Book Snobbery: Part Uno

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Introduction

Let us talk reader to reader. I’m guilty of being an occasional book snob. I used to reign over my library; used to be, people would come over and ask me to select a book for them, genre specified or not. I reveled in it. Over time, however, I started to get annoyed. Friends and classmates would come and ask for recommendation. I didn’t want to give for multiple reasons: a) I knew most of them weren’t going to finish it. b) They encroached upon my reading time, my book-browsing time. And c) I didn’t know the library all that well; I didn’t bother to get to know that library well until my very last week at the school. Also d) how the fuck was I supposed to know what they liked.

http://alittleblogofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/book-meme.jpgI didn’t get why people would come over to me. Only much later  did I happen to realize that my snobbery about books had been the catalyst/culprit. My offhand comments at shows and movies derived from books, at books they had happened upon- even the one I hadn’t personally read- had created a platform for me that I no longer want to step upon. I don’t know if those people were ever annoyed by me, or they disdained me. I critiqued myself, and I still do. I hated that, and I don’t want to be THAT big of a snob.

Personally, I don’t mind readers coming up to me, and rattling off their opinions. I don’t. I’d much rather invite you in a cafe, make you pay and listen to you. Once I overcome my feeling of inadequacy at talking with a stranger. But other people don’t. Many readers don’t, and non-readers don’t, either.

So basically, this is my attempt at recreating myself by discussing about allllll the book snobbery I did that I don’t want to  anymore, and the ones I observe from the sidelines that bug me, turn me into She-Hulk, embarass me et cetra as I happen upon them in day-to-day life. (But not really. I’ll just bitch and annoy you about thing. Stuff. There really is no recreation project.) This is no dissection, I won’t ever say anything profound, and mostly, bitch.

You’re welcome to stay tuned.

Part Uno

I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever start a relationship listing off all your undesirable qualities. In theory, actually, I like to read about all that and in theory, it seems great. But I’m a chicken(read: strike one), and would much rather talk about the one thing that I find insensitive, obtuse and/or invalid and  have never been guilty of.

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I think most of us are familiar with this quote: it pops up everywhere, readers use sans restraint, and I hate it. I hate this quote, I hate this, I hate what it implies.

Let’s see who comprises non-readers: a section of dyslexic people, people with short attention spans, people who don’t have time, illiterate people and the people who. just. don’t want. to.

They don’t want to read a book.

Many book lovers don’t want to watch movies; many otakus don’t like cartoons and comics. Many people prefer pizza over tacos; others think classical music beats indie songs by a factor of 4567*103.

Do we give them shit? No.

And I completely get that this quote is aimed at readers. Tim Green is an author, and authors write for readers. It’s a relationship: A writes, B reads. C plays no part, as C neither reads nor writes. It’s unlikely that Mr Green meant to hurt anyone by that; he was writing for the people who love to read, for us, is what I believe. Yet still.

Some people don’t like to read. It’s simple as that.

In some cases, it might be true. I used to not like Jane Austen’s stories, until I discovered Persuasion. I loved it.

On the other hand, I can never finish a single Charles Dickens book; Oliver Twist I read an abridged version of as a kid. Is it because I haven’t found the right Dickens? Yeah, I don’t think so. See, I have *tried* to read A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations yada yada and I do NOT cherish his book.

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And then there’s this one.

First case: I find reading boring sometimes, in the case aforementioned: Dickens’s books. I find reading to be a boring experience when in my hand, I have long-winded books that describe and describe, books that tell, not show; books that are simply boring.

My sage advice is to forgo all these books that instigate ennui in you, right or wrong reading be damned. Life is too short to do things you don’t want to just because people think you should.(Unless of course, it’s required in school or whatever(psst…there’s always sparksnotes)). It’s unlikely that non-readers will ever read this post, since my blog is all books, books, books.

Second case: People find reading boring in its entirety. That is subjective. There are many a reader who used to hate books until they stumbled upon that one golden book. And there are folks who while away their lives hating the action of reading, the effort put into it. Not everyone discovers that one book, like it’s a goddamn key that will unlock your hidden ability to actually *gasp* enjoy reading books. According to some, they’re doing it wrong. Well, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as ‘wrong reading’ unless, of course, you don’t want to and you’re being forced to, but, I guess, that’s part of the story of most our lives.

I don’t know why people don’t like reading books, and for the most part, I don’t want to bother finding out.And I guess some of you, most of you feel contrary to me. On that note, whatever. Give me hits, you can have my love. 😀

Maybe I’m ignorant, and those quotes do indeed have something valuable to give, and I’m just not finding it. Maybe I’m reading them wrong.

(It’s a thing to wonder at: the number of trivial stuff I pick a fight with.)

(But guyssssss… sometimes it’s so much fun being a book snob. I don’t I’ll ever desist from it for realsies.)(And I don’t think anyone really cares.)

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