Books are like food – we all have different tastes, prefer some more than others. There are those books we will never try, and those we will never tire of. Lucky for us, there is a smorgasbord of books for us to choose from, to taste test, dip into – but, of course, it is all about personal choice, about what we are feeling in the moment, gravitating towards at the time.
Growing up, many of us are told what to read by our teachers and the syllabus. This teaches us to appreciate classic literature, and as a result, almost insidiously, we begin to believe that anything that is written by someone other than Shakespeare or the Romantic Poets is, quite frankly, ‘lesser literature,’ which is absolutely untrue.
Unfortunately, commercial fiction sometimes gets a bad wrap for not being as intellectually stimulating or challenging as, say, Dante’s Inferno, or Homer’s Odyssey. The idea that reading should only be a high-brow activity, for those who operate on a higher intellectual plane is sadly, an issue within the book reading community – one that we are here to debunk.
Reading can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, for different reasons. If you like to read difficult literature to stretch the muscles in your noggin,’ to be challenged, then that’s great. But if you also read to relax, to be entertained, or to escape, that’s also completely okay. People should never feel judged for the genres or authors they read, because there is no ‘single’ way to read – and that’s the beauty of reading. There are no rules, no regulations and guidelines to follow. It’s just you and the words on the page in front of you woven into a wonderful story.
All books are good books, because they offer us different experiences, tell different stories, help us feel different emotions, and challenge us to think differently about ourselves and the world.
Book snobs will always exist in the book-loving community, but always remember: read for yourself, and nobody else.