Quoting the Quill #34

quoting the quill small

“I don’t care if it’s Twilight or Fifty Shades or War and Peace; never let someone make you ashamed of what you love to read.”

– Rae Carson

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There’s been a lot of talk in the YA book community lately, well, there’s always been talk about it but a recent article especially has said that adults should be ashamed of reading YA when they no longer fit into that bracket. It’s been suggested that these kind of stories are too simple, too nice, too happily ever after and that adults should be reading more literary, thought-provoking books suited to their demographic.
This is, safe to say, utter bull to me and I find it frustrating that people are still having to defend their reading tastes. I mean, how is this even still a legitimate question that dignifies an answer? Mostly, I wave away these kind of things unaffected, but at the same time nothing in this world annoys me more than people who make others feel bad about what they like to read. I hate book snobbery.

Here’s what frustrates me most, books aren’t about brackets, or boxes or cages. Books  are a rarity because they allow people to forget their everyday roles and become someone entirely different, and for that moment in time you aren’t you anymore. You’re a knight fighting a dragon, or a young teen discovering love for the first time. Books transcend those claustrophobic brackets. It doesn’t matter what age you are or where you live. That’s why books are so amazing.

I’ve always had a sort of unsaid rule on this blog that I will never judge anyone here for what they choose to read, I hope you all know that but I guess I just wanted to reiterate it. It’s something I feel fiercely passionate about. Read all the fantasy, chick lit, erotica or literary fiction you like, whatever you enjoy. Even if it’s a book I dislike I’m not going to judge you for liking it, we all have different tastes and books are made to be enjoyed or they sit lonely and redundant. To me it doesn’t matter what people read, as long as they are reading. 🙂

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32 thoughts on “Quoting the Quill #34

  1. If someone’s intellectual insecurities are such that they have a problem with me enjoying Spongebob Squarepants then they can go shit as far as I’m concerned.

    I remember hearing about that article you mentioned and my conclusion was that it was merely click bait.

    • Amen! If you like highly intellectual stuff that’s great, but you don’t have to make others feel bad if they don’t like it. Besides, life is too serious as it is, sometimes you want a break full of fluffy goodness or Spongebob Squarepants.

      I agree, she definitely wanted to get a rise out of people and it worked. I did ponder doing a full post on it, but then decided that I didn’t want to give it more coverage.

  2. I absolutely agree. I personally read a wide range of books that include those written for children, young adults, and adults. I have found books I love in all three categories. Honestly, I find it amazing how powerful a book written for a younger audience can be. A book doesn’t need to be intentionally cerebral I be thought provoking. Some of the most thought provoking books I’ve read have been written for children. I’m not sure why people seem to care about the reading others do so much (though I’m sure that particular article was mostly click-bait), but maybe they could use some the lessons children’s and young adult books teach.

    • Thanks Tanya. 🙂 I do think it’s great to read a range of books, that way you get the best of both worlds and it can also be a good thing to go out of your comfort zone every once in a while.
      I agree, often books aimed at the younger generations can be more powerful than ones that are literary with various critical acclaims attached. There are some amazing children’s authors out there with an ability to condense complex topics into a few thought provoking sentences.

      Ha, that’s so true! 🙂

  3. I completely agree, I think that all genres have their amazing and not-so amazing books, so I have never understood the argument that YA in particular is too simple and I think it is ridiculous that people would be ashamed of reading YA!

    • Yes, exactly! 🙂 There are good and bad books in every genre, and what I find interesting is often the kind of people who make these comments about YA have read very little of it. YA seems to be a genre that is picked on a lot at the moment, I remember a while ago when it was all about chick-lit. I guess people always want a genre to attack!

  4. I agree with you 100%. I was so angered by that article. The main point of being able to read is to explore new worlds and escape from everyday life. The whole point of reading is not to “judge a book it’s cover”, in the literal sense as well as not judging other readers for what makes them happy.

    • I think a lot of people were angered by that article, and for good reason! I completely agree with you as well, if you don’t like a genre that’s absolutely fine! But I don’t think you should shame others for reading it because it can hurt their feelings. Plus, if you go about it that way other people aren’t going to listen to your argument seriously anyway.

  5. I agree! And to those who say that YA is simplistic, I’d ask them if they’d read any recently.

    Book snobs are the worst; people who tell me what I should enjoy (in anything) rarely get any attention from me.

    • Absolutely, the funny thing about people who write these articles is that often they haven’t even read much YA and you can tell by some of their comments. I remember in this particular article one of the writers problems with YA was that the genre was too ‘happily ever after’ and I just thought, what YA have you been reading lately? There’s loads without happy endings!

      Agreed. Book snobs = thumbs down. 🙂

  6. WhAtever floats your boat, i say! U can read anything, it doesnt matter how simple it is or how different or how inappropriate to ur age but if its something that makes u feel at the end of every page, then i say go for it! Its for ur own pleasure, for ur own reading happiness, not others. Care less, read often. Just a friendly reminder. 😉

    • I agree! Life is too short to be reading certain books for the sake of reading them, rather than because you enjoy them. To me, emotion is so important in a novel and I love the way you’ve described that, ‘read books that make you feel at the end of every page.’ Perfection! That’s what we all want from a book. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and sharing!

  7. I just had one of these conversations last night! A friend/pen pal of mine decided to dump all over The Mortal Instruments. It’s like “I just told you this is one of my favourite series, why are you trying to belittle it?”. I can’t stand book snobbery. I get annoyed with myself when I feel ashamed or embarrassed about pulling out the brightly coloured cover of the Hunger Games trilogy, or the bright pink cover of “Avalon High”. But I shouldn’t. Being ashamed of the book you’re reading should never be a thing.

