Discussion Day Confessions: I am a Book Bigot

8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion Day

Hi, my name is Anne, and I am a Book Bigot. What’s more, I’m incredibly ashamed to admit it.

We’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” and I do my level best not to (although sometimes I think we should – but that’s a discussion for another day). My personal book prejudice is much deeper than that. I’ve said many times, and proudly, that I’m a genre reader: Sci-fi and Fantasy no matter the intended age group of the audience. Lately, though, I’ve begun to wonder if that isn’t its own kind of prejudice. If I pick up a contemporary, do I enjoy it less because I “know” I don’t like contemps as well? I know I tend not to pick contemps out of a batch – if I bring a contemp home from the library, 9 times out of 10 I end up taking it back before even cracking the cover. Is that really because I don’t want to read it? Or do I not want to read it because I’m prejudiced against its genre?

My prejudices aren’t just limited to genre, either. The other day I was at the library picking up a bunch of books I’d ordered on inter-library loan. A major recent release (which shall remain title-less so I don’t accidentally prejudice you) came in and when I saw it I was suddenly a lot less sure I wanted to read it. The problem? Having only seen the cover and summary online I had no idea how THICK it was. The typical YA release is usually an inch to an inch and a half. This was easily twice that. Suddenly I was dreading stating it, despite the incredibly exciting blurb, because visions of boring informative paragraphs danced in front of my eyes.

Turns out, I was completely wrong. I loved the book and was never bored. Even so, it took me almost 2 weeks to finish the sucker, because that prejudice crept back in every time I had to stop and put it down. It was completely unfounded, but it forced me into a reading slump because I had a hard time facing it.If this book had been a high fantasy novel, or another Harry Potter, I wouldn’t have had nearly so much trouble. And that is not okay.

As we come up on the end of the year everyone tends to make New Year’s Resolutions. I think I just found one of mine: read anything, and read without prejudice.

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8 Responses to “Discussion Day Confessions: I am a Book Bigot”

  1. I like genre books too, and don’t read much contemporary – but I don’t think it’s a prejudice. When I do pick up a contemp book (and there are a few I’ve liked this year, like Grafitti Moon) – I don’t assume I won’t like it, but I do read less of them because I know I typically don’t enjoy those types of stories.

    • Anne says:

      I think there’s a fine line between knowing what you like and being prejudiced – I don’t have anything against contemps, but I’m much less likely to pick one up no matter how good the reviews, simply because of the genre, which sounds a lot like prejudice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing what you like, because honestly none of us have the time to read ALL THE BOOKS – or even just all the ones we want to. It’s just something I’ve been noticing about myself lately, and I wanted to explore it a little more.

  2. It is great when you see something, accept it and want to change it :) I do some of the things you’ve mentioned. I’m more likely to pick up a book with a okay blurb if the cover is pretty. I’ve been pushing away some books, because the covers are hideous in my opinion – even when everybody really love them.
    I tend to dislike books from other genres more, because I start them with the idea “that I won’t like it as much as my fantasy/YA/fairytale/whatever book” It is bad and I have been trying to come out of my prejudice and it works! I have been picking up books I normally wouldn’t read. I’ve been trying new genres – even discovered new genres that I now love 😀 So, good luck and I hope you can achieve your resolution!


    • Anne says:

      Glad to hear you’ve had some success! I honestly don’t know if I’ll succeed – my prejudices are pretty well ingrained. But I’m determined to try :)

  3. I definitely think I judge big books … and I think I know the book you’re talking about? I think I have that one on my shelf and I, too, am in no rush to read it! I know it’ll be awesome, but I think I’ll stick to my shorter books for now. I don’t usually pay attention to genres, but I definitely judge by covers.

    Great discussion, Anne!

    • Anne says:

      You may very well know the book I’m talking about, but I’m not going to tell you which it is. I don’t want to add to your trepidation if it’s the same, and I don’t want to give you another to dread if it isn’t! lol

      Good for you not paying attention to genres. It’s probably my biggest hang-up – I’ll think a book has a great title and a great cover and then find out it’s a contemp and suddenly have NO desire to read it whatsoever anymore… and that’s not good!

  4. Leah says:

    I am not a fan of contemporaries. I keep telling myself I don’t like the genre, I don’t want to read them, yet this year I read a few and loved every single one. Even though I loved each one I picked up this year, for some reason I’m still adamant that I just don’t care for the genre.

    The same goes for older books. With the exception of classics, if a book was written before a particular date, I’m less inclined to pick it up. Just this week I wrote a review for a book written in the 70s. Turns out I absolutely loved it and thought it was written far better than the majority of current releases I’ve come across.

    I know it’s wrong to think this way and I’ve made it a goal to be more open-minded about books, but I still have my reservations.

  5. […] talks about judging books by genre and size. Haven’t we all done […]

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