Book Shaming

27 Apr

I was just recently thinking about this issue, specifically when I was at a doctor’s appointment last week and my doctor noticed what I was reading and mentioned that she only likes to read “chick lit” at home – light, easy to read, you already know there’s a happy ending type of stuff.  And it felt as though she thought she was apologizing because she felt she should be reading “heavier” stuff.

Then this weekend I read a blog post on The Goddess of YA Literature about an article she recently read in The New York Times about book shaming and how people are either giving excuses for what they read or hide their collection of “x” before the company comes for dinner.  Both the author of The New York Times piece as well as the blog agree that book shaming is something that we shouldn’t worry about – read what you want and don’t be ashamed of it.

I’m one of those people who have a book with them just about everywhere they go.  Very rarely is it an adult book, as I’m trying my darnedest to keep up with children’s literature that I rarely have time to read anything else.  And for another matter, I love children’s literature.  A perfect example was Saturday night, my boyfriend had an a capella concert that he was performing in and so, knowing I’d be on my own while I was there, I grabbed a book to read during intermission.  Fifteen minutes is a nice chunk of time to read, it ended up that a few friends showed up for the concert and I had no time to read, but I was prepared.  I brought a middle grade novel and although no one said anything, I always feel as though I have to explain myself and what I do so that people understand my reading choices.

Children have a tendency to pick up whatever they want to read, rather than what they have to or should be reading.  If they’ve read it a hundred times, it doesn’t matter, if it’s the 50th book in the series, that’s fine – they’ll read it just as excitedly as the first couple.  Maybe it’s time adults take a lesson from kids – read what you like without a care in the world, because honestly, what does it matter?

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One Response to “Book Shaming”

  1. beckyginther April 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    I know exactly what you mean. When someone asks what I’m reading and I tell them it’s a children’s or middle grade novel, I feel the need to qualify it with “I’m a children’s librarian.” But I shouldn’t have to do that!

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