Are you a Book Snob?

We’re all honest here. There’s no need to lie. So, are you? Wait, let me first tell you a little about what it means to be book snob in the first place.

Before I start defining things, this is definitely a term that is defined differently by different people. But I’ve come to my definition based on what I’ve seen and read from many different sources and individuals. In the simplest of terms (to me), a book snob is someone who views their reading and the books they read as superior to the reading habits and books read by others.

Here’s a little scenario to give you a little more insight into some book snobby behavior. Let’s say you have two readers. One is working on reading as many classics as he can. The other just finished a five book erotica series. The first reader posts outrageous negative comments on the second reader’s blog because “those books aren’t worthy of reading”.

Everyone can tell who the book snob is in that particular situation. But it may not always be that obvious, and it may be you. One of the things that people have tried to say is that it’s really just people having different reading preferences. But there’s a big difference between different preferences and book snobbery.

Preferences: “I read crime novels and you read YA. We’re interested in different things.”

Book snobbery: “I read crime novels and you should too because it’s better than that crap you’ve been reading.”

Super obvious again, I know. But how many times have you interacted with someone either on here or Twitter or maybe even Goodreads and they seem to be against anything you’re reading? That person is most likely a book snob. Hopefully it isn’t you.

Are you a book snob or not?


On this day in 2014 I published Authors, Tell the Titles of Your Books!.

 

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92 thoughts on “Are you a Book Snob?

  1. Oooh! I have it on my list of possible blog posts to write about book snobbery.
    I think I’m a book-snob to an extent, in the sense that I will only read books with fantastic reviews and ‘classics’ that have stood the test of time :/. I’m the same with films!

    I’m learning from this though & trying to branch out.

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    • I don’t think you qualify as a book snob. πŸ˜‚ What do you think when someone tells you that they’ve been reading Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey?

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      • Ahh, I get it! I loved Twilight when the books first came out but definitely think they got more praise than they deserved!

        Yeah, I feel a little smug that my reading choices are better(?) than theirs, when someone says that. Although, everyone has guilty pleasures!

        Are you a book snob? I think it’s hard not to be & there’s different levels of book snobbery. Hm.

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      • Hmm. Well maybe you are then if you feel that your reading choices are better. 😂😂😂 Am I? Nope. Honestly, I don’t care what any other person is reading. Which is why I don’t recommend books or take suggestions.

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      • But of course I do because they’re mine! I think it’s each to their own, really. I would never post a nasty comment about what someone else chooses to read, it really has nothing to do with me.

        Surely the whole point of the online book community is to share thoughts on books, make recommendations, get in touch with others who share your interest in different genres.

        For example, if someone I knew who also was a fan of classics like me had read The Great Gatsby & we both love it & that same person had an interest also in 50 Shades or other erotica, it wouldn’t bother me. I wouldn’t think any less of them.

        My book snobbery is more centred around reading classics or books with great reviews, prizes, etc. and not giving other less-known books/authors a chance.

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      • I think you’re in denial. But it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I’m no authority so you don’t have to defend yourself to me. Haha

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      • I guess you’re right, nobody’s any authority on the matter! Don’t think I’m in denial though. Been interesting trying to have a conversation with you. I guess our definition of ‘book snob’ differ. I like your use of the πŸ˜‚ emoji, I don’t think it gets used enough! πŸ˜‚

        Good luck with the book πŸ‘.

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      • Haha yep. I think the definition is open to some interpretation. AND I think I overuse the πŸ˜‚ sometimes. But I like it. Everyone else can just deal with it. 😁

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  2. According to your definition, I would not call myself a book snob. I believe everyone should read what they like. No judging! However, over time (and as I’ve become a writer), I’m a lot more critical of poor writing than I used to be. For example, I could only get through one chapter of a recent erotica trilogy, not because of the subject matter, but because I just couldn’t handle the juvenile writing. So I guess that makes me a book snob, of a sorts

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    • I may be wrong, but I don’t think what you just described meets the typical definition if a book snob. It’s not like you’re going around calling people stupid because they’re reading books you think are poorly written. Unless that’s exactly what you do. πŸ˜‚ Then, yes.

