I Meant No Offense

I had breakfast with an old friend yesterday morning, with whom I love to discuss books. She was the one who introduced me to A. S. Byatt’s Possession, a novel which will always be in my list of top ten favorite books. During the course of our conversation she mentioned reading bits of my blog, and how at one point in my reading of the long list for the Man Booker International Prize I wrote that our library has “nothing but books by Nora Roberts.”

(Gasp.)

In my frustration about the lack of books I wanted to read, I never thought about how disparaging that remark was to others.

And so, I’m sorry.

The last thing I ever mean to be is offensive. In fact, I am struggling not to pick up offense in my own life; how terrible it would be if I was leaving it behind me.

It never ceases to surprise me how this  blog of mine is actually read by real people, some of whom are my real friends. After thirteen years of writing about books, and struggling to find a place as I am not an editor, nor publisher, nor professional reviewer, I am no longer anonymous. But, the power of the written word is quite powerful, and if I have said anything which has caused offense, please know that I never meant it.

15 thoughts on “I Meant No Offense

  1. I understand what you are saying here. I think we probably all struggle with understanding ‘all the books’ and why people would want to read certain types. I know that as a library employee and a person who suggested books for patrons, it was a little tough not to totally focus on the books that spoke to me personally. However, I think that there is room for all of us and all our preferences. I know that readers of certain genres have sometimes felt marginalized by those who want to read other types of books. And visa versa, I expect. Meredith, you are kind to voice your thoughts about possibly causing offense. As we continue our reading journeys, we might all aim for the idea that ‘there is a book for every reader’ and ‘a reader for every book’. Hugs to you!

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    • Kay, I like how you say “there is room for all of us and all our preferences.” Absolutely! And while I prefer translated literature most of all, I certainly find a place for different fare, most particularly mystery/thrillers. (Except, so many American books seem to tell the same story over and over, in my opinion.) At any rate, it is not my desire, or place, to criticize others’ literary tastes, and I am so glad you know that. Xo

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    • Thank you, Chris, for your kind comment. I’m glad that you learn about reading challenges and books to perhaps pick up when you come here. Haiku every day is a great thing!

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    • I have not read enough of Nora Roberts, and certainly not any of her work under her pseudonym, to know if I like her or not. I know that “chick lit” hasn’t especially struck a chord with me, and I know that her books absolutely fill the shelves at our library, so they must speak to many, many readers.

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  2. No offense taken at all. I am married to an avid Nora Roberts reader and I (kiddingly) bust her chops all the time about Ms. Roberts “prolific”, shelf-hogging publishing output. My own guilty pleasure in this area is Stephen King. To each his own. Cheers and please keep on writing about reading. You do it so well.

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    • My guilty pleasure is Stephen King, and other “thriller” writers, too. King writes such compelling plots, that when I am not utterly terrified, I cannot put them down. I finished, for the first time, The Stand two years ago, and last year I found Needful Things one of the best books I read all year. It had a lot to say, I think, about the power of our possessions beyond their monetary value. At any rate, thank you for leaving a kind comment about what I try to do.

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    • That “not picking up offense” thought came from our friend Sharon, and it is something I am really concentrating on in my life. It is far too easy to be hurt, let alone hurt others, and I know that I need a “thicker skin”. As well, apparently, as less of an inclination to speak without thinking. 😌

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  3. We are all entitled to our own opinions, and choice of reading matter. Tastes differ. And provided you did not set out to deliberately upset the Nora Roberts fans, you have nothing to apologise for. People need to get over themselves! There! now
    I’ve upset fresh hordes of offended readers.

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  4. We are entitled to our opinions. You can’t be truthful and not offend others at times! What matters is that you didn’t mean to offend anyone, and took the time write this thoughtful post.

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  5. M, the fact that you wrote this post speaks volumes – it shows how thoughtful and caring you are. Of course you meant no offense with your comment about the library. I’m sure my library is the same way, but probably Stephen King instead of Nora Roberts – LOL! At the end of the day, we are all entitled to our opinions and if someone doesn’t like it, well then they don’t have to like it. I think it was great of you to share this 🙂 Keep on sharing your opinions with us – we love it! xx

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  6. I think there should be no offence. I am not sure I have read Nora Roberts, but similar books. We all have different preferences, and I think most of us respect that. I love to mix ‘serious’ (whatever that is) literature with more easy going reading. There should be something for everyone. In the end, the most important thing is to read, whatever preferences you have.
    I remember when I, as a young girl, went to the local library to ask for the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon. The lady looked at me and said: We don’t keep these kind of books! I thought her comment was badly phrased. What did I do instead? I bought all the books, and I still have them on my shelves! They were my first love for historical fiction. I was quite obsessed with Louis XIV and all French at the time.

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