By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins
We all have different reading preferences. Sometime’s these preferences are based on what we want to explore (through reading), what we wish we could do (but can’t), or even what we wish we could be. Many people, despite their best intentions, really do judge and choose books by their covers. But for many of us, content is still king. You might be one of those people who flips over the back cover to read the blurb, or you might sit on the floor of the bookstore or library and read a sample of the book before you decide to buy or borrow. But are there some books that you just refuse to read, no matter how many other people read them?
For me, two broad categories that I refuse to read are: romance and urban street lit. Simply put, I’m not about reading books with heaving bosoms and people satisfying their carnal desires. I can simply live quite nicely without ever reading what other people are doing in bed (or in a car, or in a forest…). I also don’t care for urban street lit, because I’m not interested in reinforcing negative stereotypes about black and brown communities. Some people enjoy it because they can relate to it (and they like drama). Just because I can recognize the main elements, doesn’t mean I want to immerse myself in that world more than I have to. It’s a painful thing to be reminded of the fact that some people enjoy that lifestyle or don’t know anything outside of it, but I digress. I just avoid romance and urban street lit.
Interestingly enough, I also avoid the most popular craze-inducing books that everyone else seems to love (think Twilight and Harry Potter). I have no real reason there, I’ve just never tried to read them.
Generally, what I will read are American “classics” published between the 1860s and the 1960s. I also read independently published books from now, because I love to know what my contemporaries are up to—unless it falls under those categories I don’t like. I haven’t enjoyed all the books I’ve chosen to read, but most of the time, I do. One of my favorites was the laugh-out-loud funny Mr. Wolf v. The Three Pigs. Hilarious.
Are you a reading snob? What do you prefer to read? What do you prefer to avoid?