I read this article the other day, and it gave me a lot to think about. You see, a few weeks ago Josh and I were at Powell's with one of our friends. This friend asked me what I thought of a particular author, and I promptly proceeded to vilify this writer's work. Josh rolled his eyes and said, "Charlotte, stop being such a book snob."
At first I was affronted, because I like to consider myself a pretty objective reader. I'll typically give any book a chance, and then I feel like I have the right to hate it if I want. I also think that I've read enough books of all kinds to be able to assess the writing quality of a book, good or bad. Somehow I feel like I've earned that right through my reading and schooling.
Then I thought that maybe I lashed out against this particular author a little too harshly. Not that I'm rethinking any of my opinions, because really, I loathe this author's work and its popularity, but I should rethink how I express some of these opinions. So maybe, in some way I am a book snob.
So here's the thing, I have the right to like or dislike anything I want, especially if I give it a fair try, and everyone else has that same prerogative. I may or may not have a secret list of books that I use to assess a reader's literary acumen (you know, those books that if they don't like or dislike it as much as I do I judge them), but at the heart of it, I love people who read for the love of reading, even if that means they don't love the same books I do.
So the next time someone asks me about an author I have distaste for, I'll swallow the judgment fighting to break through and express my opinion in a way that isn't snobby. I'll make sure that I value my friend's opinion better and not belittle his thoughts or assessments. When it comes down to it I'd rather be a bibliophile who loves to talk books than a snob who seeks to sneer at them.
And no, I won't tell you the author I disparaged.