There’s been a lot of talk around the blogosphere lately about owning your reading choices. It started with the infamous Slate article (not linking, because the article doesn’t deserve a link) stating that adults who read young adult novels should be ashamed of themselves. There was plenty of well-deserved backlash (including my #BKR03 quarterly box, which included a tote bag and pin proudly declaring “I Read YA”) and plenty of bloggers declaring that they read YA and were proud of it. And it extended to a campaign for all readers to proudly own their reading and never be ashamed for liking what they like. I’m totally on board with that, so here’s my list of reading choices I refuse to apologize for.
I won’t apologize for reading YA. Since things started with YA, I’ll start with YA. My world would be much less fun without the likes of Harry Potter and friends, for example. Not to mention my favorite childhood classics. For goodness’ sake, my daughter is named after an L.M. Montgomery heroine.
I won’t apologize, in fact, for reading cozy mysteries either. Or anything else I darn well please. I like what I like and I don’t care who knows it.
I won’t apologize for buying pretty books. Yes, even if I already own a copy. The story is the thing and all that, but books can do double duty as beautiful objects.
I won’t apologize for using the library to test-drive books before committing to buying them. Yes, I love supporting my favorite authors, but I prefer to know I love the book before granting it some of my limited shelf space.
I won’t apologize for liking the convenience of my e-reader. It’s real reading, people. For that matter, so are audiobooks.
I won’t apologize for having no interest in comics or John Green. Sure, they’re both trendy in the book world, but neither reading option interests me even a little bit. I have enough on my TBR without worrying that there’s something wrong with me because I don’t care to read The Fault in our Stars (much less abbreviate it to “TFIOS”) or take out a Marvel Unlimited subscription.
I won’t apologize for rarely (or never) reading genres that don’t interest me. I’m never going to be a sci-fi fan. I’ve come around to more fantasy novels, but I have no interest in most of the horror genre. Again, I have enough on my TBR – I don’t need to put myself through a genre that I know I don’t enjoy.
I won’t apologize for crafting with books, or for buying upcycled book page jewelry or art on Etsy. What’s wrong with giving an otherwise unwanted book new life? It’s not sacrilege, it’s rescuing a book from the garbage heap and turning it into something useful and beautiful.
I won’t apologize for being a serial book-finisher, except in the most extreme of cases. This is another thing the internet is into lately: abandoning books that don’t please. Well, I will ditch a book if by page 50 it’s given me nothing to recommend it. But in about 98% of cases, I find a reason to push through. It may not end up on a favorites shelf, but someone slaved over it (probably) and I’m going to give it my time. I’ve ended up loving a book that I wasn’t wild about for many of its pages. If you’re one who can abandon a book that’s not meeting expectations – good on ya. But I generally can’t, and I won’t be made to feel a less discerning reader for it.
I won’t apologize for occasionally begging off a lunch invitation to read by myself. I have a long TBR and very little time to read in. I do try to be social, but sometimes I only want to socialize with book characters. That’s my nature and I won’t apologize for it.
I won’t apologize for liking all my books in a series to be in the same edition. It’s a weird little tic that has nothing to do with the stories and everything to do with how they look on my shelves, but, well, we’ve already established that I like my shelves to look nice (see above). My home is my home and I want it to be beautiful, and organized, well-curated bookshelves are part of that.
I won’t apologize for needing time to read every. single. day. Reading keeps me sane. I feel as weird if I go a day without reading as I would if I went a day without brushing my teeth (ew!).
Did you read the Slate article? Were you outraged too? What readerly traits do you refuse to apologize for or recant?