Book Snub

I reserve extra snobbery for books. They take up a good portion of my evening, and I was a literature major; so I feel especially empowered to be judgmental. As if I needed license.

I’m in 2 book clubs and try to fit in my own selection too, so that’s a minimum of 3 books a month, 66% of which are not my choice. I pick them up anyway and read them. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. Other times, not. But love it or hate it, as long as it qualifies as something worth having a conversation over, I’m good.

Then there are those that pass as “books.” It’s really more like People magazine without pictures. Here’s a hint it’s not a real book…it’s trending on Yahoo searches, one or more characters is undead, or people are reading it on mass transit. If the masses are are interested, it probably doesn’t pass the snoot test. That’s the definition of snoot, people.

I am really fine if you want to read them on your own time and try to hunt for a plot or make extrapolations about how the author really meant to develop the character. I’m especially fine if you want to practice your editing skills by adding proper punctuation or correcting spelling mistakes. But please don’t attribute book-like qualities to it and purport to have a serious discussion about the deeper meaning. Just read it for fun and admit that it’s a time-killer between now and the sweet hereafter for you.

I recently read one that was banned from a Florida library for mature content. Oh, the outrage! I’m generally not for censorship, but I might have to make an exception in this case. I’m down with all kinds of questionable content. One of my favorite books of all time is Lolita. So it’s clearly not that. 

I would ban the “book” in question on the grounds that’s it abominably written, gratuitous, and insufferably tedious. On the other hand, banning the book from the library would only put $9.99 more in the hands of the “author” for each prospective “reader” and cost more trees their lives. Also, a good banning is usually an indicator of a really good book, and certainly part of any successful marketing plan. So, I’d hate to accord this one the air of any artistic merits or cultural insurgency on which to be banned. Sigh. Freedom wins by a hair. By all means, go forth and wallow in it.

12 thoughts on “Book Snub

      • I’m sure that would be a vast improvement. My wife shared with me passages from the book in question that she found on a site ridiculing the book, and I was appalled. Then she was going to check it out from the library to really find out how bad it was, but there was a waiting list. So she speed-skimmed the first hundred pages in a book store and was left shaking her head.

        I like to hope that my erotica is much, much better (also raunchier at times, but I sure hope my writing, plotting and characterization are far better).

  1. You read 50 Shades of Gray – really, Barbara?? Wow. I kind of categorized that into the mother’s little helper category – ha! Cracking myself up.

    • Yes, I read it. The book club voted on it, as we had an empty slot. And I figured it would be good blog fodder. Needless to say I won’t be reading #2 & #3, nor will I get a refund for my $9, nor be able to purge the awfulness from my head.

  2. FYI our library is ‘revisiting it’s policy’ on whether to put it back on the shelves and the criteria for pulling it- now that it’s made national headlines! There are other ‘romance’ novels on our library shelves that are apparently even racier according to some friends who have read it and other racier titles. I can see not buying it for the library, but once it’s bought, just leave it there. Add a checkout restriction like they have for R rated movies if needed, but if it’s already paid for, let it be. Otherwise it’s wasted $.

  3. I have to admit I read the book too–ended up laughing at how ridiculous the characters were and how astoundingly bad the writing was. I had to purge my brain with a re-reading of War and Peace.

    • Well yes, snobbery is kind of my bread and butter. I make no pretenses about that–the blog title kind of gives it away. She’s undoubtedly richer than I, but so is the person who produced Breakin’ II Electric Boogaloo. Self-respect, in tact.

    • I first read “self-possessed,” and was flattered. I did read the book, therefore I’m qualified to give an opinion. If net worth is the measure of success, please explain Donald Trump.

      • haha, all blown out swept aside hair and egos are alike…i admit, the books are tiresome after the first one. but my opinion really doesn’t matter since a gillion others are buying it, reading it and talking about it, just like now. the books were not intended to be a literary masterpiece, one must keep that in mind, as a matter of fact, snobbery where that trilogy is concerned is rather misplaced – we are still talking about it. good or bad press is giving it attention…

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