I used to be a book snob. 

When I graduated from uni, I went through a classics-only phrase. It was all about ego. I was all about the thicker the book the better. I was especially prejudiced against YA.

I felt that I was better (for some reason) because I read intelligent, complex, lengthy, and weighty books. I convinced myself that reading contemporary fiction or YA was lesser.

I’m ashamed to admit it. But I was indeed, a book snob.

And even worse, I was a bored book snob. Some of those classics are hard to get through. Really hard. They aren’t all complex and lengthy, some of them are tedious, full of archaic language, and just plain long-winded.

I’m not saying they aren’t wonderful pieces of literature. Many of them are. (I will forever love Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte) But they also take work to read and don’t appeal to all readers.

As I gripped those classic novels and googled words I didn’t understand, I realized I wasn’t enjoying reading like I had when I was younger. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was because of the types of books I was coercing myself into reading. It was during this time that I forced myself to finish Wuthering Heights and thankfully realized it was okay to not finish a book I wasn’t enjoying.

And the revelations kept coming. I joined Twitter and found people and articles that reminded me of why I loved reading in the first place–it was fun–and that everyone should read what they enjoy, no matter what genre it fit into.

Now I read YA and comic books.

I finally allowed myself to read anything that piqued my interest, and to put it down if that interest lapsed. I explored book recommendations and opened myself up, once again, to other genres.

Some of my friends read comics. After hearing them talk about them, I slowly developed an appreciation. I went to my first comic-con having only read newspaper comics and Archies and, while there, bought my first ever comic book.

Now, my artist friends and my fangirl friends recommend comics to me and I jump on them. In the last few months I’ve read trades of Ms. MarvelHawkeyeBlack Widow, Giant Days, and more. I’ve gone to panel discussions on writing for comics. I’ve also discovered a deep love for YA fiction. Seriously, this is a HUGE change from just five years ago.

Reading is reading, no matter the genre.

I realized reading is reading, and different genres, formats, styles, topics, and lengths are equally important. Reading is about enjoying ourselves, discovering, adventuring, and yes, learning too.

I never want to look down on someone because of what they are reading. Why? Because they are enjoying themselves. And isn’t that why we write stories too? To entertain. To discover different lives and experiences. To adventure.

What books or genres have you discovered appeal to you more than you thought they would?

  1. Blrgh, I hate WUTHERING HEIGHTS. And I agree, some of the classics are just snooze-inducing. There are so many awesomely good books out there that nobody should have to read anything they don’t enjoy! (At least not once they’ve got their English BA or MA in their pockets.)

    • Trisha Jenn Loehr says:

      Wuthering Heights nearly ruined my Hawaiian beach Christmas. :p But it did teach me an important lesson – put it down if I don’t love it!

  2. I’ve tried getting into classics, but like you said, they’re long and weighty and a lot of times the way they structure their sentences is just too much. I want to give Austen more of a try and some of the other authors I have, but others I’m just not interested in.

    I’m a big lover of fantasy books, but I think that as I dive a little deeper into the realm of science fiction that I’m finding I absolutely love it. It’s fun and exciting, and often action packed and thrilling.

    • Trisha Jenn Loehr says:

      Part if the reason I wanted so badly to love classics was the reputation of being a lover of literature, but just like you, I want to read to be entertained and Fantasy and SF definitely have that covered! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I am an unrepentant book snob. What I read goes deep into my psyche and I take gate keeping seriously. Therefore YA usually better for me. Less violence described, less swearing, less pornography. The challenge of making YA real without the graphic descriptions often leads to better literature.
    I haven’t read many classics but I enjoy the lighter books written in the same eras, books that didn’t make the label ‘high literature’ because they were too entertaining . John Buchan, Jeffry Farnol, Jean Stratton Porter.

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