Annoying Things About Books – Part 1

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

One thing that bugs me about books: Characters who are described as being book-lovers who go on about how the love reading the literary classics.

It feels like they’re trying too hard to seem like “proper” book-lovers. Personally, a lot of them just sound like LITERARY SNOBS!

It’s nice to read about characters who love books (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of them) and talking about their favourite books, but it just feels like i’m constantly reading about contemporary characters who have only read all these literary classics. They never talk about other literary books, contemporary novels, or even admit to the trashy novels which they read when they’re having a rubbish day.

I mean, come on.

I myself have read a few literary classics, that much i’ll admit. But that’s not ALL i read! Honestly, some of them take a lot of effort, and aren’t always as good as everyone raves about.

I read translated fiction (OK, some of those are usually very literary, otherwise they wouldn’t be translated), i’ve read trashy novels (not too many slushy ones though!), tons of contemporary novels, textbooks (leftover from school and university, not that i’m a total geek!) and so on!

These characters rarely mention these other types of books. I suppose maybe they think the reader WANTS to read about books they have actually heard of, rather than some obscure books which they love but daren’t mention in case it makes them seem uncultured or weird or something.

Examples of books with such characters:

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer- Bella is constantly harping on about how much she loves Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights. Yes, they’re great but everyone studies these at school! (Maybe reading Twilight is the only way some people actually understand and learn about either of these classics? Shame on you.)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James- Ana is a bookish character, and a prized gift she receives from Christian is copies of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, being a lover of British literature. She also works for a publishing house.
  • The Finno-Ugrian Vampire by Noémi Szécsi- Jerne works for a small publishing house, studied English and goes on about the Brontë sisters, Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne and Hans Christian Andersen… even though she lives in Hungary and could talk more about Hungarian literature or even just literature from that region of Europe!

Am i the only person who thinks like this?

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Comments
  1. Maggie says:

    I agree. I hardly ever hear about characters reading trashy books or contemporary novels. It doesn’t ring true to me.

  2. Geoff W says:

    My roommates had a friend over and were trying to engage me in conversation and they asked her what she read, and her response was ‘I only read to be seen reading. I only read classics because of what it means to others.’ And at first I was like well at least she’s honest about it and then I realized HOW many people do that. And then I thought I’m so glad I read my trashy romance and fantasy novels mixed in with the classics I do read 🙂

    • I only read the classics because i feel like i should, as an ex-English student who didn’t get to read that many during my degree, and because people seem shocked when i say i haven’t, as everyone knows i’ve always been a big reader. Some of them are good and i can see why people rave about them, but some are frankly just awful.

      • Geoff W says:

        I agree! I read them because I think they’re interesting and I know the ones that I read in school I was mostly too young to appreciate.

      • I couldn’t be bothered with the classics at school, and they really drag the topic out when you study them so it makes you hate them. I appreciate the classics way more now because i can just read them at my own pace and move on when i’m done.

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