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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Though it can always be argued that reading is never a bad thing, I think there's a stigma attached to certain genres, as well as certain specific books.

I was just curious: have you ever been judged based on what you're reading? Even a condescending look qualifies...

To get the ball rolling, I can testify to the fact that I've gotten raised brows, eye rolls, and outright laughter for picking up my ancient copy of Flowers in the Attic, thumbing through my mother's Johanna Lindsay collection, and taking a stack of YA books to work (because, apparently, I'm too old to read a book with a bicycle on the cover).

Anyone else?


message 2: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments My boss came by my desk one day and I had a regency romance with the typical shirtless rogue and a woman whose dress barely stayed up....and he saw it and flipped it over making some vague comment about some higher up seeing it. And this from a young man!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Arabella wrote: "My boss came by my desk one day and I had a regency romance with the typical shirtless rogue and a woman whose dress barely stayed up....and he saw it and flipped it over making some vague comment ..."

That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about! LOL

I have to ask...what was your response?


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hannah wrote: "I just encountered and read your posting because the title of your posting was very funny. I agree to your idea and also you might be mistaken if you give some information(about what you read) whi..."

There's always someone who will find something inappropriate about what someone else is reading/watching/doing. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes not.

I do like the way you put that, though-- "because it was something I cannot say with my mouth..." LOL


message 5: by Dave (new)

Dave Rudden | 27 comments I also took notice of your post because of the interesting title.

Can't say I have ever been embarrassed by what I read, but I do find myself embarrassed by what I write at times. I'm an engineering. It is my job to think logically and most of the people I associate with are similar thinkers. We engineers are not known for our creative side.

In my books, I have created a world of magic and monsters. Sometimes I get a few funny looks why I talk about my stories. I write because I enjoy it and don't care if anyone else gets it.

My advise, read-on and enjoy and let those who will judge be damned.


message 6: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments My response to my boss flipping my book over was surprise and I couldn't think of anything to say because I was just blown away by the fact he felt a regency romance might upset some one. I mean this guy was /is probably twenty years younger than me! I couldn't believe he found it risqué...


message 7: by Humberto (new)

Humberto Contreras | 66 comments Reading ANY book, not related to work, at work is what is wrong. Not the type of books you read.

Anyway, next time get the cover of a bible and mask your book inside. Though maybe your boss is an atheist.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Humberto wrote: "Reading ANY book, not related to work, at work is what is wrong. Not the type of books you read.

Anyway, next time get the cover of a bible and mask your book inside. Though maybe your boss is an..."


I read during breaks and lunch. Not a bad idea, though I'm not sure I'd use the bible. Maybe replace my dust jacket with War and Peace...


message 9: by Jordan (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments I get hassled more about what I write than what I read. "Fantasy? That's for children. Why don't you write a real book?"

My advice? Read and write what you like and don't let the miserable "I only read literary fiction and non-fiction" sorts and their implied judgment of your intelligence get to you. Look at it this way: They're the ones missing out. They've narrowed their bandwidth for enjoying what the world has to offer, and that's a sad thing. They can only enjoy what comes through on their 12 inch black and white TV with rabbit ears, while you get to enjoy the world in 78" 3D HD with surround sound. :-)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

D.L. wrote: "50 Shades, enough said. :-)"

You know, what's funny about that is that I've read books with far racier content! I guess a books popularity makes it an easy mark. Whether you loved it or hated it 50 shades is indisputably infamous.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Jordan wrote: "I get hassled more about what I write than what I read. "Fantasy? That's for children. Why don't you write a real book?"

My advice? Read and write what you like and don't let the miserable "I ..."


Very nicely put, Jordan!


message 12: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 09:22AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Certainly read what you like and write what you like; but then at the same time, don't whine or sob, when people naturally jeer at you and mock you. It comes with the territory you chose.

Jordan wrote: "They can only enjoy what comes through on their 12 inch black and white TV with rabbit ears, while you get to enjoy the world in 78" 3D HD with surround sound. :-) ..."

Strange rationalization. Its more likely that the sneers are coming from people who enjoy direct experiences and tangible relationships out there in the real world, rather than via these cheap, superficial, enervating substitutes. Being a parasite to any kind of TV tube or bandwidth connection is nothing to boast about. Hilarious statement, actually. 'I am a better vegetable than you!'


message 13: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 09:26AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Elle wrote: "Whether you loved it or hated it 50 shades is indisputably infamous. ..."

