Book drama is more real than someone might think, but it isn’t always authors rubbing against each other, it’s the books themselves that some people argue about. If someone wants to read literary fiction, go ahead, if someone wants to read genre fiction, go ahead. Don’t try and tell someone that one is better than the other. There are good and bad books in each category, but whether one is good or bad can be based on someone’s personal opinion and not nessarlily something the author did incorrect. Here are some things I have found that people have used to make either side appear better:
1) Literary Snobbs
Some people who enjoy literary books won’t even read genre books, but they believe they have a right to criticize them. People such as Jennifer Robson, a genre writer, has come across this issue and she discussed it in a video that talks about literary books and popular books. No one should criticize a book if they haven’t even read it to begin with. If someones a literary reader(or a genre reader) they are not entitled to tell someone either category is bad without being reasonable.
2) The Genre Bandwagon
Some genre writers might agree that genre books are better due to their popularity. However, it could also be due to ads and marketing or people could be reading the book just because everyone else is reading it. There might be a certain genre that’s popular for a certain period of time, horror books might be more popular during the fall or romance books might be more popular in February. A lot of people might have read it, but they does’t mean they actually enjoyed it.
3) Literary Suffocation
Ruth Graham wrote a post with the first sentence being, “Read whatever you want.” That sentence was only only meant to cushion her next sentence which was, “you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.” Most genre books are typically YA, especially science fiction and fantasy. Which is -indirectly- another cut into genre books. She states that adults are, “better than this!” Which is far from statics, in the entire world roughly 20-15% of adults can’t even in read. Most adults in America can only read at a 7th or 8th grade level with only 15% of adults able to read at full literacy.
In order to change this we can’t blame people for not having a higher level of thinking. Someone that reads at full literacy should allow themselves to go into a “lower level” of thinking so that their level of thinking is easier for other people to understand. They can’t do that if the only books they’ve read recently are books some people can’t even comprehend.
Kids don’t jump from Dr. Seuss to Charles Dickens in a day, they need to read plenty of books their age first in order to understand it. How can adults write books for kids if they aren’t allowed to read them themselves? Adults need to read them to find out what catches a child’s attention so they can learn to read better.
Sure, literary books might grant us a higher understanding of the world around us -some genre books could do that too-, but without genre books I don’t think people would begin to read in the first place.