I hate snobbism. I think it is the destroyer of the culture.
Every once in a while, I encounter a person who says:
“You could never understand the greatness of classics because you only read fantasy and science fiction”
“You’re just too young (and dumb) to understand War and Peace”
“I don’t understand adults who read YA. You’re a grown-up, read something more suitable for your own age.”
“I don’t see what is the point in reading fiction, after all, you can only learn by reading nonfiction.”
“I only read Nobel laureates.”
“E-reading isn’t REAL reading.”
“Your view of Raskolnikov is really childish.”
“Oh, you only read those kinds of books.”
“I NEVER dog ear pages, crease a spine, or eat food while reading.”
I think reading is always good. I am a person who reads all possible genres and I don’t care about what people do or do not read. It drives me mad when people do this. You can always defend yourself against some of the comments. For example, you can say that you value classics, especially French ones greatly but that you still prefer reading fantasy and scifi. But what to reply, when someone says your too young to understand some book? Perhaps you answer that they are definitely right and that you’ll immediately go back to reading Roald Dahl.
It’s okay if you only like The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Rover Saves Christmas. It’s okay if you only like classics or if you only read books related to your profession or education. It’s okay if you only read fantasy or books for young adults. Some people say that only books that have received a Nobel are good and worth reading. It’s okay as well but it does surprise me as that genre is,eventually, very narrow. There are stunning and beautiful books that Nobel laureates have written. Books that I remember years after reading them and that I’m always ready to praise. There are some authors though who were awarded for reasons I don’t see because obviously I have too few brain cells. It is not okay to make someone feel bad about what they read. Ray Bradbury said “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” If you are book snob, you are as bad as person who would burn books. You make people ashamed about what they read. What do people even mean by “those kind of books”? Hearing that comment almost always makes me say “well they’re not so bad really…” as if they were worst thing I could ever read and how dare I even say I read those kinds of books.
Those kinds of books… yes I’ve often said that J.K Rowling doesn’t have best writing style. It is even clumsy sometimes. And what’s with the plot? You’d think any child could write about wizards in school? But no. Potters are great because of the unique imagination in the series. Stephen King said that books are portable magic. Rowling used her imagination and it reached millions, not only some narrow audiences. I’ve enjoyed many books but only one made me wish I was in Hogwarts. That’s why I will always ready fantasy and YA. I need that magic in my life.
I know people who would never mark the book pages, never crease the spine, never eat food or drink while reading. I was that person. I would never borrow my books to anyone because they had lovely covers and surely my friends wouldn’t be as careful with them. Books are meant to be read, they are not meant to lie in the shelves collecting dust. Besides one can always buy new books. Finally, I admit that sometimes I might come off as terrible book snob. Sometimes I might say something like “can you believe the people who think Twilight Saga is good?” :D But by that I really mean that I can’t believe they haven’t read other vampire stories or other fantasy/young adult books. I want to lock them up in a room with other good books and help them to discover more books like Twilight. (Okay and also maybe to make them like some other books that are my personal favorites…I swear my intentions were almost good!) And I try to say it in company where I know people know what I am referring to. I don’t talk about The Prince by Machiavelli with people who read Hunger Games. In stead I ask if they have read Divergent series too? So if you are a book snob, please cut it out. I know all of us might have a little book snob inside of us, so if you notice someone has it, please tell.
Have you had experiences with book snobs? Are you a book snob? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.