Today, we've got an awesome guest post by Amna Mohdin, an 18-year-old girl who is trying to juggle writing, reading, college and being an opinionated and awkward Teen. She blogs and tweets. And like tinkerbell, she needs applause to live.
Your Taste in Books Does Not Make You
Better Than Anyone.
Better Than Anyone.
by Amna Mohdin
Do you guys get the look? When you go to a bookstore and head straight for the YA section and people (even your friends) give you the look.
This is a post for you.
No, I'm not embarrassed that I read or write YA. And reading so-called 'sophisticated' books does not make you better than anyone.
Let me simplify a rather simple concept. There are a lot of people on this planet, and our planet is relatively small. So it is inevitable that you will meet other human beings. In the stone age, beating your chest may have been sufficient, but society has evolved. We now have language, literature and...Reality TV. (OMG, HAVE YOU SEEN THE ENDING TO THE HILLS?)
Literature is something that caters to a lot of needs. Which is a great thing, as different people have different needs. And literature brings people together. Yes, talking about books is great for conversations.
Me: Hey, what are you reading?
Someone Awesome: I'm rereading the Hunger Games series.
Me: OMG! Are you excited about Mockingjay?
Someone Awesome: OMG, YES!!
And, a beautiful friendship is born.
But sometimes, the conversation goes like this.
Douche: Hey, what are you reading?
Me: I'm rereading The Book Thief, I absolutely love Markus Zusak.
Douche: Oh. I hate YA, all the books are just Twilight rip-offs.
Me: HULK MAD. HULK SMASH.
There is a pretty wise proverb (aren't all proverbs wise?):
There is no accounting for taste.
This basically means that different people like different things, and you can't judge someone based on the kind of things they like. I mean, shouldn't we be judge a person based on their actions? Or how about not judging people at all?
Someone might love memoirs. Another might love historical fiction. I love contemporary YA. But none of us have "better" taste. We have "different" taste. My best friend loves YA Paranormal Romances and her favourite book is Twilight. My favourite book is The Book Thief. Does she think she is better than me? No. Do I think I am better than her? No. I am not the biggest the fan of Twilight, but I still go to the midnight viewings with her and try to protect her from rabid fans (she is quite small) and she is willing to drive to a book store a hour away just to get me Zusak's first book (Fighting Ruben Wolfe).
How do you even determine the quality of someone's literature taste? What people value in literature changes from person to person, so there really isn't anyway to figure out the quality of someone's taste. My friend values intense romances. I love books that focus on the human condition.
And how the heck do you tell which book is sophisticated and which isn't?
When someone jumps to conclusion based on your taste in literature, it says a few things about the jumper.
- They are lazy. If someone decides to judge you as a person based on the types of books you read, then they are just far too lazy to actually getting to know you.
- They are ignorant. When someone decides to judge someone on their taste, it not only assumes that their taste is superior to yours, but it is so superior that they are able to generalise a whole section of genre as "unsophisticated".
When it comes to matters of taste... It's just a matter of taste.
And... Your taste in books does not make you better than anyone.