“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
― Earl Nightingale
Overall I think it’s safe to say that the books we read define us on some level. They say something about us. You build a relationship with the book, the story, the world, the characters.
So, therefore people judge you for it: You read what?!
A while back Slate released an article
, it started like this:
“Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”
I almost fell off my unicorn.
Was my first reaction when I stumbled upon this. What? Excuse me but what? Ms Graham actually used words like „trashy stuff“ in her article. Basically she is saying that we, the adults, the wise and the ones who know better, should only be reading literary fiction.
So…no Harry Potter, no Roald Dahl, no Le petit prince, no Lewis (and so on) for you.
But I’m not here to talk about the article. I just wanted to give you an example.
Isn’t this getting old?
Not just bashing Young Adult Literature but Science Fiction, Fantasy, Chick Lit and the list goes on.
Terry Pratchett once said “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
And I wholeheartedly agree.
Do they need the boost of judging so they can pat themselves on the back and say how sophisticated they are?
Let’s look at this from a different angle. What makes an adult book an adult book? Marketing and Advertisement. Someone decided to aim the product, in this case the book towards an intended audience, a target audience. That doesn’t mean that the content is „trashy“ or simple or anything.
Yes a lot Young Adult books are…let’s say problematic but guess what? So are adult books. So are „insert any genre here“ books. There’s “good stuff” and “bad stuff”, and yes sometimes “trashy stuff”, everywhere. Everywhere. In every genre.
That’s were you as a reader come in. You get to decide which books you love, which characters you connect with, which stories touched your soul, which adventure enthralled you. You. And noone can take that away from you. And noone should be judging you for it.
The beauty of exchanging reading experiences is the diversity. The more books we read the better, the more different kind of books we read the better.
There is nothing bad about loving a certain kind of book. What matters is if you connected with the book. If you enjoyed the story. If you loved the characters, the writing style.
I’m not saying don’t express your opinion. Like I said, we all have our own preferences. And that’s good, that’s awesome. That means a book you hated another one might love. Discuss it, talk about it.
So instead of judging other people, open your reading horizon. Read a book you wouldn’t normally have. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next favorite.