Last week, I saw a post on Instagram. Basically, the Bookstagrammer was saying that they wanted to ask people what their guilty pleasure reads were but didn’t like defining any book as a “guilty pleasure.”
That post really made me think about how we treat different genres.
Why do we treat some books as more worthy than others?
To a certain extent, I get it. Literary classics became classics for a reason. They speak to the human condition in a unique and powerful way, or embody a point in history, or were the first time a woman had a voice…the list goes on and on. But those books became a part of the canon for a reason.
And sure, there are modern pieces that are the equivalent of a DaVinci, absolutely! I agree with that, too.
But why is it better to read a spy novel than a romance? Why do people feel differently about cozy mystery than paranormal mystery? Why do we choose to genre shame what people enjoy reading?
As a young adult fantasy author, I’ve stared this beast in the face before. From authors looking down their noses because I don’t write “real” fantasy, to reviewers saying that they know they’re “too old” to read young adult books but still really enjoy the series.
If you enjoyed a series, why does it matter if your teen years are far behind you?
Why should anyone have to be “too old” for any type of book? Why should we make readers feel like they have to offer an explanation or blush when they tell people what they’re reading?
Have you ever been made to feel like the books you were reading were embarrassing? Have you ever changed a dust jacket to avoid detection?
Let me know.
Send me a picture of your favorite read on Instagram! Let’s be proud of the books we love and enjoy whatever journey the pages bring us.