Am I A Book Snob?
All avid readers have heard this term before: book snob. It's often used to describe picky readers, as well as opinionated bibliophiles who judge others based on what they read. Here's some of the criteria that I think describes a true book snob:
1. You're one of the few people who hate what most people rate very highly (such as Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc.).
2. You criticize popular books and insist upon novels that most people have never even heard of.
3. Your reviews are long-winded lectures that make you sound like a literature know-it-all.
4. You condemn people who love a bestselling novel, saying that they know nothing of good literature.
5. Your critiques sound pompous and condescending
Looking at this list, I guess maybe I a little bit of a book snob. Just a little bit. But I'm not a condescending sort of book snob. I admit I do judge a little when I see what people have read and how they rated it, but I am hardly a know-it-all when it comes to deciding what makes a good read.
|Really liked this.|
|It's a love/hate relationship...|
and Stephen King. It's only when a bibliophile friend strongly recommends a popular read that I actually decide to pick it up and try it. I don't trust bestsellers, since they frequently list books that I would normally rate as average.
Now, before I become judged as a snobby book snob, I should assure you that my reading tastes tend to run with popular opinion, rather than the other way around. If the book was highly rated by most people, chances are I will rate it in a similar way. I don't always go with the crowd, however. Bibliophile buddies of mine absolutely loved The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry and The Book Thief, but I was only inclined to rate them within the 3-star range. People who loved The Hunger Games also The Maze Runner and Divergent, but I couldn't bring myself to rate them higher than 2.5 stars. As for The Twilight Saga...alas, Twilight fans, I must confess that I no longer love them like I used to. Don't get me wrong, I was once one of those die-hard fans who went to various midnight releases of both the movies and the books, along with my best friend and her coworkers. However, within the last couple of years I've discovered that re-reading the books is not as much fun as it used be, and I find myself siding more with the critics of this series rather than with the fans. If it's any consolation, I still like The Host.
seemed to love
|Sorry, Twilight fans, but I'm not a huge fan of them anymore.|
|Yes! Read it 3 times|
|Always my most favorite!|
a wide range; it's just the content of the story that makes me more critical. I'll go for a good love story, so long as the love is realistic and not too explicit (I'm not a love-at-first-sight kind of girl, and I don't do sex scenes). I'm all for a creative storyline, so long as the writing and plot development is good too. And I love good character development, particularly if I develop a strong emotion for one or more of the protagonists.
There's one more thing that I find affects my rating of any story: feminism, and equality in general. If you look through my Book Favorites section, you'll notice that all of those books have at least one strong, independent, female role somewhere in the story, or it promotes diversity and equality in some way, shape, or form. I've always been attracted to stories along feminist lines, but this preference has really developed since my college days, back when I learned about racism, white supremacy, and feminism. I'm a sucker for stories where the woman protagonist is fully independent and can kick some serious butt, or where people rise above the oppression that surrounds them. It's not something I would consider to be absolutely necessary in a good read, but it is a personal preference, and it's one of the reasons why I no longer like Twilight, and why I really hated 50 Shades Of Grey.
|Sorry, not for me.|
So, all in all, I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to selecting my next read, but I'm not a snob in a way that would be harmful or degrading to others. Book snobbery isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just something that has a certain limit to how far you can go with it. Respecting the tastes of others will preserve their ability to do the same with you. So be mindful, folks. Our opinions on good books are simply opinions, and not a statement of fact.
Happy reading everyone!
-Lisa the Dancing Bookworm