A book is a book is a book

Books!Books. They’re great. I’ve got loads of them and recently entered a competition to win fifty more despite not having room for the one’s I’ve already got. I’ve got shelves full of books in my living room. I’ve got a pile of them on my couch and I’ve got several on a makeshift shelf on my cabinet of mystery.

In the BGC there are five large plastic crates full of books that wouldn’t fit on the bookcases or were deemed unimportant for now. And at my mum and dad’s house I have another 7 boxes full of books that wouldn’t fit in the BGC.

I’ve got a lot of books. I’ve got a lot of e-books on my Kindle too. I have them organised into eight different categories so I can find just the one I want, when I want it.

And I have many different kinds of books. My non-fiction collection contains everything from conjuring, cheating and physics to nature, religion and foreign languages. I have several shelves dedicated to writing books of various sorts and a bunch of dictionaries.

My fiction shelves contain works by authors like Dickens, Lovecraft and Kerouac. But also stuff by Douglas Adams, Anon, Dahl, Stanton, Rowling, Duffy and Blake. These books cover literary, pulp, picture books, YA, “kids” books, horror, crime, humour, sci-fi and chick-lit. I have many books by many authors.More Books!

Does this make me better than you?

Does it fuck. There are many reasons as to why I’m better than you, my book collection isn’t one of them.

Which brings me to my point, as I’m sure you’re pleased to hear.

I keep seeing people having a go at certain types of book they deem beneath them. We all know about literary snobs who see genre fiction as too low brow to be bothered with.  But guess what, it works both ways. I’ve seen plenty of genre writers dismiss literary fiction as too snobbish for its own good. And how often have we seen someone talk about children’s authors like they’re not quite good enough to write proper grown up books?

To all these people I have a message.

You are dicks.

A book is a book is a book.

If you only read literary because genre fiction is too low brow, I have some bad news, “literary” is just another genre. Get over yourselves. If you only ever read so called genre fiction, you’re missing out on loads of good reads that will make you think. Classics? Just another genre. Don’t forget, they didn’t start out as classics. If you refuse to read “kids” books because you’re not a kid, then you’re missing out on some great storytelling. Some of the cleverest stories I’ve read are in picture books.

And if you don’t want to read something that’s different to your usual preferred reading material then that’s fine too. But don’t for a minute think that gives you the right to disparage what other people are reading or writing. Because it doesn’t. A book is a book is a book. What makes a book good or bad is up to you. But it’s just your opinion.

Got it?

Good.

Now go away.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Di Horsfield July 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Fabulous! Can I share the link with some friends please. It echoes a discussion we had in a closed group on FB

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Mr Uku July 10, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Hi Di Hi 🙂
Of course you can share the link, I’m all about showing off.

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Denise July 11, 2014 at 9:37 am

Great post!
I was talking about book snobbery just the other day. A friend of mine only has her ‘good and important books’ on show and everything else is hidden away in cupboards. Unbelievable!
Like you, I have books everywhere (including on my Kindle) and am currently waiting on yet another bookcase being delivered. My collection spans just about every genre out there but it certainly doesn’t define me as a person. Surely it’s better to read something/anything than to never read at all.
Just as aside though – is there ever a point where one says ‘I think I have enough books now. Time to stop.’?
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Mr Uku July 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

“Good and important books”? Hilarious. I have my copy of The Queen’s Knickers on a shelf next to Moby Dick 😀
And, enough books? I’m not familiar with that phrase. Sounds weird. I don’t think you’re saying it right. Did you mean, more books? Or perhaps, all the books? Cos that sounds way better.
Time to stop? Stop for a cake and a nice cup of gin before shopping for more books?
You see where I’m going with this?

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leslie (crookedstamper) July 16, 2014 at 2:47 am

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~Cicero

I have books everywhere, all kinds of books, and I am not ashamed. I may have just received a few more, too.
leslie (crookedstamper) recently posted…ABNH: Sheet Cake ChallengeMy Profile

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Mr Uku July 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

Oh there’s always more books 🙂

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