Family,  Reading

Book Snobbery – Yet Again

I have written in the past about my husband being a book snob.  He doesn’t think that I am well read because I don’t spend the majority of my time reading THE CLASSICS.  He seems to feel that THE CLASSICS are the only fiction worth reading if you are going to read waste your time reading fiction instead of nonfiction.  Bless his little heart.  I thought I had beat this thought out of him by introducing him to some fiction that he loved even though it was written for kids.  (Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series and the Nomes series).  But yesterday in the car the man said to me,  “I just wish you had some historical context in what you read. I mean, you read some historical fiction but that doesn’t count.”

I swear, my first thought was “I’m gonna need a Rihanna GIF to tell this story.”

My second thought was, “Excuse me, what?”

He has lately been listening to Yale lectures online and it must have gone to his head. He ordered a few history books that were recommended and that’s lovely. I’m glad he has some books he is interested in. But we have had this discussion before. I have explained to him that I read about 25% nonfiction. Did this fall out of his brain along with his common sense right before he decided to pick this topic of conversation?

I asked sweetly if he would like a list of the history books I have read in the last year. He laughed and said “Yes, can you do that?” like he thought I was bluffing. The poor soul doesn’t know about Goodreads. I pulled my phone out and pulled up my read list.

I started reading off a list of my nonfiction reads and giving him a summary of each. The second one was The Wright Brothers audiobook that he also listened to. He said, “But that was entertaining!”

I kept talking. Twenty four books and summaries later I said, “And that takes us back to January 1, 2015. Shall I keep going?”

He says to me again, “But those are very readable and entertaining. They aren’t like the books I’m reading.”

“So you mean the authors I’m reading can actually write in a way that people want to read? Do you require footnotes? Several of these had those. Do only textbooks count in your world now?”

“My book has references like duality of Saturnalia…”

“I EXPLAINED THAT REFERENCE TO YOU! I probably learned about Saturnalia in some book you wouldn’t have approved of me reading! You can’t learn things if you enjoy it? Did you like The Wright Brothers?”

“Yes, it was entertaining.”

“Did you learn anything?”

“Yes, but..”

“Did you learn anything????”

Sheepishly, “Yes.”

Tell me I don’t have any historical context….

What is the most annoying thing people say to you about your reading?

 

Linking up with August 2015 Discussions

10 Comments

  • Elizabeth

    Oh GOD that would piss me off! I have…very low tolerance for book snobs. But unlike you, I am not nearly as good at schooling them! Seriously, I’m totally impressed right now. Also I love the Rihanna gifs – so perfect!

  • jpschaper

    Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with any book snobs. I only have to dead with non-readers. My husband won’t even read the instructions on how to put something together, lol.

  • Laura

    This made me laugh so much! It definitely sounds like you won that argument.
    Personally I wouldn’t read anything that wasn’t readable and entertaining. Even a really complex non-fiction book should be readable and entertaining to you if you’re interested in the topic. There isn’t much point reading anything you don’t enjoy, in my opinion, unless you’re forced to at school or university or something.
    I also think fiction is incredibly worthwhile reading (and not just the classics). Whilst non-fiction can teach you facts, fiction can teach you so much about people and life, so it isn’t like you don’t learn anything at all from it.

  • Literary Feline

    I love how you put your husband in his place. 🙂

    One of my coworkers reads exclusively nonfiction and is thought of by a couple of my non-reading colleagues to be more intelligent than the rest of us who mostly read fiction. That always has bugged me. To be fair, my coworker is very smart–smarter than I am–but that’s not the point. It’s the idea that people who read nonfiction are, by default, smarter than those who read fiction.

    In recent years I have begun reading romance novels again (I was a big fan when I was in high school)–and even here, as I type this, I find myself hesitating to admit it. The stigma that comes with reading romance is huge. I hate that I still carry a piece of that snobbery with me. I’m working on it though.

  • La La in the Library

    One of my English professors said people should never read for pleasure. Ha! Last year I read this wonderful adult vampire story, and because it was more like a psychological thriller, I recommended it on Goodreads to one of my more “literary” friends and he poked fun about it on my Facebook timeline. My cousin, who has a Lit degree (but writes descriptions for designer and fashion house catalogs, lol), will not read the Harry Potter books, and thinks it is funny I love them so much. He refuses to read A Casual Vacancy, also. I think it is because he is afraid he will have to admit she is a wonderful writer. 🙂

    • heather

      An English professor doesn’t want people to read for pleasure? Crazy!

      I think people like to have things to look down on and don’t want to admit when they are wrong.

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Ha! This post just totally made me laugh. I’m afraid to say your husband and I just would not get along. I don’t read non-fiction almost at all, and I’m even usually iffy on historical fiction (unless it’s for our homeschooling). It’s just not that appealing to me. The ONLY way you could get me to read non-fiction is if it was entertaining as well as educational. So, when your husband claimed that books have less value if they’re entertaining, I totally had to laugh. Apparently, you have to be bored in order to learn anything. I hope he’s not a teacher!!

    (Okay, after writing that, I thought, “What if he really is a teacher – I could be totally insulting him right now.” He’s not, is he? If he is, I’m sorry! LOL!)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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