Being a Scatterbooker, I’m definitely not a book snob in the slightest. Sometimes I like to read ‘real’ books, sometimes I use a kindle, sometimes I’ll read a classic, sometimes I’ll read something ‘trashy.’ I don’t have any particular genre that I will only read at the exclusion of all others, but there are a few genres that I enjoy more than others. I also would never dare to criticise anybody for which books they choose to read or which format they read it in and why on earth would I even care?
I think the biggest problem with book snobs is that they seem to enjoy going out of their way to let other people know that their way is far superior and anybody who doesn’t do things the way that they think they should be done is wrong. Thackeray wrote a hilarious set of articles titled The Book of Snobs back 1848 which wittily describes all sorts of the different kinds of snobs that existed in the 1800’s so it seems that snobbery has been around for quite a while. And people have been quietly (or not so quietly) making fun of them for just as long! So I think it’s time for all of the book snobs (and the rest) to lighten up and not worry so much about what or how other people read.
Types of Book Snobs:
The ‘I never read e-books’ book snob: This kind of book snob thinks that the Internet is the devil and e-books are out to destroy the publishing industry and all books along with it. It’s strange how often this opinion gets voiced via the evil Internet, usually with an iPhone. In reality, the Internet is a tool for communication, although definitely the best one invented so far. The publishing world has survived many technological changes and books will always continue to be made. If you prefer to read real books, that’s great, I quite like them too, but I’m not out to destroy the publishing world by reading e-books sometimes too.
The ‘I only read literary fiction/classics’ book snob: Fantastic! I read literary fiction/classics as well sometimes. I also really enjoy discovering new and self published authors whose books may become classics in 50 years or so. I do wonder why you need somebody else to tell you that a book is good, why not make your own decisions about what you do or do not like?
The ‘I only read a specific genre absolutely nothing else’ book snob: This seems strange to a Scatterbooker like me, but ok then. Don’t these people get bored of reading the same genre all the time though?
The ‘Twilight/50 Shades of Grey/Harry Potter ect are awful and I will go out of my way to read them just so I can tell everyone how bad they are’ book snob: If you are book snob why would you even read a book that you have already decided is awful? I’ve even seen reviewers live tweet their adverse reactions to books like this. For the record, I quite liked Twilight, love Harry Potter but I just couldn’t get into 50 Shades at all. It doesn’t really bother me that it’s successful. I just stopped reading once I realised it wasn’t my cup of tea and I don’t feel a need to go and tell people off if they say they enjoyed it.
The ‘the book is always better than the movie’ book snob: I tend to agree with this most of the time, and I do much prefer to read the book before I see the movie, but there are exceptions. The Princess Bride is one that stands out for me. I’m not sure if I’ve even read that book and I don’t really want to because the movie was amazing! I also started watching Game of Thrones and then tried to read the books but I just couldn’t get into them, so I’ll stick with the series for now and perhaps give the books another try in a few years when it isn’t so fresh in my mind.
The ‘I keep my books in pristine condition and will cut you if I lend you a book and you return it dog eared or with food crumbs’ book snob: These kind of book snobs obviously have control issues. I can imagine them sitting up super straight and taking forever to turn the page because they are worried about creasing it ever so slightly. And definitely no food while reading which kind of takes half the fun of reading away I think. I’m just happy to have my books returned to me, never mind if there are a few creases or crumbs here and there. I like my books to look like they’ve been enjoyed, I think it adds to their character.
The ‘at least they’re reading something I guess’ book snob: This kind of book snob is my very least favourite. It’s so condescending and implies that anybody who doesn’t read fiction is dumb which is extremely untrue and the worst form of snobbery there is. My partner, for example, never reads fiction but he is far from stupid. He’s an IT geek and most of his friends and work colleagues would agree that he is the smartest person they know by far. He just has a highly technical mind, so doesn’t get into reading for fun.
What kinds of book snobs have you come across? Or are you a book snob yourself?