My fellow blogger Katie @ Never Not Reading recently wrote a post on levels of genre snobbery where she listed and described four levels from the least to the worst of them, in her opinion. They were:
- Level one: Non-Snob
- Level two: Romance-Hater
- Level three: The Ageist
- Level four: The True-Snob
The post is worth reading and I encourage you all to do so, as well as the comments it received. Of course, it made me think, which brings me to this post, to ask the question…
Are You a Genre Snob?
First of all…
I’m not sure if I agree totally with all of Katie’s assessments. Not that I don’t think any of these types of snobs exist – they certainly do. Each and every one of them. No, its more that I’m not sure I would have listed any of them as more severe than others. But perhaps I haven’t been the brunt of any snobs trying to tell me off for reading or avoiding any particular genre.
Furthermore, as I noted in my comment on her post, I happen to believe that the “non-snob” is also a type of snob. I mean, I’ve seen a couple book bloggers who seem to believe that if you aren’t open to all genres for all age groups, that you’re not really an honest-to-goodness reader, and you probably shouldn’t have a book review blog. Seriously?
Also, I’m sure there are quite a few other types of genre snobs, including both the devotees and haters of such genres as fantasy, horror, manga, mystery, women’s, thrillers, graphic novels, crime, “chic-lit”, and more. In fact, I’m almost certain that if you have a penchant to love or hate any particular genre (or combination of genres), be they whatever they may be, you’re probably a bit of a snob about those genres. Mind you, there are also those non-fiction snobs who say “Oh, I don’t read novels. I like to read real books.” As if you are wasting your time with fiction.
As for me?
Am I a genre snob? Well, perhaps I am, in a way. I’ll admit that there are several genres I just won’t read, and I wouldn’t know a good from a bad YA or middle grade or New Adult book if it bit me on the behind. But I’m hoping that I’m less of a genre snob and more of a quality snob. See, I will not tolerate a badly written book, or one that doesn’t pique my interest with believable characters, and/or a story line that is compelling; I will happily stop reading something I am not enjoying. (Sorry, Julian Fellows, I didn’t like your book “Belgravia” and gave up on it, but the TV series is nice so far!)
I’ll also admit to being an anti-hype snob, of sorts. I’m talking about books that get way too much promotion, long before they’re released, which are usually touted as being from “best-selling” authors. These are more often than not from the big publishing houses, which have huge marketing budgets. Now, unless the author is someone I already know and love (Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, or Anne Tyler, for example), I’m not going to automatically buy into that type of over-hype. However, if there are several compelling reviews of that book (which is, ironically, a type of hype itself), I will be willing to give it a try (Daisy Jones and The Six, is one example of a highly promoted book that I only read because of several glowing reviews). But I’m usually more on the lookout for books from indie and smaller publishers or books by new authors, than I am the big names.
That makes me wonder if being any type of a genre snob, or even a quality snob, is such a bad thing. I mean, if we keep our snobbery to ourselves and don’t deride others for loving something we dislike or vise-versa, where’s the harm? And in fact, if we take it even further, doesn’t the virtue of our being such faithful book bloggers make us snobs for books in general?
So, what do you think?
Are you a Genre Snob?
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
This post is my 7th entry in the 2020 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!