There are many, many different types of readers and bloggers, but the two main groups that stick out to me are the snobbish and unsnobbish. And as much as we’d like to think we’re all unsnobs, that just isn’t the case.
First of all, let’s take a glance into the theaters of the world. Tons and tons of books are made into movies, and there are always the die hard fans with costumes waiting at the midnight premier who read the books five times over, own all the merchandise, and have sent countless emails to the author and director. Then, there’s the band-wagoners. The ones who come to the premier with wide eyes and complete ignorance of the plot line, because they haven’t read the book.
And here comes my snobby moments. Brace yourselves. Can you be a fan of the movie and not the book? Yes. I watched The Help before I read the book, and I loved both. I’ve seen numerous movies without reading the books, heck, most of the movies we watch started as books, yet I haven’t cracked open a single one. Does that make me a bad person? No. Does that mean I can’t be a fan? No. I understand all this, I live this, and I am happy with this. Yet, when I DO read the book, I find myself… judging others who haven’t.
I found it hard to watch girls fangirling over The Fault in Our Stars movie trailers, when they haven’t read the book. Why are you so excited about it? Yeah, I get the feeling of “oh, I really want to see this movie,” but the whole midnight premier plus T-shirt plus comments on social media on how excited you are is a little overkill.
Especially if you don’t even know what you’re excited for. It’s okay if you haven’t read the book first or anything, but I find it harder to quiet my little snobby voice in my head when people fall head-over-heels for an upcoming movie just because it’s the next cool thing.
I try not to judge or think like this, but let’s be honest. The snob has taken over this aspect of my bookish opinions.
But in a totally different topic, I fume along with the rest of the book blogging community about the snobs. Literature. What is literature? Some may say it’s only high level classics or books delving into the depths of our souls with philosophical questions that have us questioning our daily lives. Some may point to nonfiction books with elevated language and facts tumbling out of every page. I would say it’s all books. Every book in every section of the bookstore is literature. And this is one area I’m strongly unsnobbish about.
For example, many adults read young adult fiction. I’m a young adult, so I guess I’m in the “appropriate” targeted audience for these books. And I think I’ll still be reading them in adulthood, and adults should not be chastised for reading them.
Countless young adult books deal with serious issues and mind boggling morality questions. The endings aren’t all wrapped up into a tight little bow, because that isn’t real. Teens know it isn’t real; this literature isn’t sugarcoating anything. Honestly, the only difference between adult and young adult is the ages. And maybe the excitement factor because let’s face it: adults are boring.
I say read whatever you want. Read an environmental science textbook if that floats your boat. As long as you’re reading. It doesn’t matter whether the protagonist is 16 or 56, or if they’re fighting crime or paying bills. Anything is literature.
I’ve had friends, foes, and everyone in between ask me about these prestigious classic books when they find out that I read. Sorry, but I don’t spend my free time reading Charles Dickens between sips of tea and formal dinner parties. And I don’t think I need to! Reading is a form of entertainment that shouldn’t be restricted to only complicated and high level books. Sometimes, I want to sit down and read a book that has absolutely no substance and means absolutely nothing to me. And they don’t just have these types of books in young adult (ehm, I’m looking at you, trashy romance novels). But other times, I may want a book that changes my perspective or sheds a different light on a serious issue, yet it still may not be a classic. I can list many young adult books that have done that for me (I am the Messenger, Book Thief, Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Paper Towns, Everyday, The Program, Speak… need I continue?).
So yes, I do have a snob in me. I tend to upturn my nose at the band-wagoners who are fans by only movie trailers. Yet say they, “love to read” (but that’s a whole other issue). I found myself rolling my eyes and scoffing at the girls who raved about The Fault in Our Stars before it even came out, and didn’t read the book. I admit it! Hi, everyone, I’m Erin, and I’m a book snob.
But, I also find myself scoffing and rolling my eyes at literature snobs. The ones who laugh and say it’s not real reading if it isn’t a classic. Those who look down on adults who enjoy young adult literature make me practically want to scream.Or those who lump all young adult books into the category of “not real literature,” which, by the way, is not even a thing.
Either way, we all have our bookish pet peeves. One of mine is just
a tad bit snobby, but it’s hard to silence those thoughts sometimes. Yet I also hate snobs. But who are we kidding, readers are either a) thought of as snobby because people consider reading to be a pretentious activity or b) actually are snobs. As long as we support and encourage reading, we can mend the jagged line between snobs and unsnobs.