Are You A Book Snob?

I have become addicted to reading book blogs. If BookTube wasn’t enough to distract me away from non-bookish things, there is now the more traditional method of blog distraction – there are so many great book blogs out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shocked, I’m just surprised I haven’t discovered them sooner.

This week I spotted a great post by A Great little blog about books and other stuff.  She responds to the statements made about book snobs in Book Riot’s post. Whilst reading, I couldn’t help but ask whether I was a book snob? I’ve recently called myself one a few times… but am I labelling myself too quickly?

To help me come to a proper, not-so-scientific conclusion; I’ve put down my responses below.  Lets see what happens!

E-reading isn’t REAL reading. = I need my personal preferences about my hobby to be validated as the only right and moral way to do to a thing.

As I work with ebooks all day, it would be pretty wrong for me to agree with this. Yes, I absolutely love physical books (especially pretty hardbacks), but there’s so much more ebooks can offer. Digital products are redefining the way we read; in fact, every day I get to change the way people read books – if that makes someone pick up an ebook and read it where they wouldn’t have done so with the physical, then surely that’s a good thing, right?!

OK, rant over. Sorry!

Making crafts out of old books is a DESECRATION! = I’ve never seen a library dumpster.

I’m in two minds about this, crafts out of old books are beautiful works of art, but it’s only OK in my opinion if you’re using books that are unreadable, or old manuscripts etc. If you’re making it out of an old book that’s in good shape, then what are you doing?! Someone could have read it!

I only read prize-winners/confirmed classics *sniff*. = I don’t know how to think for myself.

Definitely not me, I read anything and everything. In fact, I’d say I don’t read enough prize-winners – something I am attempting to change.

Book bloggers are killing literary criticism! = I’m an aging white man in publishing and I don’t know how to think for myself.

Being a blogger myself, I disagree – and I disagree with the hidden meaning too. Working in publishing I deal with a lot of ‘aging white men’ and I’ve never come across one that wasn’t wholly for book blogs. Why would they be – can you think of a better way to get some free press about your book?

Oh, I’ve never heard of that book. Was it reviewed in the NYT/on NPR? = I don’t know how to think for myself.

I’ve never read any literary reviews for books. This is not to say I avoid them, I would just rather read the book myself and make up my own mind about whether I liked it or not.

I would never read the tripe that is Twilight/50 Shades/Oprah’s Book Club selection, and I am going to tweet that statement 50 million times. = I am still as worried about being cool as I was when I was in high school.

I am pretty against reading 50 Shades (really? You can’t find anything else to read that doesn’t have spelling mistakes everywhere?!); but I do read the ‘tripe’ that is Twilight and other – I guess – commercial books. Whatever I can pick up that doesn’t bore me to death, I will read.

The book is always better than the movie, no exceptions. = I’ve never seen The Godfather or The Princess Bride and also I am no fun at parties.

I agree 80% of the time, but it won’t stop me watching the movie. Funnily enough Godfather and The Princess Bride are two of my favourite films!

Rap music is not poetry, but Joni Mitchell/Bob Dylan/Belle and Sebastian is. = I am racist.

Anyone who thinks this hasn’t actually listened to rap music. If you want recommendations, come see me.

I refuse to use an e-reader because I just love that old book smell. People who do not love that old book smell are not real readers. = My favourite perfume’s base note is mold.

I do love that old book smell, but I don’t discriminate against ebooks because of their lack of smell.  If you like it so much, buy a musky scent and spray it on your Ereader’s case.

People who shop at Amazon for books are evil. = I have disposable income and like to make moral judgements about people who do not.

I try to avoid Amazon as much as possible, not only because they are killing the publishing industry, but also because the experience of walking into a bookshop and talking to shop assistants/getting recommendations is something you don’t get by browsing the net.

Saying this, I do have a kindle and have bought books on it. There are also some books that I have only been able to find at Amazon.

I would NEVER dog ear pages, crease a spine, or eat food while reading. = I have unreasonable expectations about how much the people to whom I bequeath my books when I die will actually want them.

I am a little guilty of this – I hate breaking the spine of books and attempt to look after mine as much as possible. I spent my hard-earned money on it and want to cherish them for the rest of my life at least.

I guess it’s good that they’re reading at all. = I will internally judge you until your reading tastes morph to match my own, which are far superior to yours because I read more books written by white men who live in Brooklyn.

I am only guilty of judging people for not reading…. Or maybe also for reading 50 Shades. Otherwise in my opinion, it’s your life, thus your choice of books.

I don’t have a TV because that would cut into my reading time. Did I mention I don’t have a TV? Hey. You there. I don’t have a TV. I don’t get that TV reference. I am not all that interesting. Also, I watch three hours of Netflix a night on my laptop.

Disagree, there’s lots of interesting stuff on TV; there are also lots of interesting books. I try and keep it 50/50 but always have shows that I need to watch (e.g. I still haven’t watched Breaking Bad, The Office, or Game of Thrones) and there are definitely books I still need to read (I won’t even go there with examples… how long is a piece of string!).

I don’t care if the main character is likable. It’s the PROSE that’s the thing. = My ability to tolerate insufferable jerks makes me better than you because you’re obviously only reading for escapism, which is an inferior motivation for reading.

I actually agree with this one, a likeable character is great – but if the prose isn’t good, the book will be insufferable regardless of how much the protagonist annoys me.

I’m not a romance/crime/Western reader. I mean, I’ll read LITERARY genre. SOMETIMES. = My kitchen is full of quinoa and kale and soy ice cream. Someone please validate what a grown-up I am.

Semi-guilty on this one, I generally avoid romance, have never tried western, but do read some crime. Basically, there are plenty of other genres that I prefer to read but I won’t hesitate trying out a book based on a trusted friend’s recommendation.

I don’t understand adults who read YA. You’re a grown-up person, you should read grown-up books. = I don’t like dancing in the rain or ice cream cones or trampolines or whimsy and my neck tie is too tight.

Completely disagree. I read YA, children’s, even ruddy picture books if I want to. Why are readers constantly judged on what age range of book their reading – each age-group has great books in it that have their own strengths.  To all the cynics: have you ever read Brian Jacques? Tamora Pierce? Trudi Cadvan? Michael Morpurgo? Kelley Armstrong?

The most important thing in a book is that it’s a great story and you enjoy reading it, who cares if it’s YA or children’s or whatever else. That was my last rant. Promise.

So, as it turns out, I’m not that much of a book snob. Yay – I can stop labelling myself as such and stick to the good old term of a book-worm/addict/hoarder.

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