I think it's human nature to be influenced into reading or not reading (or even being slightly harsher or more lenient towards) something due to others' opinions. But note that being influenced by a friend saying "I really enjoyed that book. The characters had true depth." is very different from counting the number of fanboys and deciding if that number is too high or low for you to try something. In other words, being influenced by another's /arguments/ is perfectly justified, but being influenced by a general hype that doesn't even point out specifics is another matter entirely. Also, if someone confuses hate for the hype with hate for the object, or if someone allows others' views to dictate what they think--that is very much a problem.
And for that matter, I think it's very sad how many people would think less of someone because they liked or disliked a particular book. A large factor of why many boys often refuse to read books starring female protagonists or books centering around romance is because they are afraid of how others think of them. To that, I say: Stick to your guns, and if you can't, then you're no less sexist than the people who look down on you.
...Of course, it's not like I always follow my own advice. To date, I have not named the only ongoing series I enjoyed, and I stopped reading it due to the bad stuff I heard about the later books (said "bad stuff" happens to be a general criticism that the plot was replaced by porn, so I daresay I did have some valid reason in not reading further...).
Bottom line is, I have little patience for people who cannot even /try/ to evaluate a work on its content. It's okay if they don't succeed, but if they're making hate threads without even reading it, or if they go forth to read it with a mindset of, "Let's see how much I'll hate this...", then of course they're not going to enjoy it--and nor will their opinion be worth more than dirt. And I agree that mindless hate is worse than mindless love, because hate happens to be a negative emotion that is unhealthy to exercise.
I, personally, thought the "tenor" of your post was quite valid, Fal. Maybe because I agree with you completely, but some things really need saying, and maybe a punch is what can get those "mindless haters" to rethink their attitude.
< Message edited by Firefly -- 8/9/2009 12:06:23 >