I like to pick up a book with an open mind. Not so open minded that I read just anything though. I prefer books with weight and substance. I want to read books that push my limits. Ones that make me think and grow as a person.
There are two types of people in the world: those who have to like the main character to like a book and those who don't. I fall in the latter category. Don't get me wrong, I prefer to be sympathetic to the main character. It's a much easier, more enjoyable read that way. When you have an unsympathetic main character, it's much more of a challenge. Which makes you confront your core beliefs and why you chose to believe them in the first place. Antagonism either strengthens your core values or it weakens them. But, either way, it changes you.
After I've read a book and contemplated its content, I'll get on Goodreads to rate it. That's when I'll read some of the reviews other people have posted about it. If I loved the book, I'm always shocked to find people who despised it. And if I hated it, I'll be astonished to find people who adored it. I don't usually write reviews publicly myself as I'm more of a private person. Although, sometimes I'll like what someone else wrote if I find that they've managed to put words to the thoughts I had floating around in my head while I read the book. But, only if I find them constructive.
Because far too often, words can be unproductive and divisive. Even though I abhor a book, I try to be respectful of the people who loved it enough to put it on the New York Times Best Seller list. Which doesn't change my stance at all, I will continue to love books that I think should've made the list. But, instead of focusing on badmouthing the books I feel are unworthy, I will continue to champion for ones that I believe in my soul are. After all, no book, whether beloved or detested, stays on the Best Seller list forever. Eventually, they all get shelved.