Really though? Infamous to whom? Its no more famous than any other passing clump of popculture, isn't it? I mean, you hear about it if you're a big watcher of Tv, I'm sure its discussed on every daytime talk show...but where else? That's not 'fame', as far as I can see. Its just the usual 15 seconds of buzz; and when you look at who's doing the buzzing..well :\


message 14: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 09:28AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I agree though that no one should hassle a writer for whatever they manage to write. Those detractors are speaking from ignorance, they have no idea how hard the task is..any book, completed, is a praiseworthy accomplishment.


message 15: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Arabella wrote: "I was just blown away by the fact he felt a regency romance might upset some one. I mean th..."

That's a dismaying anecdote. Sorry to hear. Dissing a regency romance is simply ignorant, but most men are in the dark, as far as concerns this particular genre. Its up to you to explain why they're not scorn-worthy to him, just as someone once explained to me.


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments I guess people expect that everyone reads dry crime, political or horror books when thats not the case at all. We can read whatever we like, if we want to a read a book with a Dragon on the cover we shouldn't be judged. Romance will always turn heads but hey people enjoy them just as much as any other books!


message 17: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments Feliks wrote: "Really though? Infamous to whom? Its no more famous than any other passing clump of popculture, isn't it? I ..."

I think it might be the infinite mouth to ear infamous... I had never heard of this series until a neighbor recommended it to me. Then I read the reviews and they were so atrociously bad that I had to see for myself if all that was said about it could be true. And although it was, the whole thing was still oddly enjoyable. So I'd say that is what she meant by infamous.


message 18: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 09:40AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) How can you waltz through modern society though, without being judged? Of course you're going to be judged, that's what humans do. They're not going to stop, so its up to the target to toughen up.


message 19: by Jordan (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments Feliks wrote: "Strange rationalization. Its more likely that the sneers are coming from people who enjoy direct experiences and tangible relationships out there in the real world, rather than via these cheap, superficial, enervating substitutes. Being a parasite to any kind of TV tube or bandwidth connection is nothing to boast about. Hilarious statement, actually. 'I am a better vegetable than you!' "

It wasn't a rationalization. It was an analogy. Restricting what you allow yourself to enjoy = seeing less. I thought the analogy was pretty obvious, but I guess not.

I don't actually watch TV, so the rest of your attack is unwarranted. I don't see how you derived from my post that I was saying you should watch TV and not live life. That's just bizarre.


message 20: by Jordan (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments Arabella wrote: "My boss came by my desk one day and I had a regency romance with the typical shirtless rogue and a woman whose dress barely stayed up....and he saw it and flipped it over making some vague comment ..."

It's sad how much of political correctness and modesty policing comes from people who themselves are not offended by something but who anticipate someone ELSE taking offense at it.

Let the pearl clutchers and salt sniffers of the world fight their own battles. I think we'll find that fewer people are actually offended and all the fretting over it is unwarranted.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Feliks wrote: "Elle wrote: "Whether you loved it or hated it 50 shades is indisputably infamous. ..."

Really though? Infamous to whom? Its no more famous than any other passing clump of popculture, isn't it? I ..."


I was not trying to debate the value of 50 Shades. I simply meant that the book has become so well-known and in such a negative way, that to see someone holding it or hear someone discussing it, can open a can of worms, inviting judgment upon the reader.


message 22: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Jordan wrote: "My advice? Read and write what you like and don't let the miserable "I only read literary fiction and non-fiction" sorts and their implied judgment of your intelligence get to you. ..."

Jordan,

There is nothing miserable about reading Literary Fiction. Likewise, there is nothing miserable about reading any other book. I'm not sure why you pick on lit fic. As it stands today, serious works are being disregarded and overrun by genre works (but that's another discussion that does not belong here). There is nothing miserable about books with a more profound view of our world.

And no, before someone says it - I did not take offense to what you said. I'm simply surprised you pick on lit fic.


message 23: by Jordan (last edited Nov 20, 2013 10:36AM) (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments Henry wrote: "There is nothing miserable about reading Literary Fiction. Likewise, there is nothing miserable about reading any other book. ...."

*Facepalm* Did you miss the words "I *ONLY* READ" in the post?

Here's what I actually said: "Read and write what you like and don't let the miserable "I only read literary fiction and non-fiction" sorts and their implied judgment of your intelligence get to you."

This refers specifically to literary snobs who think anyone who reads anything else is an idiot. It doesn't in any way imply that anyone who reads literary fiction is in this category.

Those who refuse to read anything else, NOT THOSE WHO READ LITERARY AND NON-FICTION. Good grief, people, do you work at half-reading posts or is there some imperative to try to find an attack where none is offered?