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    • I think I have to agree with you. I’m not a snob about what I read and I don’t have time to pay attention to what other people like read.to read. It’s their choice. and I don’t care what other people think about what I like, either. But . . . .I can only read so much poor writing. Because self publishing is popular and I’m glad ‘that’ people have the opportunity today to utilize the option. I’m in the middle of writing a book myself ‘that’ I will self publish. The other day another blogger had a list of books ‘that’ she had written on her site complete with book covers ( and it is the book covers people see first. ) So I went on amazon to read the “free sample”. It was obvious ‘that she did her own editing and probably had friends and family tell her how good it was, but I couldn’t even get through the free part. The first couple pages was a description of the layout of her new house down to how big the bathrooms were. Where was the story? Was it a story about her house? No, she was trying to set the stage so ‘that’ we could picture her house which had nothing to do with anything. Using ‘that’ poor sentence structure using the word “that” in almost every sentence, killed it for me. So yes, not knowing how to write so ‘that’ readers will be interested in the story is “that’ paramount, because ‘that’ not knowing will kill the readers enjoyment of reading a story ‘that’ is supposed to entertain them. I’m not an editor. I don’t know the heck what I’m doing and learning along the way, so I try to learn from other authors. The word “that” can be eliminated in almost every case. I read authors to see the words they use and don’t use. Does this make me a snob? Maybe. I just call it like i see it and hope “that” it helps. BTW, I said nothing to her. I only said ‘that’ I went to read the free sample and hoped ‘that’ she was successful with her writing.

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  3. Confederate writers (writers in the southern States of N. America) have a certain tone that they go by. I have trouble following them- so I don’t bother, if that makes me a book snob- I guess I’m one as well.

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    • Confederate writers? Do people actually say that? Sounds derogatory to me. Anything confederate, really. I live in the southern US. All stories I’ll ever write will be set in the southern US. And I’ve read books written by these so called confederate writers that are no different from any other books I read. Forget the book snob thing, I want to know what tone you’re talking about.

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      • There is feeling to them from the few books I’ve read by authors south of the mason Dixie line. Writers I’ve read and from the ones I’ve heard about have a touch of over zealous to their country and countrymen. Am I overly (exaggerating?) when they describe almost to the point exaggeration on the sub topics when referring to: Satin, Lace, and harsh humidity over the fields of formal plantations. That is their tone that I’m talking about; believe me I’ve searched through book covers for a topic that intrigues me.

        As far as the term I’m using when referring to Southern writers; as β€˜Confederate writers’, I see it in the History. I see it in the current news of N. America, In all of the Country music, and attitudes concerning up bringing- its’ their culture. They have stayed together during the Reconstruction era; they stayed together through the 1960’s when the South tried to rise again from the ashes but failed when integration succeeded. They fought too and nail to keep their flags on courthouses and on monuments where fallen Confederates died for their country. If anyone knows anything about the South is that they can hold themselves through thick and thin.

        That they will remain the South, they will hold together for a long time to come. So by me referring to the South as the Confederate States, is acknowledging their State hood. We’ve been lying to ourselves and trying to force people to stay with us when they want to be free so no I don’t mean it to be in a negative.

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      • I’m a university educated American with a great appreciation and fascination with the history of the US. I’m quite familiar with the states that were apart of the Confederacy and how they relate to the rest of the country. Maybe even more than you are, but none of that has anything to do with what I asked you. I asked about the term confederate writers. I’ve been on WordPress nearly two years and read posts every single day from other bloggers about books, writing, publishing, etc. I read articles from newspapers and online news organizations about all the same things every single day. And I’ve written nearly 500 posts on this blog, almost all about books. I’ve never once heard someone describe a writer based in the southern US as a confederate writer. Not once. Perhaps writers in the south have a slightly different style from other writers? But I’ve never noticed anything.

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      • You won’t because no one saying it. I did .

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      • Exactly what I figured. Latching terms together that no one else is, and that shouldn’t be because your basis is non existent. But whatever.

