Book Snobbery and it’s time to quit it! – Guest post by M. L. Tishner
Okay so I’m starting to get this impression that maybe I’m doing this whole book blogging thing right. I have another guest post for everyone today! This time we have an author! Mari contacted me and decided to do a guest post for ItyReadsBooks! I’m interested in this topic myself so I really hope everyone enjoys this post and follows the links below to learn more about Mari and her book!
One of the most important things to do as a writer is to read. Stephen King once said that “if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write.”
Too friggin’ true.
Writers emulate authors they like…how? By reading them. All of them. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I am here to talk about the ugly. The guilty pleasure for lack of a better word. The stuff we don’t tell our fellow reader friends about…hell, we don’t even tell our non reader friends about. The fluff piece. The Oreo. The books that contain little to no nutritional value by the snobbiest of book readers but dammit they are delicious!!! Let’s face it, sometimes you just need some sugar.
Before I get into what exactly I am defending, I want to briefly discuss WHY I’m defending the Oreos of literature.
Some people aren’t readers. At least in my some of my circles, I have many friends who don’t read for pleasure and that makes me sad. Eventually, some manage to finally find that one book that turns them on to reading. It could be a classic, or (a lot of times) it could be – what we deem – trash. When it’s the latter, the reading community rolls its collective eyes and mutter: “Who would read this drivel?”
Honestly, I think we as readers can get a bit too snobbish about what we deem “good”. I’m usually so excited to find another voracious reader, I don’t care what it is! Reading is awesome!
Now before you get all huffy and retort, let me make a comparison. Today we are more likely to forgive movies and TV shows as being both high brow and low. There is nothing “intellectual” about The Hangover movies but they have me splitting my sides with laughter. What about the new live action version of The Lion King? Do we really need carbon copy 1:1 version of the movie from our childhood? Besides the fact that TLK has a dream cast we didn’t realize we needed, it’s reliving our childhood, it evokes an emotional response! That base emotion is enough to make this movie a lot of money. Hell, Shakespeare knew all about appealing to the lowest common denominator and yet we revere him as a literary god!
Villain, I have done thy mother.William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (1593)
Even in 1593, Shakespeare was not above the phrase, “Bitch, I did your mom.” That’s a real line, folks. Look it up.
I think readers are quicker to condemn books for not being “smart enough” when sometimes you merely read to be entertained – regardless if the writing is even good. They get angry at the fact that the masses are reading such novels ignoring the more important fact that people are reading at all!
So now you’re wondering what the hell I am talking about.
Oh yeah, that series. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes to the point that they’ll roll out of your head. But with vampires making a resurgence, I feel like we should revisit this old trend of hating on what’s popular just because it’s popular and maybe rethink how we behaved. I think the vitriol that erupted when the books came out was extreme and without a valid reason. Sorry, folks, you can’t convince me otherwise. I was one of those Twi-hards (or whatever the hell you call those fans) when I first read the series in college. I read and reread them AND bought the books in multiple languages. I loved it.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I was one of those who totally jumped on the Twilight-hating bandwagon when that rolled out, too. Looking back, I don’t understand the hate (I know I got into hating it because it was cool and I was simply following the trend like a lemming). But the violent hatred still doesn’t make sense. I mean, I understand the dislike. I had my problems with it: my own cynicism towards the plot as well as difficulty with the writer’s style. Sure, you may not like the book series – that’s totally fine. I will defend your right to dislike a book. You know what? I dislike Tolkien’s writing style and…well…it’s Tolkien. We all have our likes and dislikes.
But did Stephanie Meyer really deserve the hate? Is it because she came into the industry with no training and without paying her dues and began a billion-dollar industry? Was it because her stories were inspiration for Fifty Shades of Grey which blew up into a bigger industry? As someone who has spent most of her life working on bettering her writing – yeah, it’s annoying as hell and I am very jealous of her success. I will probably never be as famous as her no matter how much better my writing may be (in my humble opinion, of course) – but that’s life, folks. It’s unfair and Meyer’s time in the spotlight was a sort of Zeitgeist of the time – she won the proverbial literary lottery that we all wish we could win.
I don’t think Stephenie Meyer will write anotherTwilight book after dealing with such hate. I think that’s sad. As a writer, I write a lot of the stories for myself, not because it’s popular – and I think it’s rather soul crushing having that love of writing taken away from you. I fear that’s what we did to her (at least in regard to the Twilight universe). I don’t think any writer deserves that.
What about you guys? Do you still feel the seething hate at the mere mention of the name Twilight? Why – I would love to hear your thoughts.
Or do any of you, like me, have haters remorse? What about you who are still hardcore fans? What do you all think?
Where you can follow Mari:
Thank you to Mari for this interesting post! I’m interesting in everyone’s thoughts on this subject as well! Follow her and check out her book while you’re at it!