Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Curmudgeon

In case it wasn't clear, I love books. I love reading. I love talking about books. I like hanging out with people who like reading. Reading is my jam. BUT there is one thing that it seems I would like. Should like. And that's books and stories and memes ABOUT reading and books and all of that stuff that I honestly do love.
But for whatever reason, they annoy me to no end. And I'm trying to work out what my problem is. Here's what I've got along with an exception (though I'm sure there are many more exceptions to these rules because while I say I hate these things, I am an annoying ball of contradictions.)

Books about bookish people
This can just be lazy short hand for "Look how much better this person is than everyone else because they read." And then it feels masturbatory. Mostly it comes down to a lot of times this is just lazy writing. I'm not going to instantly love a character cos you made them read. This one bugs me more than any of the others.

Exception: Hermione. She's bookish, of course, but there's more to her than that and the fact that she's bookish isn't tauted as the reason she's better than everyone. She's better than everyone for so many reasons (so smart, pragmatic, S.P.E.W. [even if she's not the best ally], etc.)
Books about books
I think this one bothers me when it becomes more about books as objects instead of about the stories. I like giant libraries and would very much love if I could have a room in my house that had bookshelves with a ladder (and also a door hidden behind a bookshelf) but if too much time is spent waxing poetic about books themselves or how great books are and how people who don't understand that the smell of old books is the best thing ever, I eye roll hard.

Exception: The whole Thursday Next series cos yeah, there's stuff about books themselves and people jumping in and out of books.
Bookish memes
"Other people want a boyfriend. I just want a big library and time alone to read." "I judge people who say they don't read." Some of this is just volume. at one point one of my social feeds was blowing up with bookish memes and at first I laughed, then lightly chuckled, then wanted to be like "OMG WE GET IT, YOU LIKE BOOKS." Though I realized the thing that started to bug me is any meme that was about "Other people do A and book people do B" or "I judge you if you don't like the thing I like". Why do we have to do that? Why can't you just like your thing without talking about how people who don't like your thing are worse? You like your thing, let other people like their thing.

Exception: Memes that aren't so judgmental.
So there you go. Should I just get over it? (Probably.) Anyone have their own "this is bookish and I should prob love it but I don't" thing?