I’m going to say it:
Book shaming sucks.
You shouldn’t do it. Readers shouldn’t have to put up with it. And we shouldn’t have to hear about it. But we do. So friends, today’s post is all about book shaming. What is it? Why does it suck? Why does it matter? This post aims to encourage the celebration of reading anything and all genres.
What is book shaming?
This is the act of shaming someone based on what they choose to read. Most of the time, this is related to the genre of books a reader prefers. Using a personal example, I have been book shamed for reading YA (young-adult) fiction instead of biographies or Adult Fiction.
Why does book shaming suck?
We all have our own opinions, our own preferences, and our own choices. Why does it matter what sort of stories we’re reading as long as we keep reading? What I choose to read shouldn’t affect you, another reader, in any way. You are free to read, or not read, whatever your heart desires. We are all different, therefore, it stands to reason that our choice in literature will not always be shared. This should be acceptable.
We should be celebrating the diversity of genres out there — each one can be specific to its own niche and following. There are cult classics, regular classics, YA, middle grade, children’s, adult, educational, biographies, cookbooks, and so many sub-genres of each. There is no need to shame someone because they choose to read something different than you.
Why does it matter?
Because being shamed for what we choose to read is judgemental, discouraging, and unnecessary. For anyone who tells me that YA fiction doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t offer anything has clearly never read Harry Potter. Those books have taken the world by storm and are more than enough validation. I don’t know about you, but I learned a lot from reading those stories.
In the end, we choose to read what we enjoy. We read what we learn from. We read to better ourselves and/or get lost in a new world for a few hours. What someone else is reading shouldn’t be disappointing you. It should be commemorated because they are reading.
Literature is something we should all celebrate!
So, please don’t forget that the next time you see someone reading something you believe to be beneath your reading taste. For that reader, it could be their favourite book.