Monday, January 25, 2016
Discussion Post: I Used to Be Book Prejudiced
Wow, that sounds like this is going to be a much deeper discussion than I planned. But honestly, there is really no other way to put that. I used to be prejudiced against certain books. I judged books without reading them and thought I could definitively say that I didn't like a certain book and or genre because of that. But you guys, I was so wrong.
We in the YA community are very sensitive to the idea of book prejudices. How many times has there been an article or comment where someone summed up YA as being nothing but sparkly vampire love stories and you turned into The Incredible Hulk because you knew they were so wrong? How about fans of genre fiction being told their favorite author is less than literary because they write "made up stories about dragons and dwarves." That is one that I personally hate and have heard a lot from people. These are book prejudices. You have written off an entire marketing category, an entire genre, an entire author just because they write a certain kind of story.
discussion post about it how I'm romancephobic, after all! That's a book prejudice. I also say that I don't like road trip stories. Travel is not a plot device to me and a never ending travel monologue is not enough action for me. Books about people driving around in a car or bus, or god forbid walking, just so they can break out of their comfort zones and learn about the world and themselves aren't my thing. But, that's a book prejudice. I also say all the time that I don't like books that are sad on purpose. I'm already a crier. I don't need some book about cancer, suicide, or first love gone wrong to get my feels and tears flowing. I just need to read that one chapter in Little Women and I will be an emotional wreck. Another book prejudice though.
But that being said, I think in the past year I have made a lot of strides to break down those prejudices and try books that I didn't think I was going to like. In particular YA contemporaries. When 2015 began I was firmly of the belief that I do not like YA contemporaries. I was prejudiced to believe that they are nothing but insta-love triangles about manic pixie dream girls or boy next doors changing how a teenager thinks about the world by kissing them. And sure there are those kinds of stories but that's not all and you know what, some of those books are actually pretty good. There is a lot of deeper things going on with YA Contemporaries. There are some really fun and cute books about first love. There are also a lot of coming-of-age stories with characters finding out who they are and their place in the world. I read one really great book that broke down that barrier and now I am more open to other books within the genre. Some of my favorite books of 2015 were YA contemporaries and removing that prejudice allowed me to read those books.
There are also some pretty good books that are sad on purpose. I used to avoid contemporaries where I was going to cry because I wanted to laugh and be happy when I read about people like me. Having your heart ripped out can be entertaining from time to time as well. That emotion leads to drama and can often be more honest than things that are optimistically happy. It's all about balance, right? Plus if you avoid all the sad books you're really limiting yourself. I avoided most historical fiction set during World War II because I thought all it did was show one aspect of the time period that was sad on purpose and it seemed boring and tired. But I broke down that prejudice too and read some gorgeous, thought-provoking, and emotional books that I loved. I'm still overly cautious about sad books but I have definitely broken down the prejudice and will give those books a try.
Now I originally planned on listing a bunch of books here that, based on my book prejudices, I thought I wasn't going to like and then actually loved. But this post is already longer than I planned plus I realized that tomorrow's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie and this is such a perfect topic. So come back then and check out my top ten books I thought I would hate but didn't.
Do you have any book prejudices? Have you broken them and actually liked the books? Do you think it's fair to not read an entire category of books because you haven't liked it in the past? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!