Discussion

Does Being A ‘True Fan’ of A Fandom Mean You Overlook All It’s Faults?

//Just like in all of my other discussion posts, I do not intend to offend anyone.

So this discussion post too, like a lot of my other discussions, is born out of something else I read/heard online, and which has moved (or rather, in this case, offended) me enough to form a whole discussion on it.

I’ve said this a lot of times on my blog, I love booktube. About 50% of my time is wasted on guiltily gobbling up tons and tons and tons of booktube videos, and as much as I’m trying to stop this obsession : it doesn’t work out. So anyway, this other day I was watching a wrap up video in which the booktuber was talking about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part I and II and specifically, that booktuber said something that really offended and enraged me. (I’m not disclosing the channel for privacy purposes). But what the booktuber basically said was, ‘I, like every other true fan of the Harry Potter series, really enjoyed and loved the book’. Well, something along those lines. But the words ‘true fan’ were there, and I was like, waaaaaaa????

I was really offended by that (and I agree that yeah maybe I’m overreacting and I should let it go) but come on, I really disliked Cursed Child, so does that mean I’m not a ‘true’ fan of the series? Just because I disliked something in the series, does that make my love for the fandom/series/books shallow? I find this so ridiculous.

So now it’s been a about a week since I saw that video, and I’ve pretty much let that thing go, but yesterday I was just thinking about something and the words of the booktuber suddenly popped into my mind and I realized that I could make a discussion out of this! So here it is :)

[Please read this! : This discussion is NOT ABOUT HARRY POTTER. Please do not comment below exclusively about the Harry Potter books and tell me why you think that booktuber said something like that. Please. This is a discussion about all books in general and I narrated the Harry Potter example because I wanted to tell you about how I came up with the idea for this discussion. Thanks.]

Does criticising something you love make your love untrue/shallow? Mainly, to be considered a ‘true’ fan of a fandom/series/book, do you have to overlook/ignore any fault it has?

No book is perfect. I mean, okay that may be an overstatement because I’m sure by now most of us have read quite a few books which we consider perfect, but come on – it’s not like we’re reading ‘perfect’ books every other day. A book which (according to our own selves) has no fault, and has perfect writing and perfect story and perfect characters and everything perfect and flawless doesn’t come up every once in a while. So, I think it’s safe to conclude – that about 90% of the books we read are in fact, not perfect. We read books which have faults, which have shortcomings, which could’ve been a little bit better in writing, or a little bit more practical, or a little bit better in some other aspect. But does that stop us from loving every single book which has a fault? Does that small little fault, or that one aspect of the book which could’ve been executed better, stop us from loving a book? Haven’t you ever loved a book and yet accepted that it does lack in some aspect?

Or, let’s look at it in another way. Suppose you’re in the middle of a book/series, and you’re loving it. You love every aspect of it, when suddenly mid-way, something happens and it irks you. You see that the author has done something annoying and you acknowledge that fault and shake your head over it. But does that mean you completely stop loving the book? When you love a book, just because you thought one aspect of it was not-so-good, does that mean your love isn’t true/real?

[Ok I’m sorry I’m done with the multiple questions :D ]

From childhood, we’re taught that having true friends is great, having a true love is great, but accepting the faults and flaws of them is even more important. If you love something in spite of its flaws, then that doesn’t make your love smaller or less consequential.

And now probably some of you will be like, true friends are human beings and books are inanimate, to which I’ll say SO WHAT?? Loving a book is great, but I think it would be remarkable if everyone could analyse and accept the shortcomings of books they love with an unbiased opinionThere is no such rule which says that to be declared a true fan of a fandom, one has to overlook all its flaws. I think anyone can love a book to death and yet take part in a healthy discussion about its pros and cons without a guilty conscience.

Take Sarah J Maas for example. I love her books, they’re probably some of my favorite YA fantasy novels, but I cannot overlook that she has problems with shifting of love interests, and sudden changes in the personality of characters. To a few people, that might be a major flaw, and I guess yes it may be a big problem, but I cannot take away the love or attachment I have with this series. The entertainment and addiction this author has given me makes me love the books so much and yet I can still accept that there are aspects which SJM could’ve dealt with differently.

