>We didn’t receive a review copy of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, so you won’t find any spoilers here. What I’ve been finding fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way are the vox populi debates over at Amazon.com, particularly a discussion thread attempting to start a RETURN THIS BOOK campaign in protest of Meyer’s “betrayal” of her readers: “I agree totally. I saw about 20 returned copies at Target tonight. Returning them is the right thing to do. Burn them and she will still have the money. Don’t let that happen.” And these are fans talking.
I’m interested in the ethical propriety of returning a book because you didn’t like it. Can’t imagine doing that myself–the reader is paying for consuming the intellectual content, not just for the physical item. I’m equally interested in the whole question of the difference between readers and fans, if there is one. One distinction the Meyer debates seem to bring to the fore is the way fans personalize the object of their affection–the ones who hate Breaking Dawn feel that Meyer has betrayed them and must suffer; the ones who like the book feel they need to be “loyal” to the author: “You do realize Stephenie Meyer reads these don’t you? How disgustingly mean can you get? Stephenie Meyer wrote this for us, the twilighters. Her fans.”
What makes people behave this way? I’m aware, of course, that the Amazon posters are probably a distinct subgroup of Meyer’s readers, or do her books inspire this kind of Ayn Randy cultishness?