The first time I got called a book snob, I was all of 19 and browsing the book store in the mall (back when they had those) with my then boyfriend, who was waaaay older than me. (26). He asked me why I only looked in non-fiction and I said I didn’t like to read fiction because there were so many true stories to read. First, that wasn’t an entirely true statement as I read fiction when I felt like it. Second, I kind of meant it. I had made a snarky comment about romance, which to this day, I do not read. I’ve been called a book snob many times since then. And though I used to get offended and upset, I recently decided that it’s okay to be a book snob.
I figure if I’m lucky, very, very lucky, I might get to read 5,000 books in my life. That is NOTHING in the sense that millions are published every year. So I think I have a right to be picky. It took me almost 40 years to figure out that if I’m not into a book, there’s no harm in saying, “This isn’t for me” and putting it down. I have not finished four or five books this year. I feel bad, but not that bad.
Am I really a book snob? Yes. And I think most people are. Since starting the book club, the variety of my reading choices have grown. I have read wonderful books that I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up. But I still like certain things. I”m a sucker for a great spy novel. There are ten or so mystery series I follows.I love books about the Middle East and World War II. You won’t find me reading Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. I know that some people think if you don’t read something “literary” you are wasting your time. I don’t feel that way.
I have tried to tell my kids to read what they like. That sometimes makes for some interesting choices. I read the Hunger Games because my son wanted to read it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t say much to him about it, but he decided he didn’t like it that much either. If he had liked it, that would have been fine. Everyone likes their own thing.
For a long time, I went through a phase where I read books that were 800-1000 pages. To this day, a lot of people I know are amazed that I read books that big. I haven’t in a long time, mostly because I set my reading goals on Goodreads and am trying to meet those. I think that I’m going to rethink my reading challenge for next year to accommodate some bigger books.
I will happily admit that you will never see me read Louie L’Amour or Danielle Steel. If that is your thing, read happily. It’s just not mine. My motto is read and let read. You can have Jane Austen and I will take James Patterson.