The Raven Cycle. I wish the first book had been clearer and better. All the Light We Cannot See. I wish it had been less depressing. I’ll Give You the Sun. I wish it had less romance. It Ends With Us. A few parts were way too cheesy. Since You’ve Been Gone. The ending was not at par with the rest of the book.

These are some books which I loved and these are all part of my favorite books, but there are aspects in each I have found fault with, or which I wish had been executed better. But that, in no way, lessens my love for these books. That, in no way, makes me a less ‘true’ fan of the books. I can proudly say that ‘Yes. I’m a huge fan of these books’ but I will also readily participate on any critical analysis or discussion about the cons of the book.

And maybe that’s just me and I’m the only one who feels like this, but I will not allow anyone to demean my love just because I’m expressing an unbiased or an honest opinion.


[Again, please do not relate the discussion with the comment of the booktuber. Like I said, that comment is what led to the birth of this idea, and it has nothing to do with the post.]

What are your thoughts on this issue? Are you someone who agrees to find fault in the books you love? Or do you consider your loved books to be perfect? Join in the discussion!

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22 thoughts on “Does Being A ‘True Fan’ of A Fandom Mean You Overlook All It’s Faults?

  1. I agree. Being a true fan does not mean you will blindly love everything and everything to come from that particular author, or series, or whatever. You are entitled to an opinion. And disliking something doesn’t make you a false fan. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, we’re all entitled to an opinion, and our opinion of a book shouldn’t be affected by our love for the author or the author’s previous works. It should be unbiased and disliking something by the author doesn’t mean your love becomes false.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know who you’re talking about but I think when we stop finding faults with thinks we stop using our …nevermind….. No offence to the booktuber but the book was really bad. And if they were a true fan of harry potter they’d see how skewed the characters were and how UN-rowlinglike the book really was. I completely agree with all your points. I’m actually angry typing now. Sigh.

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    1. Yeah well the angry-typing is evident 😂 And yeah, we need to acknowledge faults instead of covering them up. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and trying to ram down your opinion on others is so foolish. And I agree, that the book sucked but just because someone loved the book doesn’t mean he/she is entitled to comment on those who didn’t. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely agree with you. Being a true fan does not mean your going to love every aspect of the book blindly. I’m currently reading The Mortal Instruments, I’m part way through book #6. Now, I adore this series, just love it to bits, dosent mean I don’t cringe at parts, like for example when a character does something monumentally stupid and I’m sitting there like, WTF? Or dislike certain parts or characters.
    Does this make me less than a true fan because I dislike parts? Absolutely not.
    😊😊😊

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  4. Interesting discussion! :)
    Being a true fan means being really, really passionate about the book, and so personally I think that this can actually mean you see the faults more clearly. I don’t know about you, but if I’m reading a series I love and one of the books isn’t as good as I hope I start to feel a bit of a sinking feeling, because it’s disappointing that the series I love so much is letting me down a bit.
    To use your Harry Potter example, I absolutely adore those books, and so I really wanted The Cursed Child to be amazing, but I didn’t think it was. Because I consider myself ‘a true Harry Potter fan’, that was probably even more disappointing for me than for a casual fan of the series. Similarly I also love Sarah J. Maas’ books, but I accept that there are some slightly problematic things that happen in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and if anything it probably bothers me more because I love those books and I don’t want them to be anything other than perfect, but they aren’t. I totally agree that no book is perfect, and I think true fans can see a book’s faults as well as anyone else, but love the book in spite of it.
    Great post!

