Hello again! It’s Katie from unwritten, untitled again, here to talk about what I imagine is a common book lover’s problem: reading (and enjoying) books that embarrass your inner book snob.
Sometimes–no, often–I feel as if I should devote myself to capital-L Literature. Do you ever get that feeling, like you must solely read literary fiction to be a true bibliophile? The stack of books and authors I feel I ought to read is probably higher than my to-read list. The result of this feeling is sort of amusing, though: for every guilty pleasure book I indulge in, I end up reading at least two works of literary fiction to assuage my inner book snob’s shame. Oddly, I find that my inner book snob only judges me, and never other people’s reading choices–in fact, I’ll often find myself jealous of others who can devour entertainment fiction without feeling guilty. It’s not that I mind reading extra books, of course, but I’d like to read them with a motive besides guilt.
The process generally goes like this: recently, I plunged through the last published book in a YA series, then read the Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies and the critically-acclaimed Sputnik Sweetheart (discussed here). I loved all three books equally and in different ways. Yet I still felt like I need to read Dostoyevsky or Melville or some more capital-L Lit books written before 1950. So I went to the dust-accumulating stack of classics on my bookshelf and picked up Mrs. Dalloway, which I’ve started and enjoyed three times but never finished. It lived in my purse for a day or two before being exchanged for another YA novel, which will start the process all over again.
So I wonder, do you share my bibliophile’s guilt? Do you have an inner book snob or literary critic? What are your favorite guilty pleasure books? And how do you calm that inner book snob when you’ve polished off a few books read mostly for their entertainment value?
[original source of image unknown–I’ve searched for it unsuccessfully. please comment if you know!]