Thursday, 5 February 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse - a biography has made you love an author more?

I don't very often read biographies of authors, so the immediate answer to this would have to be no. I do sometimes try and find out a bit about an author if I've really liked a book, but only a brief overview from various online sources. I can't really imagine anything I would find out that would put me off their books.

One of the reasons I read is to get different opinions and viewpoints on the world, and maybe even expand my own views slightly. If I chose to only read authors with similar belief systems to myself, then this would leave me with a very narrow view of the world. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and it would be a very boring world if everybody thought the same, or only read work by authors who feel the same as them, whatever the issue.

I also think that if an author's belief system is so completely opposed to mine and they choose to preach about it in a book then it wouldn't be a book I would be interested in reading anyway. If they write good books then it doesn't actually matter what they believe.

Having said all that, I now need to qualify it slightly and say that with very extreme belief systems I would refrain from buying the book. But only if I felt that my money might be going towards a cause that may actually harm people, or infringe on their rights to hold their own opinions. I think it very unlikely I would want to read a book that would fall into this category, but I wouldn't avoid it if I did. I just wouldn't buy it.

I don't think knowing information about an author would make me love them more, but it may help me appreciate their books a little more. Most authors write from experience, so it can only enhance my appreciation of the book to know even a little bit about their life.

12 comments:

Dot said...

I agree with you that most authors write from experience, so sometimes it helps to know a bit more about it. Happy BTT!

gautami tripathy said...

I wrote somewhat in similar lines..

Here is my BTT post!

Kathy said...

I agree I don't buy books from authors who infringe on peoples rights. There is a female author who puts out books that has a tendency to tick a lot of people off with what she writes. I think instead of people getting so upset over her books should just not buy them and ignore her.

Yvonne said...

I agree with you. Generally, I feel authors are entitled to their own opinions even if they don't agree with mine. I wouldn't buy a book if the proceeds were going to a cause that was harmful, though.

Smilingsal said...

My response is much like yours. Happy Booking Through Thursday!

Beth F said...

Ah . . . if the proceeds of a book are going to a particular cause, I will look into the cause before giving my money. I believe in giving to charity and to some more political organizations, but I give only when I believe in what those organizations are doing.

teabird said...

I agree with Beth - I'd avoid buying a book if its proceeds were going to be used for something distasteful to me.

my post is here.

barbarah said...

I usually start with just the story, and maybe the biographical blurb on the back cover. But sometimes after I have read and enjoyed several books by one author, I like to read more about them, figuring their own life story goes into the stories they write. Often it enhances my reading of their work.

thatsthebook said...

I generally don't read the biography unless I think the story may be based on factual events, even then I wont read it unless I'm very interested in the person it's just find out if it's true by glancing at the material in it.

Jo said...

Dot and barbarah, I'm not a writer but I don't see how anyone can write without using personal experience to some extent

Gautami and Smilingsal, Great minds think alike! Lol

Kathy,I agree. I don'tknow who you mean but surely by drawing attention to it those people are just giving her more publicity, which can't be what they want if they've got such a problem with her!

Yvonne, teabird and beth, same goes here.

Thatsthebook, I don't read biographies either, but I mght try and find out a bit about the author, particularly if I intend to read more of their work.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I have to agree with you. If author's beliefs are extreme or harmful, or money going to really weird cause that find offensive. Good post.

Lisa said...

Although I do like the little tidbits about the author in the back of books, it doesn't affect my reading choices. I'm there for the story. My answer is here..