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    1. Yes, even I think that being a true fan means being passionate, and that should help you see the faults in the book more clearly. Yep, even I, while reading a good series come across something not-so-good, will feel disappointed, but I definitely won’t deny the faults or ignore them! And if I do accept the faults, then that shouldn’t be reason enough to demean my love for the book. :)

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  5. Listen, if you think you are a TRUE FAN of something, nothing will make you less of one. I think it is perfectly okay to be a true fan of part of a series and not like the 10 year later book. I don’t like elitists that make comments to try to define how other people should feel. The second I hear The Cursed Child was a script I knew I wouldn’t be reading it. I am a HUGE fan of Sarah J. Mass (and I liked the love interest shift) but I haven’t read A Court of Mist a Fury yet, and I own the first two books. I pity the fool that tries to tell me I am not a “true” fan.
    Great discussion topic!

    Like

    1. Exactly. If we consider ourselves a true fan, then nothing can make us any less of it. And also, I don’t think one should comment on someone else’s love for a book. And yep, I too have a problem with people who try to define other people’s feelings for a book. You liked the book? Fine! Doesn’t give you a right to tell me how I should feel about it.
      Even I really didn’t want to read The Cursed Child, but one night during dinner at a friend’s he showed me the copy and I personally think the book is beautiful to look at (so that’s part of the reason why I brought it home). Then I started reading and immediately disliked it, so I continued because I wanted to find out how crappy it can be and then ended up writing a ranty review :P
      You should totally read the ACOTAR series! I actually had a problem with the love interest shift in TOG, but that’s mainly because I loved Chaol and I hated how he got completely sidetracked in the later books.
      Thanks!

      Like

  6. wow. I think that comment would offend, and piss me off, too!

    I think being a true fan is being true to you, and the person/thing you are a fan of. There is an author I am totally obsessed with (in a healthy way) and one book in her series was down right awful. It hurt to say it but it was! I don’t think that makes me less of a fan, ya know? I don’t think there are perimeters for what makes someone a TRUE or REAL fan, but I think sticking with someone counts LOL

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    1. Yes exactly there aren’t really perimeters about being a true fan! Even I love a lot of authors whom I’m crazy about, but most of them have written at least something which I haven’t really liked. Doesn’t mean that I’ll stop loving the author and his/her books!

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  7. Great post! And this correlates so well with my latest discussion post! But there is no way that you have to automatically love everything in a fandom to be a true fan! The most important thing in a fandom is authenticity and expressing a variety of viewpoints in that fandom. If everyone just loves everything and thinks the same, what is the point of even engaging in a discussion? I love discussing things I am a fan of with other fans because we really know our stuff and can talk about our differences of opinion, while still being a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, what’s the point if everyone loves all the things, where will the discussion be then? I too love discussing things I’m a fan of, be it a critical discussion or a fangirling session. I think being a fan of something shouldn’t hinder you from looking at both the positives and negatives of it.

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  8. Totally agree! We could all notice flaws in books but still loving them anyway. This might be an exaggerating comparison, but it’s like loving a person, right? We love them despite all their flaws lol I have issues with a lot of my favorite books but they’re still addictive after all. Anyway, in case you haven’t heard/signed up, Aentee @ Read at Midnight is hosting a blog festival called #CritYourFave in which we discuss our problematic faves. I’ve signed up and couldn’t wait to see what everyone will post! :D

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  9. I definitely don’t think you need to love every single thing about a book in order to be a true fan. My favorite series, for example, has plenty of little things that make me roll my eyes or that aren’t perfect, but it’s still my favorite and I still absolutely love it because all the good things make it worth it. And also in that same series, the author created a spin-off series, and the first book in that spin-off got 3 stars from me, but then the next book got 4.5 stars, and I still absolutely love the series as a whole. I don’t think giving one of the books 3 stars means I don’t truly love the series. Pointing out flaws, not loving every single little thing, it just makes us honest. If anything, I’m far more inclined to believe the reviews of people who are honest over the reviews of those who just automatically say great things and refuse to acknowledge any flaws simply because they feel like they’re being a “true fan.” And what you said about how we love humans, flaws and all, and that doesn’t make our love for them any less is such a great point!

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    1. Yes exactly, even I have a few favorite series where I might have given 1/2 books a lower rating, but that doesn’t make me less of a fan. I think accepting flaws shows honesty and I too prefer reviewers who can do that. Thank you!

      Like

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