I myself read EVERYTHING. Literary, genre fiction, non-fiction.


message 24: by Sam (new)

Sam Kates To me, there's no such thing as an embarrassing book. I know so many people who don't read at all that it's refreshing to see someone with their nose buried in a book, no matter what it is.


message 25: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Jordan,

well, I actually read only serious fiction (for myself) and children's books (to kids), so I guess that makes me a 'snob' by your definition.
I posted not as an attack, but as a means for clarification. Your response, however, set the tone straight. (tongue-in-cheek)


message 26: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 10:55AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Jordan wrote: "Restricting what you allow yourself to enjoy = seeing less. I thought the analogy was pretty obvious, but I guess not...."

Perhaps a technology-based analogy is just not apt here, since we're talking about media products which books have lately become. Seeing less 'products' doesn't mean seeing less 'of the world'.

Jordan wrote: "I don't actually watch TV, so the rest of your attack is unwarranted. ..."

Not much chance of me guessing your specific lifestyle, beforehand. But the natural assumption from your remark is that the speaker is in favor of internet/TV, else why choose the example in the first place?

Jordan wrote: "I don't see how you derived from my post that I was saying you should watch TV and not live life. That's just bizarre. ..."

Its the latent implication found in these phrases:

Jordan wrote: "They've narrowed their bandwidth for enjoying what the world has to offer, and that's a sad thing. ..."

"..while you get to enjoy the world in 78" 3D HD with surround sound. ..."



message 27: by Fletcher (new)

Fletcher Best (fletcherbest) | 54 comments I've never been embarrassed by anything I've read or been seen reading. I do have some embarrassment over certain people reading things that I've written though. Since my writing contains some sexual content, it was a little weird having my parents and sister read my first novel. In addition, because my "day job" is as a chiropractor, I have some concerns about what some of my patients would think about my writing if they were to come across it. It's not that I write particularly graphic content, but there is sex and profanity. For me to use the language and discuss the themes in my books in my office would be considered unprofessional, so I've kept my writing pretty quiet when it comes to my patients.


message 28: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments I'm laughing as I'm reading this thread, and thinking, 'I guess I'm not the only one who was a little cranky today'. I'm seeing a lot of antagonism for such a benign topic. Life is short, people.


message 29: by Jordan (last edited Nov 20, 2013 12:01PM) (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments Henry wrote: "Jordan,

well, I actually read only serious fiction (for myself) and children's books (to kids), so I guess that makes me a 'snob' by your definition.
I posted not as an attack, but as a means fo..."


But ARE you actually a snob? You don't seem to be, which is why I ask. See, my comment was specifically setting aside those who are so snobby that they judge other people harshly for what they choose to read.


message 30: by Jordan (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments R.A. wrote: "I'm laughing as I'm reading this thread, and thinking, 'I guess I'm not the only one who was a little cranky today'. I'm seeing a lot of antagonism for such a benign topic. Life is short, people."

Yeah, really. I don't understand it myself. My comment was absolutely benign, just telling people not to let those who judge them make them feel bad and remember that you have more opportunities to enjoy things than they do. And people got all butthurt.


message 31: by Jordan (new)

Jordan MacLean (damerien) | 67 comments Feliks wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Restricting what you allow yourself to enjoy = seeing less. I thought the analogy was pretty obvious, but I guess not...."

Perhaps a technology-based analogy is just not apt here, s..."


Yeah. Metaphor.


message 32: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Jordan wrote: "But ARE you actually a snob? ..."

Not that I know. My in-laws may disagree :)


message 33: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments I'm laughing along with R.A., because I have the feeling we'd all get along pretty well if we were sitting around a table with a bunch of coffee or tea, rolling our eyes at each other and poking fun good-naturedly. It's a rare thing that our intentions actually match what appears in print.

As far as the topic goes, I've found myself embarrassed by book titles and covers more than content. My mother-in-law reads a lot of the Big Name romance authors, and she'd loaned me a book to read while we were on vacation together...the book was OK (I can't even remember what it was now) but I felt like I had to apologize for it every time someone asked me what I was reading. "Oh, it's just something Mom brought with her, and I didn't have anything to read..."

I have NO idea why I feel like I have to apologize for my book choices. For goodness' sake, I'm 48 years old. Who even cares? And yet...


message 34: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Come to think of it...when .i was reading Salman Rushdie's book, the one a fatwa was assigned to him...Satanic verses...I covered it with wrapping paper because I did a lot of my reading on the city bus...so I just wanted to avoid any confrontations...
No one asked about the wrapping paper!


message 35: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 03:30PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) R.A. wrote: "I'm laughing as I'm reading this thread, and thinking, 'I guess I'm not the only one who was a little cranky today'. I'm seeing a lot of antagonism for such a benign topic. Life is short, people."

