“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” –
Annie Dillard in The Living
A beautiful quote fitting for most book lovers. There´s just something magical about reading. Whether it´s a romance, horror, Young Adult or a fantasy novel… There´s always magic waiting to reach our hearts and minds.
The other day I had a lovely chat with a fellow book blogger about books. We covered everything book related. At some point, I asked about her current read. She refused to tell me.
“I´d rather not say.”
What?! I mean, come on. We´re not sharing intimate secrets with each other. I don´t want to know how many people you´ve buried in your backyard. It´s just a book. When I asked why she answered with this:
“Because you´ll just make fun of me.”
If the book blogger knew me better she´d have known I don´t judge people´s reading tastes. Never have and never will. I would never want to make any reader feel guilty for the books they read or the genres they enjoy.
It was clear someone must have done this or else the book blogger would´ve been more forthcoming with the book title.
The book blogger, a grown woman, was shamed after mentioning her favorite books-The Twilight Saga – in an online book group. Book lovers book shamed a book lover?
I´ll admit, I don´t have the hots for the Twilight books. I read them. I saw the appeal. I never belonged to the fan brigade, though. I even watched the movies ( which weren´t my cup of tea, either ). But does that give me the right to shit on someone´s favorite books? Absolutely not. Anyone who comes to my house and takes a good look at my bookshelf will see the Twilight Saga– all four books. So?
I read 50 Shades of Grey because I was told the sex in the books was out of this world ( I´m a HUGE fan of book sex ). I ended up actually liking the story. Shit on my reading tastes, for all I care- It doesn´t change the fact that the story wasn´t the worst that´s ever been published.
90% of the books I read are considered worthless by all sorts of self-proclaimed book experts because they´re not ” proper literature “.
When someone mentions a book or a genre I´m not a fan of then I won´t shame them. Instead, I´ll just think “Oh, so she/he likes vampire romances/smut/whatever. That´s interesting“. Because that´s just what it is- Interesting. Different people, different tastes.
It´s the fact that you´re reading that´s important. Not the book or genre.
From what I´ve gathered, many book people like to hold the “You´re not a true bookworm if you haven´t read…” card in people´s faces. I´m sorry, but YOU DO NOT have to read Jane Austen´s books or Kafka´s works in order to call yourself a proper bookworm. You´re still one if you stick with modern novels only. YOU READ an old ham when and if you feel like it.
This really ticks me off because the emotional damage these people cause is unbelievable.
There are popular and less popular books and book genres. Romance is the least popular book genre ( yet it´s the most profitable ). Knowing that will not keep me from reading romances. I do not read certain books for the sake of wanting to belong.
“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part, I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”
If your passion is YA fiction then I´m more than happy to share the excitement with you, even if I´m not as passionate about the genre as you are. The same applies to every other genre or book.
Book shaming is such a shameful act. How highly these book people must think of themselves when they attack someone´s reading tastes. And how little they know about the effects their words have on others.
To people who book shame…
My hope for the future is that the book community finds a way to respect one another and their reading choices. This book-universe can be such a beautiful place if we all allow it to be.
After a while, the book blogger FINALLY revealed the book title she didn´t want to share.
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. A YA, fantasy retelling.
Dear book people,
Book shaming is toxic. It doesn´t need to happen. Instead of judging someone´s reading taste we should be celebrating the fact that we share the same passion- Reading books.
What about you? Have you been book shamed before? Do you know someone who´s been book shamed? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤
Thank for reading my blog post. I truly appreciate it.
Much book love,