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to be irritated by the smug attitude against my choice of books

(310 Posts)
Room1o1 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:39:39

I am really curious why some people are so judgmental against your reading habits.

I recently invited another mum around with her kids. She is obviously clever, has a high power job and writes in her spare time (commuting, so plenty of time). Not sure if it's an historical novel, or a poetry book, or both but she hasn't been published yet. She had a look at the bookcase in the room, and did a little grimace of distaste, before commenting "it's all a bit girly, isn't it?".

I have noticed this attitude so many times, in friends houses, in mine or in conversation. Why? I do like to read, and fail to see why anyone feels the need to be so judgmental. I do have a very eclectic taste, and have very various books scattered all around all house. However, even if I was only reading "chick flicks", which I read as much as anything else, why the need to look down at anyone?

fairweathercyclist Wed 08-Mar-17 10:40:57

It's silly. I even get it a bit from DH. I just say I have an academic job so when I read for pleasure, I like more frothy stuff. Can't see the problem with undemanding entertainment.

BastardBloodAndSand Wed 08-Mar-17 10:44:25

I love easy to read rubbish. I'm not interested in having to 'think' when I'm reading, I'll read any old tat. Even virginia Andrews blush

ImperialBlether Wed 08-Mar-17 10:46:51

Good luck to her if she's going to try to sell a poetry book.

wigglesrock Wed 08-Mar-17 10:52:20

There are very few things as sanctimonious as a smug reader grin - from what books, to how you read them - the oh no I must smell, feel, touch a book, I couldn't possibly read electronically to the a house without books that I approve of is lacking something eejits.
I read, I read a lot, it had gotten me through some terribly shit times both as a child and adult. I'll read anything as long as it doesn't bore the pants of me the Goldfinch, but what I read doesn't make me any better than anyone else. It's a hobby, same as my avid tv binge watching.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 08-Mar-17 10:54:38

I can't believe she actually said it to your face knowing they were your books. I guess you won't be inviting her round again any time soon.

Room1o1 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:54:54

I agree!
I don't understand the reasoning behind the smugness? It means you are less bright if you don't read "serious" books? (whatever that would be?)

user1471517057 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:55:38

Book snobbery/ elitism/being an arsehole/ingrained misogyny, call it what you will.

Some people just like to feel superior, I have read profusely since I was a child, everything from absolute pish like Mills and Boon right through to the literary classics. All depends on the mood I'm in on any given day.

I read to entertain myself, to laugh, to comfort myself as well as to educate, inform and broaden my horizons. I'm a naturally curious person and can find myself interested in anything. It it's well written and evokes emotion or enhances my understanding of any subject then it's been a worthwhile experience.

Haters gonna hate and all that.

Room1o1 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:56:57

I did find it amusing, so I am tempted to get her around again, for entertainment value.

Dontactlikeyouknowme Wed 08-Mar-17 11:00:25

My book case makes me look quite well read. My kindle on the other hand is full of chick litgrin

AYankinSpanx Wed 08-Mar-17 11:03:03

I honestly could not care less what people think of my reading. I read fairly literary books, contemporary book list stuff, the classics and lots of poetry from around the world. I also like the odd bit of Marian Keyes and some real lightweight rubbish that your friend would probably loathe.

I'm quite intolerant of people sneering at other people's reading material.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 08-Mar-17 11:03:55

I much prefer reading non-fiction and sci-fi as opposed to "proper" literature and mainstream novels. But I love books generally and don't care what other people read if they get enjoyment from it.

AYankinSpanx Wed 08-Mar-17 11:04:22

I do prefer to an actual book to a kindle though! grin

Eolian Wed 08-Mar-17 11:04:56

I can't stand chick lit personally, but actually being rude to your face about it is outrageous. I read a lot of fantasy books and people can be quite dismissive of them too (less so these days though- sci fi and fantasy seem to have got cooler grin).

Oddly, people mostly don't seem to have quite the same smug attitude to the films and tv programmes others watch. As if film/tv is entertainment but books have to be edifying. Which is nonsense really.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 08-Mar-17 11:04:57

Nowadays I have the literary taste of a geeky 14 year old gamer (Grimdark mostly). People read for all sorts of reasons, to inform and educate themselves, to be challenged by interesting ideas. I read to be entertained and to relax. If your friend can't understand that concept she's not as bright as she thinks she is.

Scatter around a few copies of Heat, put Steps on the speakers and invite her round for a Pot Noodle.

PossumInAPearTree Wed 08-Mar-17 11:06:50

She was very rude.

1mouse2 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:07:15

Dontact, my bookcase and kindle are the same! My reading goes from Tolstoy to trashy scifi and fantasy depending on my mood and how stressed I am at work.

MrsMarigold Wed 08-Mar-17 11:08:05

I don't give a hoot what other people think, volumes of Jilly Cooper nestle alongside James Joyce. Our spare room has a range of stuff in case guests want to read, it ranges from rather low brow erotica, to grammar books, travel writing, sports autobiographies, John Milton and E M Forster to Patricia Cornwell and Mary Wesley, they all have their place.

ArcheryAnnie Wed 08-Mar-17 11:08:22

I'm more staggered by her rudeness in sneering at your books than her book snobbery.

But her book snobbery is pretty ridiculous, too. People read for all kinds of reasons - escape being one of them. If I want to read stuff which expands my mind, I will. And if I want to read fluffy shit that cheers me up and/or comforts me, I will, too.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 08-Mar-17 11:09:59

We don't even have a bookcase in our sitting room, just a mahoosive fuck off TV. She would hate us.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 08-Mar-17 11:10:42

Obviously we have a sofa as well.wink

trevortrevorslattery Wed 08-Mar-17 11:11:06

Oddly, people mostly don't seem to have quite the same smug attitude to the films and tv programmes others watch. As if film/tv is entertainment but books have to be edifying. Which is nonsense really.

^^ What Eolian said.
Books are just TV/film in the form of paper. YANBU OP she was VVU to judge and also to give her snobbish opinion.

Hoppinggreen Wed 08-Mar-17 11:11:54

I have a degree in English Lit and quite a high powered job. I think I would be considered intelligent ( kill at Trivial Pursuit)
I also read absolute crap in my spare time - I just don't have the brain power left in my downtime to read anything intellectual!!
Don't care if I get judged on my bookshelf, your visitor was an arse

HashiAsLarry Wed 08-Mar-17 11:12:50

I get it slightly differently. I'm not into girly books which makes people hmm but I love a bit of trashier adventure stories like Dan Brown/Lee Child. People assume my bookcases are DHs.

Reading doesn't have to be difficult or informative. Its a hobby for you to enjoy.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 08-Mar-17 11:13:16

I once had someone do an actual step back and horrified gasp of 'Jilly Cooper?' Apparently I was supposed to be embarrassed.
She rubs shoulders with Stephen King and Michael Chrichton and apparently those are 'mens books'!
Read what pleases you and dont worry about what other peoples need for superiority.

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