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June 2017: Footnotes > Book Snob???? Who, me?

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message 1: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (Tstan) | 723 comments I was accused this past weekend, by my elder son, of being a book snob. (I'm still going to get him to read Rushdie!)
Honestly, this came as no surprise to me- I know that it's true.
My question for all is: What does it take for one to be considered a book snob? I know there are online quizzes, but they're kind of like the ones in Cosmo- easy to fib on to get the "right" answer.
I guess for me it's the stuff I won't read: Formulaic books with predictable plots and outcomes, Harlequin romances, and the "it" book of the season, unless I read it before it became popular (Gone Girl).
I refuse to read the last 2 books in Twilight, and I'll reread the cereal box 50 times before I'll read the Fifty Shades books.
What does everyone else think?


message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1586 comments I like to think that my book snobiness is constrained to my own behavior and book choices and does not extend to judgment about others. I don't think I judge others for reading whatever they like but I have a hard time being positive about a book that is super commercial. So I am very judgmental about what makes a book a quality book but not about people and their reading choices (I hope).

While art and literature are subjective I don't think there is any doubt that some books are simply higher quality than other sorts of books. If you are churning out books every month or so, chances are you are likely not making my list of top authors.

I am a book snob because I have strong opinions about what makes a book worth reading and for me a book is only worth reading if it does more than just entertain, if it makes me think, learn, etc.

I'll occasionally read books simply for entertainment value but those aren't books I necessarily would qualify as worthy.


Marina (Sonnenbarke) (Sonnenbarke) I was accused of being a book snob by my ex-boyfriend, but then he accused me of many things, most of them not true. My current boyfriend thinks I tend to read "silly" books from time to time, just because I might read some YA now and then.

I don't judge people by what they read. I mostly read literary fiction, but I'll read almost everything, especially since Goodreads helped me stepping out of my comfort zone, what with all the challenges and great groups like this one ♥

I think different people like different kinds of books, and that's totally okay. Some people read mostly romance or mystery, some other mostly literary fiction or poetry, but I don't see why the latter should be "better readers" than the first, or why they should be considered "book snobs". I think people should read whatever they feel like reading :)


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) | 2791 comments I have also been accused of being a book snob ... because my preferred genre is literary fiction. But I don't judge other people for their preferences, and I don't think anyone's preferences makes him/her a book snob.

That being said, I read everything ... YA, romance, mysteries, thrillers, biographies, graphic novels, classics, children's picture books, dystopia, satire, nonfiction, historical fiction .... if it has words, I'll read it.

I may not be a great fan of some of these, and have even finished a 1-star (or "ZERO" stars) book or three when it satisfies a challenge, but I've read them ... and enjoyed most.


message 5: by Sushicat (new)

Sushicat | 736 comments I read for enjoyment. But I see that over time my choice of books has moved towards better written books - no little thanks to participating in groups such as this one. As a consequence my appreciation of books depends more on the quality of writing than it used to. But I don't think this makes me a book snob. And there are still books out there that have earned high praise but are simply not for me. I'll happily leave those for the people who can appreciate them properly.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara M (Barbara-M) | 1054 comments I am definitely NOT a book snob. I'll read almost anything - almost. When I step outside my comfort zone, I'm usually pleasantly surprised. One example, my first full month with Shelfari, I had mentally committed to do the next tag. I couldn't believe that it came up as "dragons"! I don't read fantasy, I said to myself. It's my son who's into dragon, I complained. I did it anyway and actually enjoyed some books about dragons. Can't say I've picked up any more but it was an enjoyable month reading titles recommended by PBTers before the month started.


