Write What You Like. Read What You Like, Too…

(c) Jo Naylor (Creative Commons License - Flickr)

(c) Jo Naylor (Creative Commons License – Flickr)


I started writing this post over two months ago. When I started it, I noticed a trend in social media conversations. I don't remember which book had caused the latest fuss–probably Twilight or Fifty Shades–but it was the same old shit, different day.

I have an opinion, it's a very blunt one, and I'm going to share it. I've been sitting on this for so long because I didn't want to offend people. Well, fuck it. I'm going to go ahead. If I offend you… well, think it through, because if you're in the group that's going to be offended by this, there might be an issue, and it might not be with me.

Here's the brief summary of the situation: A bunch of egotistical elitist assholes were judging some new readers (some of these were teenagers) about their choice of books. They were judging these people because they didn't enjoy ‘proper' literature. These were new readers who loved a book others didn't approve of.

I have a few words to say to those who have ostracized others for loving a book.

Fuck you, sir or madam.

Did that wake you up? Offend you? Make you stop and go ‘what the actual fuck?' I hope so, because I have exactly one goal here: I want people to realize how incredibly stupid and horrible it is to judge someone for a book they love to read. I want people to realize how incredibly repulsive it is for someone to mock another person for loving a book.

I'm an author. Books are my lifeblood. I love to read, I love to write. I hate some books, but I never, ever hate someone for loving a book. If someone hates my books, that's okay. My books are not for everyone.

What do I do now when someone says they hate my books? I ask them what they love. If I know a book in that genre / writing style, I suggest they read that one, because they might enjoy it.

I have something to say for those new readers who have been laughed at, scorned, or criticized for enjoying a book, be it Twilight, Fifty Shades, the Hunger Games, or the Complete Works of Shakespeare:

Keep loving that book.

Fuck those who can't accept you have a mind of your own. Fuck those who can't accept that book resonated with you. Fuck those who can't appreciate the fact you love a book they don't approve of.

I'm a bit opinionated about this. I don't like Fifty Shades–that's evident in my commentary during my unfinished Play by Play. I actually don't mind Twilight, although there are some things that make me go whaaatttt?!

Here's the deal: It doesn't matter what I think about any book. If you like it, that is a great thing. You're reading.

I've had a difficult time keeping my temper in check when I see people ratting at the fans of a book. Go ahead, beat down the book all you want. But, when someone says they love a book you hate… shut your fucking mouth and let them love that book. Don't berate them for loving a book.

Don't turn these people off on loving books. Think that through really, really carefully. I hear it all the time. These elitist asses want people to read good ‘literature' and mock those who read genre fiction or ‘bad' books.

Gateway books are novels that teach someone the love of reading. When you mock their love of a book, you're not helping anyone. You're just proving you're an insufferable asshole. Go ahead, say how much you dislike the book. That's more than okay. But, don't mock the person who loves the book. There's a big difference there–and it's a very hurtful one.

You don't have to understand why someone loves a book. They just do. When you mock someone for loving a book, all you're doing is telling them their interests and love are worthless.

That's a pretty repulsive act in my book. Why?

Because I truly love books, and other readers are my people. I'll defend someone's right to love a ‘bad' book until my dying breath. To them, that isn't a bad book. It's a beloved one, and they deserve to be treated better than being mocked for loving a book.


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