A Bee In My Bonnet

Something has been bugging me lately. Actually, it's been bugging me for a long time but lately it's been making me downright bristly.

This is the deal. I don't care that you don't like a book. I don't care that you don't want to read a book. But please do not pass judgment on those that do.

I can think of lots of books that I don't want to read. I don't want to read Dan Brown's latest (or his not so latest ones either for that matter) but I do not have an opinion of those that do. Almost everyone I know has read them and honestly, I probably would have picked up one eventually if darn near every person in the world not asked me if I have read it yet. I just got so annoyed with being asked it every single time someone found out that I read a lot that I hold a grudge against Dan Brown for no good reason. (Though Tom Hanks' hair in The Da Vinci Code probably didn't help matters.)

I read YA. I read a lot of YA. I read Harry Potter and went to midnight release parties for it (even once in costume). I read all the Twilight books even though parts of them really bug me.

I have to say it really rises my ire when someone disregards by saying something like "they are clearly written for teens/tweens/whatever and maybe I'd like them if I was an immature being too." Ok, they don't say immature exactly but that's what they mean. I'm not six. That doesn't mean I can't read and enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm not a teen-aged boy. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy Looking For Alaska. I'm not blind, deaf, or mute. It doesn't mean I can't enjoy Helen Keller. I'm not Jewish. It doesn't mean I can't enjoy The Diary of Anne Frank.  Can you imagine how bored we'd all be if we only read books about people like ourselves?

This type of judgment is not reserved for young adult and children's literature. I've seen non-fiction fans turn their noses up at fiction and vice versa. Romance and sci-fi fans attract scorn like it's going out of style. Ditto fantasy, chick-lit, mysteries, and whatever other genre you can think of.

I have no problem with you not wanting to read a book. I have no problem with you not liking a book. But why do you need to pass judgment on others that do read it? That do enjoy it? Does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel superior?