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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book snob? Check out Jane Doe's post.

I found an interesting post the other day, that really got me thinking about people and their books. How judgemental are you when it comes to other people's reading material? Do you try and push 'better' books on them, because you don't want to see them toting around the new John Grisham? As an English Lit major, I was definitely a book snob in college.  However, once I hit grad school, I allowed myself the occasional chick lit book - they were only 25p at the local charity shop, how could I resist? Plus, I needed something light to read, because all of that Foucault and Butler was bogging me down.  As a result of expanding my reading preferences, I found that I wasn't as book snobbish as I had once been. I figured that since I didn't like getting grief over my reading choices (Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella), why should I return the favor. And seriously, it wasn't like I was reading Mills and Boon, right? Not that there is anything wrong with those types of books. However,  I don't read those or Grisham or Sparks or any of that rot - it just isn't my cup of tea. Hmmm. I suppose there is still an inkling of book snobbish in me. Well sod it!  I just don't like being judged for what I read and I try not to judge others by what they read - why is that difficult? What do you all think? Are you book snobs? Does it matter to you what your friends are reading, or if they don't read? 

Here's the post by Jane Doe from Dead White Guys - Enjoy! It'll give you a think about your own book snobbery or lack of.

17 comments:

Brenda said...

Nadia,
I found her blog by way of yours. I think I am a book snob b/c I judge what other people read although I never say anything directly to them. But, on the other hand, I don't just read the classics. I think if I just read Jane Doe's book suggestions by dead white men, I would be bored to death! ;-)

Frances said...

Great link! Thanks so much for directing everyone. Afraid I am a bit of a book snob, but honestly glad to see people reading anything. The librarian in me.

Steph said...

What an interesting post! I guess I am somewhat of a book snob,but I'm happy to talk books with pretty much anyone, and often find it a happy challenge to find books for people whose taste doesn't necessarily match my own. A girl in my lab recently asked for vacation reading recommendations and the only books that I knew she enjoyed were the Twilight series and Christian fiction... so, not my cup of tea at all. Rather than just recommending books I thought were rubbish, I took time to think of books I had read that I thought had merit that I thought she might also enjoy. It was actually really fun in the end!

Nadia said...

Brenda, I agree! I can't just read only classics - I would go bonkers!

Frances, it was an interesting post, eh? And I think being being bookish folk, we can't help but judge a book by its cover at times. Its probably ingrained in us :) But like you, I'm just happy when someone is reading something - always puts a smile on my face.

Steph, that sounds like it was fun to do. I do that sometimes for my best friend (she never reads, but sometimes the reading bug bites and she wants to know what is good out there and so I try to find stuff I think she'll enjoy - lucky for me is she pretty open to anything). And I know what you mean, its always fun chatting about books with people - especially about ones that I've never heard of (gives me some new authors to try out). Definitely a great post!

Lisa said...

I'm quietly a book snob, I think. I don't go out of my way to insult other people's choices but I definitely don't think much of certain authors.

Nadia said...

Lisa, I try to be open-minded, but like you there are some authors out there that I don't think much of at all. I say as long as you aren't insulting others, then there is no harm in being a book snob, right? :)

Lizzi said...

Like you I don't want to be judged by what I read, so I try not to judge others, and I would never actually say something to someone about their book choices. I enjoy deep, thought-provoking books, but I also enjoy a little chick-lit here and there as long as it's well written. I have to admit though, I don't understand grown women who only read YA books. So I suppose that makes me a closet book snob.

Nadia said...

Lizzi, I know what you mean! I don't understand how some grown women can be so obsessed with Twilight to the point where they are beyond help - like they are the ones with the Team Jacob shirts, throw blankets and movie marathons ( not their children, them!). It does not compute. I enjoyed Twilight - the books and films, but I am not obsessed. And to only read YA books all the time - I think I would go bananas! Oh well, to each their own, right :)

bookishbarney said...

I'm a bit of a book snob when people come into our shop, I must admit. Not in a really bad way - I would never say anything - but I can't help a teensy shudder when someone asks for Barbara Taylor Bradford, or raves about Kerry Katona's autobiography, or gushes about Danielle Steel or Jilly Cooper...

Then again, it's not like I only read Tolstoy and Joyce (eeek). Neither, so far, in fact. I loved the Twilight books, I cried through 'The Notebook' and 'A Walk to Remember', I like some smart chick lit... BUT, and here's the big but (so to speak), this is like fast food. I don't read them all the time! I have nice healthy classics and history and literary fiction and all sorts of other books between guilty pleasures. A balanced diet of books.

That said, reading anything's better than nothing, right? I think you might have opened a can of worms with this discussion! ;-)

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

Interesting post and comments. I wouldn't verbalise, but I know that I do think it - so just as bad. I do know that I also believe it more important for people to read than not to read so if that's the case - reading anything goes.

Bellezza said...

An interesting question indeed. I try not to judge other's reading habits or tastes; more often, what happens to me is that even if I consider myself well read (a bit prideful) I can also be intimidated when I see bloggers who post about books I've never even heard of.

Wallace said...

I'm not a book snob at all. I think all genres are valid and I thank goodness that I live in a place where I can read what I want when I want! I would never be able to commit to one genre. I love stories way too much for that. Perhaps someone who reads for different reasons than I do would be ok reading what people tell them is "important" but I like to find that out for myself.

Good post, Nadia!

Booksnyc said...

I have eclectic tastes in books and try to remember that when I find myself judging what others are reading.

Great post!

Carin B. said...

I don't really think I'm a book snob--or at least I try hard not to be. I definitely don't read a lot of YA or Romance, but since I've started blogging I have to say that I have become much less book snobby because I've met some fantastic bloggers that are intelligent, read a ton, and don't have the same taste in reading as I do.

I think some people just read to escape because their lives outside of a book are so demanding. I'm not going to judge them for reading stuff like Stephanie Meyer or Charlaine Harris because I know that to even be able to open a book after working 10-12 hour days 6 days a week is pretty difficult. I'd go to the mat for them to defend pretty much whatever they choose to read.

I did a post on my recurring Friday Coffee Chat about Book Snobbery in July (it was my first Friday Coffee Chat post) if you are interested in reading the post and/or comments. Click HERE to see it!

Great post! :)

Tamara said...

Hi. I read your post a week ago and didn't comment then because I didn't feel entitled to comment. But after a week of pondering this queston, I've come to the conclusion that I believe there are book snobs in the first degree, then there are book snobs who dont make an issue of it, and then there's people like me - for whom reading is only a minor past time activity. I reckon sometimes my own self esteem about reading means I feel like sometimes Im in the firing line of snobery.I would'nt say I was a victim type (far from it) but some might be. So I really appreciated your question for the personal insight it's given me this week. I appreciated the challenge.

Overdue said...

I maintain that books are like food. And there are gourmet delicacies and there is junk food. There's a time and place for both, but ultimately it's not good to be a literary lard-ass, is it?

Ash said...

This is one of the main reasons I started to blog. I'm an English major and a lot of the people I go to school with are so snobby about what people read. In an age when more books are written than read I think people should read whatever they want as long as they're reading!