The word can mean so many different things.
But for the purposes of today's Blog, I'm referring to books.
We expect our favorite author to always write a book we love/like (for the purpose of the rest of my Blog I'll just use the word love). Does that always happen? Maybe, maybe not. I think it can be hard to always love an author's books. And what happens if we don't? Do we feel guilty? I think it has to be hard, with a tremendous amount of pressure, for any author to be constantly on top of their game. Especially one who churns out more than one book a year OR someone who has been or remains on ANY type of bestseller list.
We expect cover content(at least I do) to relate to the story inside. I wouldn't expect a romance novel cover to look like that of a horror novel or vice versa. However it happens. Most authors have very little or no control over the cover of their book. Which to me is completely and utterly ridiculous. How many times do you read a book with a hero with black hair but on the cover he is blond? Or the heroine has short hair on the cover but long hair in the book? That cat on the cover...oh wait..it's really a DOG. Covers can be tricky sometimes, making that old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" really ring true and apply. I'm one that needs and wants a good cover on my books. Have I bought books based on their cover alone? You bet. Have I bypassed books based on their cover? Yup. Fair? Nope. I'm sure I've missed reading some gems, however that brings me to my next point.
We expect, and trust to a certain degree, that book reviews and/or recommendations are spot on. Whether that they come from a magazine, news media, celebrity, bookseller, friend...the list goes on and on. Before the indy bookstore my best friend(s) and I worked at went out of business, we would get customers, who all the time asked us for recommendations. Something we were very careful about doing, in those few instances, when we did. We put a large amount of weight on what others think about books sometimes. I'm not saying that is a good or bad thing. Just look at any bookstore site or Goodreads. People have varying and different opinions. And if we buy/read a book based on any review or recommendation....then whether we love or hate the book is on us- and us alone. I remember once my best friend and I(check out her Blog at Romancing the Readers) bought a book based solely on the extremely poor review it received (if you want to know, I'm going to make you ask). Turns out we LOVED the book. In that case our gamble paid off.
Lastly- how about what do we expect from our books? If they are FICTION, then pretty much anything goes for me. Two words straight from the dictionary under fiction are: INVENTED and IMAGINED. So why do so many people get angry when and author gets a fact wrong in their work of...wait for it...FICTION? We shouldn't. After all, it's, say it with me, FICTION.
And I expect that I'll both love and dislike many of the books I'll read in the future and I expect you will too.