I try really really really hard not to book bash, or if I do complain, I don't want to name names. I like reading the best comebacks and sometimes the set downs.
There was an article with authors putting down other authors.
Being a writer and being a reader, and most importantly being both, means that you're going to have opinions. Your opinions may or may not agree with the majority. You may not even have an opinion where a minority shares it.
I used to be really okay with complaining about Twilight, which I have read, and Jane Austen, who, up until two years ago, I hadn't read.
I try not to bash books I haven't read. Or authors. I've said a few things about Fifty Shades of Grey and Outlander on Facebook. Mostly complaining because they're getting optioned for the big and little screens respectively, and yet, nobody wants to pick up the Cynsters. The only things I know about Fifty Shades of Grey are 1) that it's Twilight fanfic and 2) everybody says it's an awful, abusive relationship. The only things I know about Outlander are 1) that it's not technically a romance, though any romance reader worth her sighs has read it ('cept me) and 2) the woman is married in her time, but marries someone else in her time warp.
I've never read either book. I don't have much interest in doing so. I don't like abusive relationships, and I don't like adultery, even though it technically isn't or whatever. I don't know. I never really cared for time travel, because I was always left wondering how it would end and I'm too chicken to go through it and find out.
I've read some BDSM erotica and erotic romance. I didn't care for it. There was one historical erotic romance I liked, and that was probably because it was more about the romance than the sex. I loved the heroine, and the hero was good for her. It was a good story.
I read one at the end of last year that annoyed me. It was contemporary erotic romance, the explanation of the dom/sub relationship was there, lots and lots of spanking. Anyway. I hated the hero. I didn't like the heroine for putting up with him. The worst part of all of that it seemed everybody else loved it on Goodreads. I really had a tough time putting my thoughts into words. Mostly, it was a lot of frustrated grumbles. And it ended in the wrong place for me.
As a reader, I don't think I have to read a book just because everyone else has. I certainly don't have to like it.
As a writer, I have to wonder. I don't want to not read the best-sellers because, as a writer, shouldn't I see what's selling and what's not?
I don't know, really. I think, if it's a genre I actually want to write, yes, by all means. If it's not, it's not.
I've never read Nicholas Sparks--but then I don't want to write mainstream fiction, and personally it never really interested me.
I'm an immature reader. I like plots and happy endings. I've liked a few of the literary novels I've read, but really, give me a plot.
I bought the first four books of Song and Ice of Fire at the end of 2011. 2012 and 2013 passed...still haven't read them. I will, though. Someday. Maybe when all of the books are out. O.o
That's the beautiful thing about waiting to read a series. If you wait long enough, you skip the angst over waiting for the next book. And I never mainline series anyway. I'm not angsty because I always have more books to read.
As far as specifically fantasy and Regency romance goes. Yes, yes, yes, by all means, read it, Jadi. If it's just some popular book up there in the bibliosphere, if you don't want to read it, don't. But if you do want to read it, do.
Simple as that. Don't shame the ones you don't like, and certainly not the authors. Long after I'm dead, and I lived my dream of being an author, I don't want to be remembered for anything ugly I wrote about somebody else.
However, there is one thing I'll say about authors insulting each other:
Even classics were just normal books once, and not everyone has to like them.