Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do you Define Yourself by the Genre you Read?


Sawyer from LOST is a key example of not defining yourself by the genre you read. Sawyer was considered a con-man or hick by many of the other islanders, but he had love for literature. He was indeed an excellent con-man however, and always the first one with a sarcastic rebuttal. He was however a romantic and a deep heartfelt thinker. 

Is it OK to define yourself by what you read? With so many labels being thrown at us these days, is it alright to define yourself by the genre of books you prefer. Reading is dying anyway with TV and the internet becoming such permanent fixtures in our homes. Almost every home in America has internet access, and its rare to find a home without a television set.  Many college students just look it up, and don't even bother with purchasing or reading the actual book. They don't go to the used bookstore to purchase a weathered copy of E.E. Cummings, they just read it on the web. I think that with so many people shying away from reading they should not have to feel ashamed of the genre they read. No where in the rule book, I mean the fictitious unspoken rule book, does it say only young adults should read YA books. I know of many adults who savor the juicy emotional tales spun by so many acclaimed authors such as Elizabeth Scott and Sarah Dessen. Many adults like to revisit issues that hit close to home at one time or another for them, and young people like to read about other people experiencing what they live. A waitress might like to read the the writing of famed historical fiction writer Ken Follet author of Pillars of The Earth. Also a  male wall-street broker might like to relax with a copy of  Janet Evonovich's Stephanie Plum series. Honestly anything is possible when it comes to reading and what a person loves. Kindle and Nook's also make it  less bothersome to read things you might be ashamed of reading. No one can tell what your reading when you hold your Kindle snug in your hands, however everyone can pry into your reading preferences when the cover is in view. With E-Readers becoming increasingly more popular being judged for your genre choice is becoming irrelevant. However, personally one might define themselves as shallow because they enjoy Young Adult Literature or Romance novels, when that is most likely not the case. No one should sell themselves short because they get pleasure from a romance or teenage emotional tale. Also no one should consider themselves geeky or superior because they enjoy historical fiction or non-fiction for example. People could surprise you by their taste in literature, and I for one think we should take pleasure in discovering someone's uncharacteristic  choice. Have you guys ever felt judged for the genre you love, or have you ever internally struggled with your reading selections?

4 comments:

Kristin Rae said...

I don't really feel judged for reading YA... most of my friends read it too. I also watch all those teen movies and TV shows... I love getting swept up in the drama of it all!

Caitlin said...

I love it too, I've only ever been judged for reading and going to see Twilight, never really judged for reading anything other than that. YA is so addicting in a way.

Lily of Darkness said...

I wrote an entire post about the fight to get the new Sookie book, the lady at the store (the one who WORKED there) told me vampire books were gross and so was blood. I was pissed. I have more than once challenged someone over their questioning my reading. My husband does not like that I read a lot of what I do, and I will say with my nook it has reduced the number of raised eyebrows in my home. Plus I feel more comfortable reading some of the more, um, socially unacceptable books around my kids - especially some of the ones with very.....interesting covers. I don't define myself by my genre, because although I typically stick to PNR and UF, I do like reading Janet Evanovich and Sarah Dessen, and one of my fave paranormal series is YA.

Caitlin said...

That would make me so mad too some people can be narrow minded when it comes to vampires and magic in books. Reading paranormal or dark books does not make someone a dark scary person, its crazy some of the nicest most wholesome people love vampire books, not evil at all lol. I jump around from genre to genre myself, and sometimes feel bad my blog has no clear genre, but I read so many different things. I just love books.