#LetsDiscuss2020 – Are You a Genre Snob? – TCL’s #DiscussionSunday #7.


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?

Discussion Sunday #letsdiscuss2020

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!


27 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2020 – Are You a Genre Snob? – TCL’s #DiscussionSunday #7.

  1. Personally, I like to delve into different genres, but don’t read sci-fi or fantasy works lately. Maybe I am but there is no reason to stop publishing them and it’s fine by me that they exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was probably more of a book snob when I was younger. Over the years, I just want people to read. I also have a bit of a love/hate with the idea of guilty reading pleasures. If graphic novels are your thing, go for them. If you want to read romance novels, great, recommend some to me. Now, are there genres I prefer? Of course. Great question!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In general I think that there’s a difference between having a genre preference and being a genre snob. For example, I don’t like thrillers in particular, I find them dull and repetitive, but I don’t try to enforce that on anyone else. There are people out there, though, who refer to thrillers as “trash” and people who read mostly thrillers not “real” readers. In my post I picked on romance because I notice it gets the most trash talk from other readers, but I notice similar shade thrown at mystery, thrillers, and chick-lit.

    You’re right, though, that I am definitely a hype snob. I almost go out of my way to not read hyped books because I think they probably won’t live up. I’m much more likely to read them after the hype has died down and people continue to quietly recommend it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I certainly have preferences for the types of books that I like, which, to me, is different from snobbery. And I think good books can exist in any genre, but I’m not always familiar enough with the genre to find the good stuff. For instance, I don’t read romance, and although I’m willing to try something that a trusted source recommends, I have so many other books to read already that I haven’t made time to explore what is good in the genre.

    I can be snobby though about super-popular books. I’m open to trying them if I see enough good reviews from trusted sources, but I’m always a little suspicious of big hits. Popularity just doesn’t seem to be a good indicator of quality.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this post and all the comments that followed. I do not think I am a genre snob, but they do exist. I have been challenged by some with questions like “Why do your read that?” about a particular genre of the other way around, “You should read …., I know you would love it if you give it a chance.” I have tried various genres that I do not read, to see if maybe I was not giving it a chance, but I didn’t enjoy it. I do read a variety of fiction genres and I do read non-fiction as well. I think each person should read what they enjoy and not ever feel pressured to read something that is not their preference. There are too many books out there and every book or genre is not for every person.

    I like to think I am a good judge of quality writing, but sometimes, I just want to read a fun book that entertains me. Now, off to check out Katie’s post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pretty tough question, Davida. 🙂 I, for one, don’t read YA. I also like to read well-written books, doesn’t matter if it’s written by a well-known author or a lesser-known. What does that make me? Hmm! A human being with preferences. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on Buried Under Books and commented:

    Good post! I confess to being a snob about a lot of “literary fiction” and avoid most of it like the plague we’re currently experiencing. Also draw the line at most romance but erotica is the only subgenre of romance I won’t read at all. Otherwise, I’m open to most genres, especially mystery, comfort, Southern, historical, science fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just because you have preferred genres doesn’t necessarily mean you are a ‘genre snob’.
    This is what my Review Policy states:
    I prefer to review mystery or suspense fiction with psychological thrillers being my absolute favorites. I will also review historical fiction, women’s fiction or literary fiction.

    I DO NOT review fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, non-fiction, erotica, graphic novels, YA titles, or poetry collections.
    Fantasy, Science fiction, Steampunk, Erotica, Graphic Novels, and YA titles BECAUSE I DON’T READ THEM.
    Non-fiction and Poetry because I don’t feel qualified to review them.

    In addition, I think ‘love stories’ and ‘romance’ are two different entities. Love stories, if written realistically, can cross over into the literary fiction genre, whilst ‘romance’ is quite formulaic and ‘happy ever after’.
    (forgive my rant – I used to work as a public library cataloger responsible for all the fiction)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. BUSTED!!! I’m definitely a genre snob although I hope I’m well disguised!!! I may have to write a post on this or at the least add it to my bookish confessions list!!!
    I find that the more I read, the pickier I get! “Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones” (Guernsey) is my mantra!
    If One day you would be open to a MG I can give you some suggestions! 😂😂😂 In fact I’m doing a TTT post on MG next Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah… well, I’ve read a couple YA books that I really liked. Also, I just read one that was written before they had these categories and was called Adult but I think it is more New Adult. I don’t snub books for younger audiences, but unless the subject matter interests me, I’m not going to read them. I didn’t mind the Harry Potter books… until the last ones were published which should have been edited WAY down.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a quality snob, like you, and I totally own that. I don’t think I’m a genre snob though. I read all genres, though I focus my blog on mostly just two for reviews because I want people to know what to expect when they look through reviews on my site, and I feel most knowledgeable about those genres so I’m better equipped to write reviews for them. That’s an interesting post topic. I need to head over to the original post now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find it a bit annoying when people deride chick lit, or soppy romances, or anything else. I am not into chick lit, and I have no idea why people read sci fi or dystopian novels, but, if they enjoy them, that’s all that matters.

    Liked by 2 people

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