You know what I love about books? There are so freakin’ many of them! There are books for kids, books for teens, books for adults who wish they were still teens, books for men, and books for women. There are books of all lengths, which target readers of all levels, and on every topic imaginable. Just go to Barnes and Noble or search Amazon’s stock of reading material, and you’ll see.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I want to read each and every one of them. I prefer some genres over others. For example, I’m much more likely to pick up a young adult (YA) contemporary or light sci-fi, a memoir, or certain types of self-help/ inspirational books than a hard core sci-fi or a fantasy novel. But that doesn’t mean I don’t read some fantasy. I’m currently reading the first Game of Thrones book, which is probably considered high fantasy. I would pretty much read anything if it were recommended by a friend or if I had an interest in it.
As far as style goes, I’ve read books where the author’s words induced sheer awe, and others which were written in more basic terms. I don’t tend to compare them. It’s the story or the content I’m more interested in. And as long as there are no glaring grammatical issues or conspicuous mistakes regarding horses (my pet peeve!), I’m okay. I guess what I’m saying is that I enjoy a variety of writing styles and genres.
What I don’t get is the current culture of bashing books and authors, which then extends to bashing fans of those books. This seems especially true for YA literature these days.
For instance, Twilight. Yeah, I’m gonna go there. I happen to be a pretty big Twilight fan. Not because I wish I was still a teen or because I have a vampire fetish, but because I’m a romantic at heart. I love a good, angsty romance. And evidently, I’m not the only one. I love how Twilight got so many girls reading. I was teaching middle school when it came out, and I’ve never seen that level of excitement about a series of books. This excitement continued when Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and then Veronica Roth’s Divergent series both came out. All of these books have likely had profound effect on their readers, creating a lasting enthusiasm for reading. To me, that’s worth its weight in gold.
Twilight (and really all of these big-name books) had/have a huge following, but on the flip side, the amount of hatred generated by the series was ridiculous. People still look down their noses at Stephenie Myer and her series, citing poor writing, lack of a real storyline, a weak female protagonist, bla, bla, bla, as reason enough not to read the books. Many of those same people made fun of adults who also enjoyed the stories. Whatever. I say, if Twilight’s not your cup of tea, then don’t read it, but you shouldn’t try to stop others from doing so. Let them form their own opinions.
If any book gets a lot of publicity, there will be devoted fans as well as haters. I guess it’s just in some people’s nature to be nasty. Take the R-rated spinoff of Twilight, for example. It’s also produced a lot of negativity. That series has been out for a few years, but it’s still hugely popular (also due to the movies, the third of which is set to come out next month). I read the first one. I didn’t particularly care for it, but again, I’m not gonna blast it on social media or tell others they shouldn’t enjoy it. I’m also not gonna get on my high horse and tell people it’s morally wrong to read such books.
Am I saying you shouldn’t hold bad opinions of books? Not at all! By all means, hold whatever opinion you wish to hold on any book. But please stop with the online bashing. Don’t tell other people they shouldn’t read these books. And don’t make fun of the ones who do.
Just a reminder, there are a plethora of books out there for every person–probably more than you could read in a lifetime. So if your thing is classics like Anna Karenina, or Moby Dick, or Of Mice and Men, go right ahead and enjoy them. If you love dime store romance novels or Westerns, by all means, keep reading!
I’ll just be over here enjoying all the YA books I can get my hands on. And maybe a few memoirs and adult-type novels thrown in for good measure.