I have a fear of books that are so madly popular that everyone – even non-book people – are reading them and recommending them to me. I automatically assume that they are bad, or play to the lowest common denomiator. Yes, I am a book snob.
To be clear, however, if I find them before they are wildly popular, then I feel justified about my early adopter position and my achievement in recognizing their brilliance.
- Suzanne Collins: Hunger Games was briefly on my TBR in 2008? 2009? But I got told by one too many people “I can’t believe you haven’t read it. I don’t read books and I loved it.” The intelligent part of me recognizes that this is their way of conveying how great they found it, but the book snob says no.
- Stephen King: Horror as a genre is one that I will walk away from everytime. “But what about the Dark Tower series? That’s not horror,” readers say. What can I say? I have trust issues.
- Maeve Binchy: This was an author that graced the side tables and shelves of several people that I knew while I was growing up. They never appealled to me, even though she regularly made the New York Times best sellers list.
- E.L. James: “Fifty Shades of Gray” as she is better known. This is one that probably would have piqued my interest because of the popularity. It is, after all, ehem, erotic fiction that captured a place on best seller lists around the globe. However, I never started them and now, it would be like jumping on the band wagon.
- J.D. Robb: I’ve read plenty of Nora Roberts, but never any of her pseudonym Robb. They have all of the things that I should like in a book, yet, they never have made it to the list.
- Cormac McCarthy: I tried to read “All the Pretty Horses” when it came out. I failed. And these were added to the avoid forever list.
- Toni Morrison: I’ve been told by some serious book lovers that I trust to pick-up “The Bluest Eye.” I’m sure it is life-altering and would provide some great perspectives. I like my reading to be lighter and more escap-ist. Less literary and more commercial. Yes, I’m that kind of book snob.
I had an assist on the next three. Thanks, Bethany, for helping me find some “OMG you haven’t read that yet?!” authors:
- Alan Moore: “One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on college campuses across the nation and is considered a gateway title, leading readers to other graphic novels such as V FOR VENDETTA, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE SANDMAN series.” I really can’t say it better than the book does for itself.
- Ian McEwan: I’m woefully ignorant of this author, but anyone with a list of criticisms like his probably means that I missed him during college when I would have been into this sort of heavy reading.
- John Green: Back in my English Teacher Days, I probably should have found this gem, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. In spite of my best efforts, my boys are only marginally readers. I might have a chance with the younger one, but the older one has gone the way of his father – a pretend reader.
Thanks, Broke and the Bookish, for the inspiration!