I recently watched a youtube video created by someone who is no stranger to saying some controversial things. The things that were said in the video got me thinking about “book snobbery.” I read an article on Epic Reads and found this quote to be fitting for this discussion post: “What makes a reader a snob is making the leap from judging a book to judging its readers- when we go from “this book is bad according to x standards” to “this book is bad and therefore people who read it and enjoy it are inferior to me.”” But, in my honest opinion, it doesn’t just mean books, it means genres too. Take this quote from the creator for example: “If you only read books written for children and you don’t know anything about Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Sulla or anything like that if you don’t know anything about anything except this tiny little puddle of genre fiction maybe you don’t start slinging around universal truths.” I will tell you how I interpreted this quote, I took it as bloggers and booktubers who only read certain genres and review those books are stupid and their opinions are not valid. Of course, this is not true, it’s just how the creator’s words came across. Another comment from the creator that I found to be a form of book snobbery is this: “Books can’t hurt you, if you think books can hurt you, you’ve never been hurt, and you should shut your mouth and count your blessings.”
Here’s the deal, yes books can be harmful to people, especially in terms of representation. If the representation of something in a book is is poor or not done well enough, then it is the reader’s decision to feel harmed by it. While books are works of fiction, they can still be representative of real life people, places, problems, and situations, therefore, books can be harmful and to say otherwise is very snobbish. I feel like book snobbery is a huge problem in the community and I’m not sure how it can be reduced or even stopped altogether.
What do you think about book snobbery?
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Great post Ashley. Okay. True confession time. I was guilty of book snobbery when the Fifty Shades of Gray book came out. I thought it was so abysmally written I couldn’t understand how so many people liked it. But while it still remains as my personal worst book ever written, I’ve chilled and stopped being so judgy. My motto is: The world would truly be a sad and boring place if we all liked the same books.”💁🏻
Really interesting discussion Ashley. I know being in a literature and writing program I face snobbery for reading YA and not solely “literary fiction.”
Thank you! It’s awful the amount of snobbery that goes on!
I think it’s very wrong to judge people based on the books they read, people just have different tastes in books and they should. Not everybody can like the same books, right?
I believe books can harm you, maybe not in the same way as other things, but just because it’s different doesn’t mean it can’t hurt. It’s like saying you can’t cry because of a book, because it’s not real..