If you’ve spent any amount of time on the bookish internet (Bookternet? Bookterwebternet?), you’ve run into a book snob. These are readers who are notoriously afraid of change in the book world, and who openly judge people for what they read, how they read, and/or where they get their books. Book snobs have a big interest in appearing more well-read and more invested in literature than the rest of us, mostly for reasons revolving around ego. I’ve been around long enough to be able to roughly translate most of what a book snob says (and have been guilty of saying a few myself):
E-reading isn’t REAL reading. = I need my personal preferences about my hobby to be validated as the only right and moral way do to a thing.
Making crafts out of old books is a DESECRATION! = I’ve never seen a library dumpster.
I only read prize-winners/confirmed classics *sniff*. = I don’t know how to think for myself.
Book bloggers are killing literary criticism! = I’m an aging white man in publishing and I don’t know how to think for myself.
Oh, I’ve never heard of that book. Was it reviewed in the NYT/on NPR? = I don’t know how to think for myself.
I would never read the tripe that is Twilight/50 Shades/Oprah’s Book Club selection, and I am going to tweet that statement 50 million times. = I am still as worried about being cool as I was when I was in high school.
The book is always better than the movie, no exceptions. = I’ve never seen The Godfather or The Princess Bride and also I am no fun at parties.
Rap music is not poetry, but Joni Mitchell/Bob Dylan/Belle and Sebastian is. = I am racist.
I refuse to use an e-reader because I just love that old book smell. People who do not love that old book smell are not real readers. = My favorite perfume’s base note is mold.
People who shop at Amazon for books are evil. = I have disposable income and like to make moral judgements about people who do not.
I would NEVER dog ear pages, crease a spine, or eat food while reading. = I have unreasonable expectations about how much the people to whom I bequeath my books when I die will actually want them.
I guess it’s good that they’re reading at all. = I will internally judge you until your reading tastes morph to match my own, which are far superior to yours because I read more books written by white men who live in Brooklyn.
I don’t have a TV because that would cut into my reading time. Did I mention I don’t have a TV? Hey. You there. I don’t have a TV. I don’t get that TV reference. = I am not all that interesting. Also, I watch three hours of Netflix a night on my laptop.
I don’t care if the main character is likable. It’s the PROSE that’s the thing. = My ability to tolerate insufferable jerks makes me better than you because you’re obviously only reading for escapism, which is an inferior motivation for reading.
I’m not a romance/crime/Western reader. I mean, I’ll read LITERARY genre. SOMETIMES. = My kitchen is full of quinoa and kale and soy ice cream. Someone please validate what a grown-up I am.
I don’t understand adults who read YA. You’re a grown-up person, you should read grown-up books. = I don’t like dancing in the rain or ice cream cones or trampolines or whimsy and my neck tie is too tight.
Did I miss any? Leave your translations in the comments!
About Amanda Nelson© 2013 BOOK RIOT