This week, I had the flu, and I felt at one with my couch. I normally hate to just sit, but I literally didn’t have the energy to move. One day, it took me two hours (yes, I looked at the clock) to muster up the energy to hobble the 17 steps to the bathroom. I had no appetite (I very seldom lose my appetite), and I mostly wanted to sleep.
In between my brief bouts of wakefulness, I read a couple books. One of them was If I Stay, by Gayle Forman. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was interesting and emotionally rich with great characters. When I went to Goodreads to rate it, I noticed that a friend of mine had rated it 2 stars.
Coincidentally, that same day, another friend of mine asked me about a book he had recommended to me, The Crying Lot of 49 by Thomas Pynchon, which I would have rated 2 stars on Goodreads, if I had bothered to rate it.
It got me to thinking about how different even like minded people can be in their tastes. I recently mentioned to a new friend of mine that I’m a vegetarian, and he was so appalled that he went through the entire list of meat products to check that I really don’t eat and/ or never liked them. (Technically I’m a flexitarian, but there are times when I don’t feel like getting into a discussion about my food choices).
People are so different, all of us, and I love celebrating our differences. I think it’s wonderful how I can hate a novel and not even finish it (Swamplandia! by Karen Russell comes to mind) but other people can love that book. It’s actually highly rated on Goodreads.
It reminds me that if I enjoy writing a book, there will be people out there who will enjoy reading it. It doesn’t matter if one person hates it (because, inevitably, someone will hate it), but that there are people out there who will love it. I think that’s an important distinction, learning to judge the merits of something based on who loves it, not who hates it.
Different tastes are the whole reason that Goodwill exists. Our differences are what makes us wonderful and interesting. What’s something that you love that everyone else hates? Or that you hate but everyone else loves?