message 7: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1895 comments I am not a book snob. I read for my enjoyment and like a lot of different genres. I love historical fiction, well written and fast moving non-fiction. Mysteries, contemporary fiction, psychological thrillers, chick lit, YA, literary fiction - I'll read anything as long as it captures my interest. I'm a founding member of PBT and in almost ten years I have read at least one book for every tag, played numerous games and participated in many challenges. My tastes have changed very much over the years - not just from Play Book Tag (and other groups) but just from getting older and looking for different things from reading. Years ago when I took the subway to work I would look for easy to read (mostly paperbacks which were perfect for a 45 minutes commute, where there was often no seating). With more time to give to reading I will often read 'deeper' books -but I am just as likely to read a fast and easy romance book depending on my mood, and what's available from the library since that is where well over 75% of my books come from. I just want to read/listen and enjoy my books.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy | 3441 comments I think for me it's about context. I like a certain amount of fluffier reads just intended for certain things. Like for example there are certain books I save for poolside reads. Like I read the nest last summer, and it was the perfect summer reading. I have a couple picked out for the summer as well. They're also the differences between the books you read on vacation, and the books you read on the plane. There are times in one's life for certain more sturdier books, and sometimes you need something lighter in between. Like I read a lot of historical fiction and quite a huge amount of World War II, but those books have to be broken up with other lighter things. There were a couple things I wouldn't read, but not so much for snobbery, maybe for taste. Maybe it is snobbery in disguise. But who can compare dragons to witches to vampires? Maybe it's all a matter of taste. Or context.


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara M (Barbara-M) | 1054 comments Ladyslott wrote: " and what's available from the library since that is where well over 75% of my books come from. I just want to read/listen and enjoy my books. .."

My kind of reading - library books!


message 10: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 4041 comments I'd like to say I'm not a book snob, but am I (in reverse from what one might think when they think "snob"?)? :-(

I read most genres, but I just mentioned in the thread that announced the tag that I'm not a fan of award winners! If I'm being honest, sometimes I'll put a book on my tbr, then later find out it won some prestigious award, and my expectations (for my own enjoyment) go way down. But then, as Amy just mentioned, maybe that's just taste.

I guess if we go with that, it's just for myself. I certainly don't judge what other people read (at least I don't think so).


message 11: by Charlie (new)

Charlie  Ravioli (charlie_ravioli) | 290 comments I've never been called a book snob but one time my aunt (who I hold in high intellectual regard) looked at my bookshelf and said, 'you're such a man'. I didn't really know how to take it at the time, and still don't (20 years later).


message 12: by annapi (new)

annapi | 2138 comments No one's ever said it to my face, but sometimes I think people have thought that about me. Like most of us here, I read a wide range, so by that alone I don't see how any of us can be book snobs. I will try just about anything, but have no qualms about abandoning a book I am not enjoying. I liked Twilight enough to read all of them, and though I didn't think much of the Fifty Shades series, I breezed through them too just to see what the hype was about (meh). I still read YA and children's books and love them. I love fantasy and sci-fi and mystery best but this group has increased my reading of more "literary" and non-fiction books over the years.


message 13: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 4875 comments Can't say I like the connotation of "snob" because it sounds so judgmental. And I think it is actually kind of cool that even very, very avid and well read readers often have different taste . . .however, I will confess to considering myself picky about books. And that's happened more over time - - the more I read, the more my standard for what I consider to be "quality" goes up. So if I think of a car snob as someone who only wants to drive a Mercedes and would look down upon my 2007 Hyundai with 145k miles . . .well, I guess I could be a little bit of a book snob in the sense that I think certain titles are fine for other people, but I'm not excited to read them . . .but I wouldn't say that anywhere but here lol!


message 14: by Karin (new)

Karin | 3154 comments Anita wrote: "Can't say I like the connotation of "snob" because it sounds so judgmental. And I think it is actually kind of cool that even very, very avid and well read readers often have different taste . . .h..."

I've gone in waves. I got fussier and fussier for a while, then started reading things my kids were reading and doing reading challenges and am a bit less so. That said, I have a harder time saying something is excellent than I used to.


message 15: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 894 comments I'm definitely not a book snob. I read for pure entertainment. I like the occasional book that makes me think or helps me learn something. I know the books I read aren't "quality" compared to the award winners and classics, but that's okay by me. I'm at least reading which is more than I can say 10 years ago.