    And everyone has that guilty pleasure book. I was a Twihard. People can read whatever they like, dammit.

    • No way, how fitting! Agh, I hate it when people know you like something and then decided to diss it in front of you, I don’t think it’s very classy. It’s just unneeded really, it’s not going to achieve anything other than angering/upsetting the person.
      I do that as well, Bec! It’s so frustrating, some YA books do have some bad covers that I feel slightly embarrassed to be carrying around with me, and then I feel like smacking myself for allowing myself to take that train of thought because why should I care what these other people think? Especially if they’re strangers.

      Yay, high five for a fellow Twihard. 🙂

      • Exactly. I mean, I rag on people’s tastes all the time, but in a playful way, you know? So as not to hurt their feelings. Like saying “Eminem sucks” when I can actually appreciate his way with words, even if I can’t stand rap as a genre. I got so angry. I mean, if someone tells you how much a book/tv show/movie means to them, why would you continue to bag it out? I hate people sometimes -_-

        Man, I always feel good pulling out a book rather than my phone when I’m on public transport. Not gonna lie, I feel a little superior. But I’m reading Bloodlines at the moment and if you know the covers of those books, you’ll know that I will feel uncomfortable getting them out of my bag in public.

        Hahaha, we all had to have been Twihards at some point, right?

      • Yeah definitely, it’s expressing you own taste and dislikes while still being respectful of another persons view. It’s a balance a surprising amount of people seem to get wrong!

        Aha, agreed. 🙂 So many people sit staring at their phones now. Like you, I love that feeling of sitting there reading a book, like I’m using the time for something positive by getting my brain working. It’s like hey, check me out, I READ. Ohh yeah.
        Ahh yes, I have seen the Bloodlines covers, they’re god awful! I don’t know who created them but ugh. The publisher needs to do a recover stat.

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more Becky!! I have read these articles too lately, and they make me so angry. Nobody will ever tell me what I should or should not read. I read for pleasure and stress relief, and I read whatever the hell I want, AND I’m proud to say that I have a whole section of my bookshelves dedicated to YA!!

    • Thanks, Cindy! There seems to be so many articles picking on YA at the moment, but people are always dissing something. I remember a while back it was chick-lit, before that it was probably fantasy or science fiction. There will always be that person that looks down on others because they don’t have the same taste or beliefs. What happened to a little empathy and acceptance, huh? Silly people.

      Amen, sister!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I find it so inspiring how steadfast you are with your views, I think over time it has made me more confident to be the same. 🙂

  9. Completely agree with everything, especially that last sentence: “it doesn’t matter what people read, as long as they are reading”. It always makes me smile inwardly when I get on a bus/train and see people reading books instead of staring at their phones (although I guess they could be reading ebooks…) I once saw a middle aged man in a business suit reading ‘Harry Potter’ on the bus, and I thought that was awesome. When I think of him, I’m reminded that I shouldn’t be worried about people judging me for what I read. If you like the book you’re reading, just pull it out and read it anyway!

    • Thank you, and can I just say that I adore your gravatar picture!
      I completely agree, I love seeing people reading on public transport, I’m so nosy, always craning my neck to try and work out what someone is reading. I love your anecdote about the business man reading Harry Potter, it conjures such an awesome picture in my head imagining a guy with a stiff upper lip laughing at the Weasley twins. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and sharing!

  10. Preach sister! FYI I think YA is bloody wonderful and I love to read it. Fuck the haters!

    I wouldn’t want to diss something that other people enjoy. They see something worthwhile and it does something for them, so who am I to judge? I’m all for a bit of debate and playful banter but I would never make it an issue or think badly of somebody based on what they choose to read. Erotica? Marvellous. Chick-lit? Wonderful. Fantasy? Good for you! If somebody is passionate about what they’re reading then that’s enough for me.

    • Hahaa! YA is wonderful, DEAL WITH IT PEOPLE.

      I’m glad you feel that way, Charl. 🙂 It still surprises me how many people do still hold these negative or elitist views about certain genres, I thought we were way past that by now. Ohh yeah definitely, playful banter is always encouraged.
      Agreed!

  11. Such a good quote! I definitely agree. There is far too much pressure on adults to read what we think we should be reading, as opposed to what we want to read… I have a confession to make… It’s one of the main reasons I asked for a kindle as a birthday gift – so people couldn’t see what I was reading and thus judge me for it! (I know I hang my head in shame.) xx

    • Thank you, Lottie! People will always have their opinions about what we should or shouldn’t read and we will never be able to please everyone so we may as well read what WE want. It seems like the best road to happiness to me.
      Sneaky! Oh, I see how it is. 😉 I’m glad you confessed it, although it makes me sad that you felt people were judging your reading tastes. Not fun. Would you believe that’s one of the many reasons I dislike ebooks? I can’t snoop at what other people are reading!

  12. Book snobbery is disgusting. Who are you to tell people what they should and shouldn’t enjoy? =/ I for one will continue to read children’s novels and comic books no matter how old I become. I love their charm and simplicity; they give me such an uncomplicated sense of happiness and I wouldn’t give that up for anything, not for all the book snobs in the world.

    • Agreed! Life is short and you’re never going to be able to please everyone all of the time so you may as well at least please yourself! I think there’s always something to be learnt, whether from a classic or a modern children’s book. I love the way you’ve put that and I’m so glad to hear you wouldn’t give up your book tastes to make someone else happy. 😀

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