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When you read a book, how important is its author to you?


anna3101
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I was thinking about this not such a long time ago. I remember that several times, both in real life and on the Internet, I heard people say something like "I used to really like the books of X, but now that I've read his biography I no longer like that author".

I've had the same happen to me a couple of times: really enjoyed the book but when I discovered some ugly facts about the author, I just couldn't look at the book with the same eyes.

Is it important for you? Do you care what kind of person wrote the book you were reading, in any language? Have you ever felt disappointed when you learnt unsavoury details about the author's life or his/her views?

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I mostly don't care... Here's why each and every person has their special and unique way of interpreting life, whether its cute and adorable like a fluffy bunny or sick and twisted like Joker and Harely Quinn. Each person has been, been in, or will be in their own personal brand of bat poop crazy moments whether it's just as simple as a bad experience to as bad as the person is going to spend the next 40 years of their life in jail. Cause each and every person has their own way of experiencing life that make them who they are...

It reminds of a quote by Philip Larkin:

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you."

 

Plus so long as the book is good and interests me I'll continue reading, beside I like percieving what insanities go on in a person's mind, because mad people are always the most fun...

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That sounds awful, @ anna3101! Maybe I'm not best placed to answer this question, because I've never been in that situation. So my answer is really based on supposition, I may very well react differently if I were in a true life situation of that nature. I personally doubt I'd change my mind about how much i rate the the quality of the book. I'd probably still recognise the author's gift. Depending of the gravity of the things I'd heard, I don't know if i'd continue to support them by buying any more of their books. I guess unless you've walked that path, it's not easy to give an objective answer.

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I don`t really care about an authors personal life and such. All that matters to me is, if I enjoy his or her work. This is the same with actors. People might hate an actor in real life, but for me, if he is a good actor and produces good movies, I don`t really care what the general public thinks about him. Personal life and the work one does should be two separate things altogether.

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It's very important to me actually. I've been reading a lot here lately and I've found quite a few authors that I am really starting to like. I just finished a really good book call The Time Machine by H.G Wells. I really enjoyed it a lot. I actually enjoyed it so much that I read it twice. Another book that I've read recently was Goosebumps The Haunted Mask. I really enjoyed that book as well. R.L Stine is another one of my favorite authors. I think it was about 3 moths or so ago when I started reading more. It all started with ebooks and then I made the switch over to actual books. I really enjoy reading. It really seems to help me relax and unwind after a long day of work. It's fun to me.

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I try to be diverse and have variety when I read so I like knowing the author's ethnicity/background. It's also a good insight how their background or culture affects how and what they write, the themes in their writing, etc. I've read books by Nigerians, Japanese, Russians, etc.

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I actually envy people who can differentiate the book from the author. To me, they are far too close to each other. If I don't respect the author, I simply cannot look at his work without seeing him/her behind it.

I used to like Tolstoy before I've read some parts from his diary and the memoirs of the people who knew him. I was so disgusted and disappointed that simply couldn't go on reading him any more. It sounds like hypocrisy to me when the author is preaching, say, humility and kindness in his novels but in real life behaves in exactly opposite manner.

Being a woman, I'm unfortunately also not very tolerant to authors who think women are inferior to men and should spend their lives in the kitchen :)

 

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Completely and absolutely irrelevant. I'm an avid book reader and I've never once refused to read a certain book because of it's writer. The only exception for this would probably if the author had said something offensive about something that I like or very firmly believe in, then he or she would be instantly banned from my life because I really don't like those kind of people and I refuse to support them with my hard-earned money. Will I still read the book? Probably, if it's good. I don't believe a name is a reason to miss out on something good.

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It did kinda happen to me with movies (sorry I know you're talking about books here! :D). Sometimes I encounter a movie that is just really crazy unique. So I look into the story behind it, who made it the way it is. Then I find out the person is really cool and I fall in love with their style. Which ultimately makes me love their movies even more.

I feel like you can kinda tell what kind of people authors are based on their work. So I would be surprised if I got "disappointed" by finding some out some stuff about some author's life.

But maybe books are different? Either way, I only have positive experience with this and only with movie directors.

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Of course it's important the name of the author. I don't have time to waste with low quality stuff, therefore I must be sure that the book I am reading was written by a well known author. But on the other hand, I really don't care about his personal life. Its his mind of which I am interested of, not his life.

 

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Honestly, I could careless about the author. When I read a book, it's the content that matters the most to me. So what if this person isn't a world famous author? That doesn't mean he/she can't produce good books. For me, I never look at the author when I'm reading a book. I read the synposis and decide if the plot is worth my time. 

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The author's biography doesn't matter to me at all.  However, I find myself reading books from the same several authors.  I guess that I just like their writing style.  A lot of times I don't even bother to read their biography, because it doesn't influence me once way or the other.   However sometimes if I do read their biographic it makes me realize why they write a certain way.  For example one of my favorite authors is Australian.  After reading more about her it made sense why a good amount of her books looks place in Australia. 

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I've had the same happen to me a couple of times: really enjoyed the book but when I discovered some ugly facts about the author, I just couldn't look at the book with the same eyes.

SPOILER

I would like to give you a hard time about this, and tell you how illogical it is to let this keep you from enjoying a book, but I have no right to say anything because I do it myself. For example, I found out one of my favorite authors is extremely religious, and now everything he writes seems to reveal this and it bothers me. And with movies for example, I don't watch or enjoy anything I've already seen by Woody Allen because he divorced his wife to marry his adopted daughter. These things really shouldn't affect me, but they do.

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I don't read about the author's life all that much and it's not something I look out for when choosing a book. However, knowing some insight into the author's background does help me understand why an author would write something in a certain way. It kind of helps me understand their thinking. But I don't think I've avoided anyone because of their lifestory.

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