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  4. I am not really sure if im a book snob. or just have the “book preference” attitude. I think i am both! If i’m talking to someone who reads erotica books, or books of simple and typical stories, i tend to be very snobby! However, when it comes to people who read fantasies and such like Harry Potter, or The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, i admire them and show the “book preference” attitude because i don’t enjoy reading fantasies like them. But then there’s a difference between reading cliches, and random not creative love stories and reading fantasies written in splendor and beautiful language! So technically it just depends on what book the other person is reading!

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  5. Definitely not a book snob, I’m usually just excited to see someone else with a book in hand!

    That said, I’m very selective about what I pick up and read- too many books, too little time! Is it snobbery not to try reading outside your genres?

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  6. Reblogged this on The Most Sublime Things and commented:
    A good look at book snobbery. Never judge anyone else’s book choices harshly, because we all know you have a guilty pleasure book shelf!

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  7. Not it. People are allowed to read what they like, just the same as I am. I won’t pretend to understand why woman want to read romances where the man exhibits all the traits of a detrimental personality disorder, but I just chose to read something else. My only snobbery comes when I find a poorly edited piece of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll read anything as long as it holds my interest. Books are awesome, because they’re as varied as the people who create and read them. Who am I to tell someone what they should or should not like?

    Unless it happens to be 50 SoG… then I’m a total snob. 50 SoG is an affront to talented writers everywhere. It’s especially an affront to erotica writers.

    But I digress… I really don’t care what other people read, as long as it makes them happy.

    (I also think everyone should read my books. And John’s books. And all books written by all my fellow author-blogger-friends…)

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  9. I make Gerard read me Dr. Suess while I’m soaking in the tub. He will often roll his eyes at my selection. He is a book snob. I bat his nose with a rolled up newspaper to remind him of his place.

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  10. I would say that I am extremely picky about the books I read. Not to say that any of the books I chose not to read are, by any means, not interesting, well written stories. There are just certain things I can’t get over when reading; inaccuracies (be it historical or not) are just something I can’t get over. For example, I was reading an extremely interesting book about zombies a few months ago and I was upset when I found that the author was not knowledgeable about firearms and had several inaccuracies. As much as I was interested in the story, I was unable to finish the book. This might be strange to some of you and its just one example, but there are certain pet peeves I cannot get over when reading and it makes it difficult to find books that I like.

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  11. I’m not interested in genre differences or culturally constructed social capital, but certain books offer more to us, in the same way different conversations interest us to different degrees, Mein Kamphf, Hitler’s little romp into literature has less to offer than Saul Bellow’s “Augie March”. I would suggest my judgement is predicated, not on snobbery, but experience, not by snobbery but by intelligence. Reading as a race to the bottom–no, not for me. It is too precious an experience. Cheers

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  12. Nope. I tend to get snobbed at because I openly read middle grade, YA, chick lit, mystery, and the occasional romance. I could care less what others read. I only care that I like what I’m reading. I do read other genres, just less often than books that make me laugh. So snob away, I’m used to it. πŸ˜€

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  13. I don’t think I am. I tend to stick to one genre though aka young adult fiction lol. I don’t really care what other people read, as long as I’m happy with what I’m reading is good, then I’m content πŸ™‚ ……see I replied!

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  14. Reblogged this on MetallicWolff and commented:
    I thought this was an interesting article. Do you know any book snobs?

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  15. Not. But if I were, I’d be a better book snob than you. πŸ˜‰

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  16. I’m a reformed book snob. But when I started becoming more of a writer, and even back in college when I was mostly writing fan fiction, that snobbishness took a dive into the gutter. I realized just how difficult it is to become published, or even how gutsy it is to put your fan fiction out there for others to read and criticize. So, even though there are definitely books that I despise, and some that I think shouldn’t be written, that doesn’t change the fact that the author went through h-e-double-hockey-sticks to get that book out there. So I applaud their creativity and determination, even if the subject matter isn’t to my liking.

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  17. Hmm. I’m definitely not a snob about reading in general, and I don’t think I judge people for what they read. There are genres I turn my nose up at for *writers* (literary fiction mostly, but that’s more out of resentment that literary fiction is worshipped in academia whereas our genre/commercial fiction is scoffed upon), but I couldn’t care less about what you read. If a story appeals to a reader, I don’t think we should judge them for the genre. Escapism and/or wisdom can be found in any niche.

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