What I think Of Book Snobbery

This is a post for the people who think that their tastes in books are better than everyone else and how you can deal with those people. 

readingbackgroundI’m a book lover and I’ve always been since I was 6 years old. My first book was Le Petit Prince and I loved every single bit of it. Then, I read a lot of chick literature and Harry Potters when I was 8 years old. I still remember how excited I was every time my Mom brought me to the library to choose my books and I keep going back 2 weeks later to get the sequels. During my high school years, I started to have an obsession with classical literature- I read books from Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen to George Orwell. Since I missed all the typical “teenager’s books” I discovered them later on in College hahah. Yup that’s where I started reading Lord of The Rings, The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. And now that I finished my university, my readings gather every genre from horror to scifi to YA to fantasy to comics.

BOOKSNOBBERY

That said, I have had a huge problem when people start to judge me on my readings just because they only read classical literature all their lives and they don’t consider the book in my hand as “well-read”. In other words, a typical book snob person. How do I react to it ? Very hardly in the beginning, as a very expressive person, I would start to go into a huge discussion and debate on how they don’t know what they are talking about but slowly with time, my reaction would resume to this: 

  1. First, I don’t give a fuck what you read. That sums up for everybody, book snobbery or not. As long as you read and you want to discuss the book with me or share an interest concept and idea, I’m all ears.Image result for I DONT GIVE A F GIF
  2. And I give less fuck on what you think about my books. I‘m sorry that your book snobbery is grounded in a misconstruction that your mental frames are absolute right and everyone else’ are wrong. Let me explain. Let’s take someone who says :« if you’re reading YA, your book is inferior because you are not challenging yourself to better your vocabulary and improve your view on the world.» You are actually making an implicit assumption that I possess the same values, same comprehension of the world, same opinion, same vocabulary, the same knowledge as you. Well spoiler alert: we don’t. In YA, I found myself feeling more alive than reading classical literature. That’s because I read to feel something, to escape reality. And in some classical literature I found myself being amazed by the richness of the words.  So you are reading to challenge yourself…Image result for yeah right gif..or to prove to other people that you are trying to challenge yourself? Why don’t you read for you instead ?
  3. Books opinions are personal and should always be. We can, to certain points, agree on what books are good and what books are bad but we (even this blogosphere) does not represent the world. We are only a small part of it. There’s a whole world out there that we don’t know about. And that’s what’s good and what’s fun about books. Because it will allow us to discover and explore out of our comfort zone.  I absolutely love this quote by Lemony Snicket :

    “There are many, many types of books in the world, which makes good sense, because there are many, many types of people, and everybody wants to read something different.”

    Image result for applause gif

    What do you think of this phenomenon? Have you ever witnessed it yourself? trangsignature

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40 comments

  • Honestly, I feel like I’ve only really experienced book snobbery from people who are not particularly well-read. Most of people who I know who really love reading read a wide variety of genres, etc. In my experience book snobbery is just a manifestation of insecurity so I don’t sweat it. 🙂 Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely agree with this! I think if you’re well read you know that a great book isn’t defined by genre but by content. There are great and crappy books in every genre, but you won’t find them if you’re not willing to dig around.

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  • I have had someone judge me because I read YA once before. Honestly I couldn’t care less what people think about the kind of books I choose to read. I read for me and because I enjoy it. Not for other people so that they can “approve” of my reading. Amazing post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • I love everything about this post!! I have encountered book snobbery and it always makes me feel sad for the person who feels they have to limit their enjoyment of books to only those that fit a certain criteria! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting post Trang, although I hope something recent has not triggered it? I cannot recall ever really being judged for what I read (especially in this community) aside from the few bloggers who still find it fun to have a poke at YA readers, but I have never truly cared personally. So I guess it has never impacted me. I read for me. I usually find that those who would bother to pick apart what someone else is reading are often not very diverse in their own choices or well read. But yes, eff em 🖤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  • I feel like people who read A LOT (like you and me) don’t really care what books you read as long as they’re books you enjoy. There are expectations of course. But the only people who judge my reading are 1/ IRL and 2/ people who i’ve never seen holding a book and who read a hanful of classics and consider themselves literature experts. They annoy the living hell out of me but i mostly ignore them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Part of the fun if people having different opinions and tastes is the friendly debates you can have over a book (or movie, or video game … you get the idea) that you think differently of. Snobs ruin that.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wonderful post!! As an English major I’ve run into a lot of book snobs. There were times were I was afraid to even say that I read mostly YA in my free time because of the way that it gets looked down on. I have loved the classics, Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite novels of all time, but I get tired of them sometimes. YA is where I really feel something and am always engaged and I hate that a lot of people don’t consider it as true “literature”. And honestly I feel like the people that read the most, tend to read YA. I never see anyone say they read 100 classics in a year, but it’s so common for readers of YA to read extremely large amounts so that’s a point in our favor I say lol

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  • Great post! Although I don’t think I’ve ever encountered much book snobbery, except maybe from English teachers, and frankly I can’t pinpoint an example even of that. I read all kinds of books, and have recently decided that YA is one of my favorite genres. I am more likely to learn something from a YA book than from many other types of books, and they tend to be easier to understand, and shorter! (That’s why you can read 100 YA books in a year).