I'm okay with book snobs. My feeing is to each their own. Everyone reads, does, watches what works for them and that's okay by me.

The only time I don't like being around book snobs is when my reading is looked down upon by them. I know of one person who only reads non-fiction or religious literature and anything other than that is beneath her and she lets me know every chance she gets that I'm wasting my life by reading fiction or for entertainment. I avoid her as much as I can. ;)


message 16: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1895 comments Jenni Elyse wrote: "I know of one person who only reads non-fiction or religious literature and anything other than that is beneath her and she lets me know every chance she gets that I'm wasting my life by reading fiction or for entertainment. I avoid her as much as I can. ;)..."

I try to avoid negative and judgmental people. Live and let live. If someone wants to judge me by my reading go right ahead. I don't care; I read for me not for anyone else.


message 17: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) | 2791 comments Ladyslott wrote: "I try to avoid negative and judgmental people. Live and let live. If someone wants to judge me by my reading go right ahead. I don't care; I read for me not for anyone else. "

Well said! (Wait, is that a judgment ...)


message 18: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (Tstan) | 723 comments Although I am a book snob with what I read, I'd never judge others or put them down for reading something. Even though I scoff at 50 Shades, if it gets someone else reading, I'm all for it! Who knows, maybe they will eventually get to Anna Karenina.
I'm happy to see that everyone here feels that way, too. I was judged enough in college by what I was reading- Anne Rice may not be a scholarly tome, but she wrote some great escapes for me, that I much needed.
And: I got vindication yesterday! My younger son was telling me that he's reading Rushdie right now, and LOVING him. Can't wait for the older one to get back from his vacation to rub it in his face....


message 19: by Linda C (new)

Linda C (libladynyLindaC) | 480 comments I enjoy nonfiction and literary fiction as well as genre fiction and have people that I discuss books with in each realm; sometimes the same people for all and sometimes specific people for specific genres. I do try to broaden other's choices, but I wouldn't be a true book lover if I didn't. I often get asked for recommendations and am given recommendations, again across the board, so I guess I don't come across as a snob.

As others have mentioned I have greatly broadened my own reading because of shelfari and goodreads, due to recommendations and challenges.

I have hit my share of wallbangers. Although reading comments and reviews has helped to steer me away from books with plot devices I dislike, they have also steered me toward books that I would never have thought of reading. Sometimes a negative comment even leads to a great read. I try to read between the lines and find that someone's turn-off is no big deal or something that I rather like.


message 20: by Ladyslott (last edited Jul 03, 2017 04:15PM) (new)

Ladyslott | 1895 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Well said! (Wait, is that a judgment ...)..."

Not at all. I think there was a time maybe I would've cared about what people thought of my reading, but I'm far too old for that now. Live and let live.....

My mother was right - with age comes wisdom. Also known as IDGAF


message 21: by Susie (new)

Susie Amiatu | 3141 comments A great motto! I've adopted it recently too.


message 22: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1895 comments Susie wrote: "A great motto! I've adopted it recently too."

Which one - Live and let Live or IDGAF? LOL!


message 23: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1577 comments I don't really think that I'm a book snob, but I did accidentally offend a friend when I told her she wasn't a reader. I didn't really mean it in a negative way, but she was trying to pitch an idea to me that I said wouldn't really appeal to real readers. She explained that she was a reader, but she was just really busy and had no time to read. I explained to her that "readers" will make time to read even if they are busy. We agreed to disagree until I went to visit her for a week and she saw how I actually carried my kindle with me and read while waiting in line, while waiting for her to get ready to leave (she typically runs late), and always (even for 5 min) before I go to bed. Then she understood.

As for book snobbery, I read a variety of genres from classics and literary fiction to YA, fantasy and lots of historical fiction. I will try most things once and since I do like challenges, sometimes I don't read the highest quality stuff. However, I do find that I need to take a challenge de-tox if I read too many unsatisfactory reads in a row. I read for multiple reasons: escapism, learning something new and keeping up with some popular culture so I find my judgement of a book will vary depending on my expectations and why I picked it up in the first place.


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