Hey everyone! I wanted to get this post out sooner but life is kicking my backside right now. However, I’d still like to talk about the Goodreads Choice Awards and some of my initial reactions!
I’m a little nervous about this as I haven’t done many discussion posts up to this point – hopefully you won’t all hate me if your opinions differ from mine!
So, my first reaction was outrage that one of my favourite books of the year, Muse of Nightmares, was not even nominated?! I’m pleased to see that plenty of readers obviously made their voices heard because now that we’re up to the semi-finals, Taylor’s masterpiece is indeed there. But initially, I could not believe that a book of such high calibre was not featured. Which leads me to…
What’s in a name?
It seems to me that some authors are guaranteed to be nominated for an award simply for who they are. (I’m not going to diss anyone here but I’m sure you all know which authors I’m talking about.) Sometimes I wonder at this because the books themselves are often of lesser quality (in my opinion) than ones that don’t even get nominated. Are authors guaranteed a nomination based on the number of books they’ve written or the size of their fanbase?
Are the awards diverse enough?
Times have definitely changed and I’m delighted to see more authors of colour being nominated. However, with this being the 10th year of awards and Goodreads introducing the ‘best of the best’ category, it’s impossible to not look back and see the white-dominated group of past winners. As per my previous point, looking at these winners almost reads like a school yearbook, with the prom queens and jocks always coming out on top. And speaking of popularity contests…
Are we guilty of judging books by their covers?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m totally guilty of picking up books in shops because I’m drawn to their beautiful covers. But I would never vote for a book to receive an award simply because it looked pretty! Unfortunately, I usually haven’t read most of the books that are nominated in the Goodreads Choice Awards and so I abstain from voting, but I’m sure there are readers out there who (when they haven’t read all of the nominated books) might just vote for the book with the cover they like best. Surely, these awards should reflect the quality of a book’s writing or the importance of its themes, not just which cover looks nicest or which marketing campaign was most successful in building the hype?
So those are my thoughts on the Goodreads Choice Awards! Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Do you think the awards are diverse enough? Is it all just a popularity contest? Leave me a comment and let’s chat! x