I like reading.
Wait, what? This isn’t news to you?
Let me continue, then.
I like reading ALL KINDS of books. BUT, I do know a few people who consider themselves book snobs, or – even if they don’t come right out and label themselves as such – people who I’m sure look down on me when I say I’m reading a certain genre of book.
I’m in my 30s. Growing up, I thought that when I got older, I would have to read a certain kind of book. So I prepared. When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I’d go to the library and take out literary classics or books by those big-name authors that I figured lots of adults read. When I was younger, there really wasn’t a huge wealth of YA novels, so I really didn’t feel like I was missing out.
A few years ago, before I started blogging, I was still unsure of my tastes. I thought I had to read the more grown-up books because I WAS a grown-up, even if these books came across as too literary, drab, or even boring. I would buy books or take them out from the library based on the name. I had NO CLUE what I liked. I just knew that being an adult meant I had to read the adult books.
These days, I read almost anything. I can pick out titles on my own based on my mood, or rely on the recommendations from my book blogging friends. YA book? Sure! Paranormal erotica? Of course, I’ll give it a go! MG fantasy book? Hell, yeah!
I’m game for anything.
One day, I came across this article that featured 15 thought-provoking questions to ask at your next book club. What I took away from the article is that the books people read in book clubs, or even books read among a group of friends, aren’t of the literary caliber that book club books should be. Books like The Hunger Games, or even Harry Potter.
But then I ask myself, why is it so bad to be reading books like this? What is so wrong with reading a book for pleasure and escape? Shouldn’t we be celebrating people wanting to read rather than making fun of them for not reading the books that we think society SHOULD be reading? Do we really need to put scholars and academics on a pedestal because they read the classics and can use fancy words in conversation?
Personally, and I know a book snob will throw a tomato at me for this, I find a lot of literary classics boring and pretentious. There are authors I used to read who wrote WONDERFUL books, but now I feel like they’re trying to be too vague, or too literary in their writing. I buy their book, read it, have NO CLUE what was going on, and feel like I wasted a huge chunk of time when I could have read something I actually might have enjoyed.
Sometimes I feel like society places pressure on us, telling us that we NEED TO READ THE CLASSICS! Or, that we must read this book because it’s an astute demonstration of society today, which consists of undercurrents showing the damage we have made to the world!
Heck, if people want to read books like this, ALL THE POWER TO THEM. But I like being in a world of fantasy, or a world of ghosts and vampires and other supernatural creatures, a world of romance and horror, or a world that takes place AFTER our world has ended. These are some of the best books to me and I will read them without feeling any kind of regret.
And really, who is to say what the great books are? This is the beauty of reading, in that a book loved by millions will also be hated by millions! Books are a starting point for discussion and even if they’re not a literary great, the sole act of reading makes us smarter, less ignorant, and helps us sharpen our brains. The benefits of reading should not be restricted solely to books written by certain authors.
To the people who say that certain books are garbage and won’t be popular or talked about 100 years from now, I ask you this: DO YOU HAVE A TIME MACHINE? I mean, we have no idea what the world will be like in 100 years from now or if we will even be here. Like the saying goes, life is too short to read bad books, so for now I’m going to curl up with whatever book I feel like, regardless of its genre or literary status, and ENJOY IT.
Are you a book snob? Do you use big words in conversations? Do you look down on people who read for fun?
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