Today is a Tuesday, which normally means another Top Ten Tuesday post, but I decided to do a single Book Blogger Confessions post instead of the topic (which was ten blogging confessions, which I’m not sure I’d be able to come up with!). So, enjoy a rare non-TTT Tuesday!
For this post, I’m going to reveal a confession that probably won’t endear me to many readers in the blogging community: I’m kind of a Jane Austen snob. And no, that doesn’t mean that I look down at anyone who doesn’t love Jane Austen and that I’m obsessed with her books – instead, it means that I can be a bit judgmental of them simply because they aren’t my cup of tea.
I know, isn’t it shocking?!
I know, I know, it’s horrible to judge people for what they read, and I hate it when people do it to me, and I really am trying to do better, but sometimes I look at people who read Jane Austen and the like and wonder if they truly like her books or if they do because they feel like they’re expected to (note: this is normally what I think when I see someone who barely reads anything else, not people who read a variety of books including Jane Austen romances).
I didn’t used to think anything of my narrow-minded opinions. I was perfectly content to think little of Jane Austen readers when the topic came up but to otherwise not worry about them at all. I didn’t think I was too open-minded, but I don’t think I actually thought I was close-minded either.
I know, I know, that doesn’t really make sense – I was obviously being a bit close-minded and simply in denial about it.
I started realizing how stupid and unfair I was being when I started getting into blogging and discovered all of these amazing, well-rounded readers who love many, many books, including Jane Austen, but I think the topic is really relevent now, in light of the article last month that said adults should be ashamed of the fact that they read YA. When I saw this article, I thought it was completely ridiculous and was appalled that someone could be so close-minded and judgmental – but really, how was I much better? I might have begun seeing that I was wrong and such, but I know I still tend to look down on books that are primarily classified as “romance,” whether they were written in the 1800s or last week.
I think there are a few reasons that I feel this way. The most obvious one is that we live in a society that tends to look down on things that are specifically targeted at women, and romance books have largely considered to be this way. I am a feminist who’s not afraid to use the word despite the negative connotations, but it’s still easy to fall into traps like this, where I judge things simply because that’s the way society seems to work. And this isn’t an excuse – this is me calling myself out on something I desperately need to change.
See, there’s nothing wrong with being a girl and liking “girly” things, like laughing and having fun with your friends!
I know that part of my problem with Jane Austen is also that I tend to shy away from classics, and therefore tend to think that most people who exclusively read classic books are just trying to be pretentious, so obviously I need to really work on my judgmental tendencies.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading what you what to read – make sure that you never let people who are openly judgmental or secretly judgmental (like me – but I’m working on it!) make you feel bad for doing that. And if you’re like me and tend to look down on books that you don’t like, then join me in trying to be a better person and reading whatever we want!