Does Our Value Affect Our Reading Experience?

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Happy monday guys! Another monday means another week has started and I really wished you’ll have an amazing week ahead. But first, just some fair warning. I know it’s been kinda quiet on the blog for some time. I rarely replied to comments and even though I post, I don’t feel like they’re what I want to post get it? Like it’s not the kind of post I’d like to posted. What happened is things has been really hectic. I ended my internship in August so a lot of things need to be done, then I had an airport crisis, went straight to uni for orientation, then back home for a holiday with my family and back to uni for the start of the term. I feel like I lost some of my blogging motivation and ideas and need time to recovered from the stress and burnout, so I guess I will post kinda rarely for a while.

Now we get that out of the way, it’s time for another discussion post! I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while but didn’t know how to convey it. All the motivational speakers/blog we know must’ve talked about personal values at some points, whether it’s about finding them or how to prioritize your life according to those values. I think personal values are great. They give a sense of who you are and what you want to achieve in life. It also kinda reflects my roots because most of them are molded through my experience in life. But sometimes I wonder whether they actually inhibits my reading enjoyment. Here are some instances:

  • I don’t like children in general, they are too nosy, noisy and nagging for my taste, and that is my main reason of not liking Room by Emma Donoghue. It’s narrated by Jack, the 5 year old boy that got stuck in Room with Ma and me being stuck in his head is not an experience I love. It’s emotionally exhausting to me and I was actually become more crankier and stressed the next day! It was not a great experience.
  • Confession: I get disgusted by sexual things. Make out session is okay, but one we’re talking about sex… the book just lost point for me. Okay, maybe not if it’s only talking. But when it started to get graphic I’ll usually skip that part. Even though I enjoyed Game of Thrones, I skipped most of s1 because there were just too many sex scenes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but sex scenes just reduce my enjoyment of that entertaiment. This is one of the main reason I don’t read NA, they usually have sex scenes and sometimes they are graphic and just made me feel uncomfortable. So when I say “I don’t like how many sex scenes this book has” it’s not that I slut shame the main character; it’s just ME being uncomfortable.
  • I’m Asian, and while I’m not saying all Asian does this/hold this value, “honor thy parents” is an important value in my culture. Children are expected to obey their parents and take care of them when they got old. Which is why it’s really uncomfortable for me to read, especially in YA, how teenagers cursing and screaming at their parents. There are some parents that deserve those treatment, sure, but perfectly nice parents that just ~try~ to help? Maybe you think they don’t understand, maybe you think they don’t know you. But they are your parents, they take care of you and educate you and all the things they do for 17-20 years (depending on the characters age) and you yelled at them because “woe is me no one understand me”. They were once teenagers too and while their issues must’ve been different, I guess they kinda get an idea of the things you’re going through. It’s just sad to read how often strained parents-children relationships in YA is.

I try to read diversely, both in figurative sense of reading outside the genre I usually read and in literal sense of reading diverse books. Some books work wonders to me as in it opens my eyes to various cultures and problems the world has and I enjoyed them immensely. It feels like I experience those cultures and events and gained new values for me. But there are books that even though important, are just hard for me to read due to this value differences. Reading books with the same values as mine while at times made me feel representated, it also kind of feel unstatisfying because I want to know what’s out there beside my own living bubble. But it’s hard when I read books that just drastically different from me, because they are just too different. Like I like thriller, but when the crime and culprit is just too messed up, I just stopped because it was too much.

Over to you: what do you think of this? Do you mostly enjoy or dislike books that are different from your value?


23 thoughts on “Does Our Value Affect Our Reading Experience?

  1. Great discussion, Tasya! My values and experiences definitely colour the way I read and enjoy books, which I’ve actually recently discovered while writing a review because I was picking up on little comments that might not have bothered anyone else. Also, there’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with sex scenes! I still squirm a lot when I read romance novels haha.


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