So here's an interesting question: what makes a person a book snob? As a reader of almost exclusively books by dead people, I get accused of literary snobbishness a bit- mostly by people who don't know me, as is usually the case with Random Acts of Stupid. But what is being a book snob, really? Does it mean judging people for what they read?
I admit I walk right over to a person's bookshelf upon entering their house. Coat off, nice to meet you, very good, can you put that baby somewhere else, oh you have BOOKS canIlookatthemokthanks. Oh..look at all that Dan Brown..uh..I REALLY have somewhere else to be like..um..7-11. Just kidding, I don't leave. Immediately.
But there is an argument to be made that a person's bookshelves, or lack there of, says a great deal about their values. Perhaps they don't value literacy, or the intricacies of language, or using their head bone. Or maybe I'm just a snob. Or maybe someone's reading choices are a signal of their real selves- or who they want you to think their real selves are (we all know that person who stocks their shelves with yards of Penguin classics, but hasn't read a-one of them...weirdo). Now, don't get me wrong- I'm not going to NOT befriend someone because they're not readers, or because they read craps. But when I think about my closest friends, they all read, and they read well. Maybe I need to get out more?
Then there are the folks who judge the lot of us, aren't there. The people who give the not-so-subtly-condescending "I don't know HOW you find all that TIME to READ," as if their time is spent doing something far more superior, like watching The Hills or..whatever it is people do when they're not watching television. The people who comment on the huge number of BOOKS you have, as if you were collecting shrunken voodoo skulls, while you never comment on how much money they spent on their boxed set of EVERY SEASON OF Friends. Not that there's anything wrong with Friends. There is, however, something wrong with The Hills.
Isn't that a form of anti-book-snobbery? I'll go out on a limb and make a statement a lot of readers aren't willing to make for fear of being pelted with rotten tomatoes: Reading absolutely is a superior activity to watching sitcoms. There, I said it. I'll even go so far as to say something that most book bloggers aren't willing to say: not all reading is good, and there are some books that are better to read than others. There are books that are horribly written, with stupid themes, that leave you dumber after having read them. I bet you can name one.
Of course, I have buds who don't dig the reading thing, but not many. They're super-fab people, but a part of me thinks that people who don't read and instead watch television would rather entertain themselves than think, and maybe I subconsciously draw back from that- I certainly don't do it on purpose. And I know that everyone's different and special, blah blah, I love you, you love me, purple dinosaur whatever...or are readers smarter? I'm not asking because I think I have answers, I'm asking to know what you think.
What about you? Are you a snob (realist-maybe)? Do you assume things about people based on their reading preferences, or lack thereof? Do you think that any reading is better than no reading? Do you think reading is better than watching television? And if there are books that are just better to read than others- who decides what they are? I mean, aside from me. Obviously.