Chat Between Chapters: Genre Shaming

May 17, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 16


 Have you ever gotten caught up in genre shaming? What do you think about it?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

Bookworms like to read – period. Does it really matter what we read? I say, no, it doesn’t. So what if we’re grown ups who enjoy YA? So what if someone only reads romance aka “smut”? Why do some people who read “literary fiction” tend to look down their noses at that? I say we’re all reading and that is wonderful. Reading is a hobby, and we should be able to pick the books and genre that makes us happy to be a reader. I don’t think I’ve been a victim of genre shaming as an adult but I remember when a friend of mine always had her nose in the latest Harry Potter (in class!!) she got some flack for it. Well, to be fair, it was high school. But I think we’ve moved past that kind of stuff.

Rose review avatar Rose:

I have never really been a one to shame another for what he or she reads. Just the fact the someone is reading is impressive to me. I have felt sometimes that I am judged for liking the books I like to read. I really enjoy YA and NA books, and sometimes I feel that others think these are not worthy books. Who is to say what is worthy and what is not???? I say read what you enjoy and let the shamers go hang.


Honestly, I say read what you want. And don’t worry about what other people think. Sure, I’ve seen the genre or author shaming going on, especially on Facebook. I tend to steer clear of all that drama. And I’d probably stop reading books by authors if I became aware of that kind of behavior. I’ve never really been the kind of person who worries about what other people think. Especially about what I am reading. Ok, sure, it probably helps reading on an e-reader so no one can actually see what I’m reading. But I don’t think I’ve ever really been ashamed of anything I’ve read. I say be strong. Read what you want. And don’t be ashamed. Of any books. 

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16 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Genre Shaming”

    • Julie

      I agree – definitely not an appropriate response. To each his/her own, right?

    • Julie

      Ooh yea I agree a lot of romance covers are not something to easily read in public. But then there’s always ebooks.
      I think YA gets shamed a lot too, but yea probaly romance or “smut” gets it more.

  1. Maria Behar

    This is a topic that greatly interests me, since I have an eclectic blog. Some people might think I have an odd mix, too, since I love PNR/UF, fantasy, SF, YA, and literary fiction. I also enjoy reading nonfiction. Sometimes it’s pretty hard for me to balance these genres….

    It seems that the whole book blogging world is split into two types of blogs: those that only review YA/NA fiction, and those that review only literary fiction. To my knowledge, there are very few eclectic blogs like mine. So I’ve noticed that the YA/NA fans are not interested in my reviews of other types of books, while the literary fiction fans don’t bother to comment when I review a YA novel. (I don’t read much N/A.)

    A few months ago, I hosted a literary fiction read-along, together with Brian @ Babbling Books, who blogs about literary fiction as well as nonfiction. Brian and one other participant were the only people that commented on my blog. And, those that commented on Brian’s blog did not comment on mine. This surprised me, because the book was “Jane Eyre”, which I would think would have interested the literary fiction crowd in coming over to my blog to check it out.

    It’s disappointing that people are so strictly bound by literary genres. I don’t believe in “shaming” anyone for what they’re reading. I don’t think one genre is better than another. They each have their characteristics and merits. While literary fiction might have more quality prose, popular fiction is frequently richer in inventiveness. And there’s some FASCINATING nonfiction out there, as well.

    Thanks for the great post!! : )
    Maria Behar recently posted…Shelf Candy Saturday #151: Golden Daughter, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

    • Lynn

      That’s a real shame, Maria. Especially with Jane Eyre. I would think that would easily cross the literature and YA lines. I think because I don’t just read one genre, I expect others to be just as accepting as I am. And I’m sure if people would just give other genres a chance, they would be able to see there are good books out there. No matter the genre.

    • Nish

      Hi Maria,

      I feel the same thing. I like to read pretty much anything, and I especially love to break up a heavy read with a couple of lighter reads. I just dislike genres in general. Everybody should just read what they want without any shaming.
      Nish recently posted…Mailbox Mondays: The Mid-May Edition

    • Julie

      We review various genre here, I didn’t realize that made us eclectic hehe. I definitely agree that each genre has their own merits and it is great that you like to read a variety – that makes a good reader.

  2. Ramona

    I’m a grown woman, and I read YA. When I’m eighty years old, I’ll still read YA. Because I love it, because it’s smart, because it makes my heart pound. Does it mean that I’m emotionally immature and not particularly bright? I doubt it. Great post!
    Ramona recently posted…Writing Tips

    • Lynn

      I doubt it, too, Ramona. I think that makes you an excellent person! And it shouldn’t matter what the age of the reader is relative to the age of the characters. Just read and enjoy what you are reading.

    • Lynn

      lol, Terri. I agree. At least 50 Shades got people reading. And talking about reading.

  3. Braine

    Unfortunate I have gone thru this. I used to read a lot of YA when the blog was just starting because our library has these amazing YA series. It really blows and it’s still making me upset. But yeah, what we read is not an idication of our IQ’s. Romance readers aren’t dumb and non fiction/self help readers aren’t smarter. There are cases that it’s actually the opposite in my experience lol
    Braine recently posted…Steampunk Sundays: Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

    • Lynn

      Sorry you had to go through that, Braine. We won’t judge you here! And yes, I agree with you on the opposite of those cases being true.

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