’re very bad when a reviewer uses it to undermine books.

With this discussion, I ask you: Please, please keep an open mind as a reader and/or a reviewer. Don’t bash a book because it isn’t relatable. Let yourself see the world through another’s eyes.