February 22, 2013

Something I've NEVER Apologized For

I came across an interesting post on the Huffington Post this week: Stop Apologizing for What You Like to Read. The author of the post teaches Literature and finds it annoying that so many people apologize to her about liking certain books.

My husband gets onto me all the time for constantly saying, "I'm sorry." But I have NEVER apologized for the books I like, or the genres. Nor do I apologize for or try to defend those I do not like. (I HATED Wicked--loved the play, not the book. Couldn't even finish it, and I have only put down three books in my whole life. See Books I Quit.)

I will read anything, any genre. I'm very proud of this fact. And I like what I like. If I have had an overly stressful week, I turn to Nora Roberts. In fact, I keep several of her books on hand just in case. I love them all--they are my guilty pleasure. Except, really, I don't feel any guilt.

I also love Young Adult, but for now that's the cool thing to like, so I guess I'm good there. And although I try to stay open-minded, I'm not a huge non-fiction or horror lover. I'm just not.

I'm actually less impressed by someone who rattles off Hemingway, Dickens or Austen as one of their favorite authors. Granted, I love them all, but I feel like people say those authors because they think they are supposed to, not because they truly love them. If they do love them, however, all power to them.

I am just as happy reading To Kill a Mockingbird as I am Hunger Games, The Book Thief, or the latest Nora Roberts. Truly, I appreciate any book that transports the reader to a place that makes them happy.

But I'm never ashamed to admit to loving ANY book, nor would I ever apologize. The only person I can't talk to about books--a person who doesn't appreciate reading. Then, I really have nothing to say. 

Do you apologize for your reading preferences? Is there any genre you simply won't read, without exception?

For fun, here are two shots of the bookshelf next to my bed. It's all about variety!


Unknown said...

I think that's great that you don't apologize for what you like to read. I don't either. If people don't like what I read, I'm okay with that. They don't have to read it. But if I enjoy it, I'm going to read it and I'm not going to be ashamed by it.

I loved Twilight (I know, that's not a popular thing to say right now, but there it is). I absolutely hate the movies, though. And although I loved the Twilight series I absolutely hated the Host. To those that loved it, good! I'm happy it was a book that transported you to a fictional world you enjoyed. That's what reading is all about! :)

No, we should'nt apologize for what we read, and I don't really want to hear anyone make excuses for what they like anymore than I want to for what I like.

We all have our preferences in genre and that's what makes the writing world so wonderful! There are many different worlds for many different tastes!

Great post!

Michelle :)
Author, Pods, available June 4th

Tia Bach said...

Michelle, Thanks so much for stopping by. I also enjoyed the Twillight books, and some of my friends refused to admit that they did too. :-) I haven't read The Host, but I have heard totally mixed reviews on it.

Of course, I don't tend to listen to reviews too much. Sometimes I end up wishing I had, though!

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

I liked the Twilight books as well. I enjoyed the movies but, as usual, a lot of details were left out. I've heard some people say that the books are a bunch of fluff. Those same people probably never even read the books.

I agree that a lot of writers "name drop" well-known authors' names because they think there's an unwritten rule to do so. I actually like discovering great books that may happen to be by little known authors.

There are a few genres that I don't care to read, but I pretty much read across the board and I don't apologize for any of it. No one should have to read in secret. :)

Tonja Drecker said...

Yep, there's definitely peer pressure among readers. But you're right, there's no need to apologize just because we enjoy reading something. There aren't many genres I don't care for - I too read across the board. Diversity is always good, right? ;)

Julie Glover said...

What a great point! I don't apologize either. I loved Anna Karenina, and I loved Interview with the Vampire. I loved Don Quixote, and I loved Harry Potter. I could give other examples.

I do have to comment on two reading choices here. One, I hated Wicked and stopped reading it also. Two, I notice that you have Bel Canto on your shelves, and my whole book club loved that novel. :)

Callie Leuck said...

I do feel like I have to apologize for my favorites sometimes, because sometimes I feel as though naming books that are "classics" amongst my favorites is a bit pretentious. You know? So I feel apologetic for that, at times.

But on the other hand, I have no problem saying I liked books that other people tend to hate. While I genuinely don't think it was great writing, I did enjoy reading Twilight, and have said so to graduate school writing friends. (FWIW, I think The Host was really good, and I hope you enjoy it. It's very different from Twilight, though, which may throw people off who are expecting something similar.) I have no problem saying I love Gregory Maguire's books to death and have read probably six or seven of them. Something about his style appeals to me, even as I can recognize why so many people really don't like them.

I suspect it's all related to Hemmingway. Personally, I don't like his writing, and I've always had a slight suspicion that people who claim he's their favorite author are just being pretentious. So I'm afraid to admit I like various classics (other than the commonly popular ones like Austen) for fear I'll seem pretentious. But I guess that's unfair. It's entirely possible that some people really do genuinely like Hemmingway, that he really is their favorite author, and I need an attitude adjustment about the whole thing.

Jo Michaels said...

I read whatever interests me, too. I'm not a fan of erotica unless you count the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice (that wasn't raunchy and was really well written).

Your bookshelves look like mine, only smaller. :) hehe

Great post. People should read what they want without others leaning over their shoulder and saying, "Oooooh, you read that? I'd never read that!"


Tia Bach said...

I love all your responses. It's inspired me to do another post on the matter. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sharon Himsl said...

Hi. Had to laugh at your stack of books. I'm all over map, too. Saw Scorpio Races there. Yep, me, too. I write fiction but I read a lot of nonfiction too--but it depends on my mood. Saw you on the A-Z list. All the best:)