I'm generally cranky during the workday, yep. But with good reason cough cough popcult sheeple cough). Plus, simply living in New York City magnifies everything crass and tasteless 1000-fold. It demands pushback.


message 36: by Feliks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 03:36PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Jordan wrote: "See, my comment was specifically setting aside those who are so snobby that they judge other people harshly for what they choose to read. ..."

I pass judgment all the time and make no excuses for it. I don't feel judgments are automatically linked to snobbery, the catcall of 'snob!' is often just a convenient means of lobbing-a-stone back on the judgment-passer.

'Reverse snobbery' is also a phenomenon to beware of. Militant philistinism is no better than arch, smug elitism.


message 37: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Lynda wrote: "I have NO idea why I feel like I have to apologize for my book choices...."

I don't think anyone expects an apology. If you think one is necessary, it kind of implies you let some 'mass sneer' get under-your-skin and made you uncomfortable. That's why I urge people to toughen up.


message 38: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Jordan wrote: "Yeah, really. I don't understand it myself. My comment was absolutely benign, just telling people not to let those who judge them make them feel bad and remember that you have more opportunities to enjoy things than they do. ..."

Benign or malignant wasn't the issue. I pointed out why it was simply a poor analogy. Its even worse, as simple advice. The answer to being wounded by jeers and barbs, is to adopt some reverse-condescension based on some unfounded belief that we are really better and freer? How does that help?

Jordan wrote: "And people got all butthurt. ..."

Not me. The internet has never hurt my butt. I typically hurt other people's butts though, judging by hysterics I've seen this past year since I joined Goodreads.


message 39: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments Feliks wrote: "I don't think anyone expects an apology. If you think one is necessary, it kind of implies you let some 'm..."

You are absolutely right, Feliks. In most other areas of life, I'm really not so...I don't know...peer-dependent, I guess would be the term.

Toughening up as of this moment.


message 40: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments My wife confessed that when we were dating that she saw my collection of horror books and not being a horror fan, wondered if I might be a psycho - of course I pointed out that her concerns were more a reflection of her own lack of good judgment because she did after all spend the night anyways.


message 41: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments Raymond wrote: "My wife confessed that when we were dating that she saw my collection of horror books and not being a horror fan, wondered if I might be a psycho - of course I pointed out that her concerns were mo..."

Way to shift blame,Raymond. This just proves exactly how creative you are.


message 42: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments Well I had to think fast to distract her from the bodies I kept in the freezer


message 43: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments The better question is, who is more embarrassed? The person reading the book or the person who notices someone reading such a book and finds it awkward that the other is reading it and is embarrassed for the other person? Lol. Did I lose anyone there? That was a bit confusing.


message 44: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dietz | 354 comments @Raymond: good save.

@ Justin: it made perfect sense to me, but that's not always the best indicator of making actual sense to others.

That's a good question though. Are we embarrassed to be reading a certain book because of what people might think of us, or is it more embarrassing to see someone else reading "those" books and know exactly what's in them? I do remember blushing just a bit at knowing the type of books my mother-in-law was reading. Like, duh, the woman had five children. I'm sure she already knew most of what was on the learning curve.


message 45: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Xane (gregorxane) | 274 comments In my experience, most folks seem to act embarrassed until they realize that I'm actually interested in what they're reading (no matter what genre it might be). That initial bit of 'feigned' embarrassment has always seemed like a defense mechanism to me.

I think most people, if they were truly embarrassed by what they were reading, wouldn't carry the book around in the first place.


message 46: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments Honestly I think my book choices are far less embarrassing than the fact that I'm a fan of Vampire Diaries


message 47: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Yeah,another thread with Lynda and Raymond! Too bad it's time for bed. Raymond, my husband and I were teasing a friend about tools for burying bodies when we were putting in a patio-I'll have to remember your comment about the freezer for future use. We DO have a really big freezer in the basement. We could fit a lot of flesh in there...
As for being embarrassed, I don't think I've been genuinely embarrassed about anything I've read, but if I believed someone would be offended by it I wouldn't read it in front of them out of respect. I knew a lady who had serious issues with anything occult or magic related, and although I love fantasy and weird fiction, I refrained from reading it around her. If she asked me I'd tell her I read it, but why intentionally do something to hurt another person? She may have very good reasons for her feelings. The world would be a much more pleasant place if people respected each other's views. I'm not talking about walking on egg shells, just about being reasonably kind and respectful of others.


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