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  • This is such a great post – and I hate that this still happens, sometimes and that people reading young adult books are sometimes looked down at, just because well, they’re reading young adult books. I’m feeling pretty happy and proud of what I’m reading, and I’m enjoying it, so it should be all that matters and I try to push the judging kind of people aside and not to let them bother me.
    lovely post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  • I had no idea this was even an issue, but I do think there are some people who just read things to look smarter. People can read whatever they want. I don’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I would spray them with a cat sprayer….

    I agree, people should feel free to read and enjoy whatever they want.

    I read everything from classical lit to kids books. Just because I’m reading HP doesn’t mean I’ve never read Les Miserables. And just because I’m reading a hefty quantum physics book doesn’t mean I won’t later enjoy reading SkippyJon Jones with cublings.

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  • I so agree! My older cousins always tell me I’m not a true bookworm because I’ve not read Fountainhead or The Godfather. Truth is, those books are intimidating for me and I don’t know if I’m in the right state of mind to read them rn. I go into explanations of how I AM A bookworm because I read 4-5 books a week and what not, but reading your post made me realise why do I have to justify myself every single time????
    Amazing post 👌🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yes!! I love this post SO much!! The worst is when someone who doesn’t even read judges you for the books you read, like “aren’t you too old for YA?” Well, you don’t read anything so let me read what I want. 🙃😂 Everyone should just read what they want. Exploring new worlds and getting into someone’s head is the magic of reading after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  • An absolutely spot on post. I have faced book snobbery a few times and it’s never a great experience. People sometimes judge too much in too little time, it’s something we have to live with. Generally, I just counter the statement with the typical ‘each to their own’ which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Totally agree! One of my favorite quotes was by rae Carson about “I don’t care if it’s Twilight or Fifty Shades or War and peace never let someone make you ashamed of what you love to read”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great post! I agree, so much!

    I’ve encountered lots of people during my uni time, who thought they are better than others because they read only classics and non fiction. For whatever reason, they thought they have to boast about it. And looked at me funny when I was reading my Fantasy novels.

    I don’t really care what you read, whether it’s dinosaur erotica, Nietzsche, Jane Austen or Terry Pratchett. Enjoy what you read and let others enjoy what they read. No judging. I mean, I bash books I didn’t like. But never the PEOPLE who like them. ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  • 😘😘😍😍❤️❤️ That;s how I feel about this post! Lol.
    Some many different kinds of books to suit so many different people and moods that we have. No need to get all judgy about it!

    Like

  • I’m glad I have yet to encounter such a person in my life. Phew. But I can imagine how annoying it would be. I do agree that we all have different tastes in books and what might be good to some might not be good enough for others. Love that Lemony Snicket quote! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • LOL, I’m married to a book snob. Fortunately, my husband’s form of snobbery doesn’t involve judging others for what they read (in fact, he’s of the mind that any type of reading is a good thing) but I tease him all the time about how he puts classic science fiction on a pedestal and thinks that most modern SFF is trash 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yep, I’ve witnessed and experienced it. It makes me mad because it’s absolutely unnecessary. But like with every judging, it says more about the person doing it than the person receiving it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • YES I COMPLETELY AGREE! different genres of books can make you feel DIFFERENT THINGS and no one should judge you for focusing on young adult or anything, because everyone has different values and different tastes? ALSO I LOVE THAT GIF YOU USED.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I haven’t really been exposed to YA books until i was about maybe 27-28…
    When i was a teen, i don’t even remember having much YA around. Yea, there was harry potter, but that’s not YA and never really interested me anyway.

    I will never understand book snobs. And people in general who think other people’s reading material is their concern. It’s not like you are reading a manual on how to become a successful serial killer… now i can see that raising concern 😀 I think book snobs might be the same people who police what other people eat, wear, and do all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Some YA authors are older than you. What does that tell those snobs? YA books have as much merit to be read as any other types of books, including classics. The funny thing is the themes and/or messages are pretty much the same for all these books of different genres.

    Liked by 1 person

  • There are sooo many writers and sooo many point of views! Every reader interprets a writer’s words differently. I try to be open to others opinions, yet at the same time my words have value because they are mine! Great post Trang! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is so true!! I hate when people do that, it makes no sense at all! When I was in high school, I started reading mangas and sooo many people were constantly judging it like “oh it’s not really a book, you’re not really reading”…
    By the way, I admire how passionate you were about classical literature!! I only read it for school and I enjoyed a few classical books but it was mostly an acknowledgement of good writing skills than actual reading enjoyment. I always felt bad not to read more classical books because people consider it much more valuable than other styles! It sounds silly but there is this kind of snobbism, so sad!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Nope, I’ve never experienced this snobbery. Your post got me thinking if I actually ever inflicted any. I do think there are bad books out there, clumsily written with broken plots and flat characters. I don’t judge the goodness of the book by how classy it is. Harry Potter has extremely intricate vocabulary and sentence constructions, let alone the fact that the author managed to build a whole new world the way Tolkien once did. I wonder what classic-purist would say about Tolkien. Is he classics yet, or not so much? I don’t think I would judge a person if she enjoys a very bad (according to my opinion) book. I think it’s awesome when a person can be happy with something that others can not. I am, though, very strict with books themselves. I find it hard to find really good books, and there are indeed fewer chances to find good books among modern ones, but maybe it’s because there are just so many of them.

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