We have a fun contributed post today about the different types of readers. I definitely fall into the second category – I read purely for escapism and enjoyment. Do you bicker with those who read for education purposes?
There is snobbery in all walks of life. You are always going to get people who think their way is the best and only way. We hate to break it to you, but reading is far from exempt. There are many reading bickers that we could go into, but we’re going to focus on reasons for reading. We all have our own, and we all think ours are superior. As such, we look down on anyone who doesn’t read with the same intentions. Don’t be shy; we’re all guilty. When we’re passionate about something, we can get a little uppity.
So, what are the reasons for reading, and how do they differ? The stereotypical reader is the person who reads for knowledge. These readers value the educational benefits of books above all. You can generally find them in the non-fiction, or literary fiction sections of bookshops. They are the big thinkers. They are always on the quest for knowledge in one way or another. They are aware that reading can expand their minds in every way, and look to take full advantage of the fact. Good writing and factual accuracy are valued currencies. The plot often comes second, and slow reads are welcomed here.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have those who read for entertainment only. These and the educational readers are arch enemies. Often, they avoid reading heavy non-fic. Instead, they’re more likely to opt for genre fiction or fantasy picks like those found at https://booksiren.com/dark-fantasy-books/. They do not pick up a book with education in mind. Instead, they look for pure escapism. For these readers, plot and action are the most important thing. For the most part, writing comes second to the fast-paced enjoyability of a book.
And, it’s not only among readers that these bickers exist. The book world also faces problems when categorizing reads. For the most part, authors aim to be considered literary fiction. It’s an accolade and an achievement. Yet, many escapist authors fail to achieve the title. You can find out more about the literary or not battle here. For the most part, the literary world fails to acknowledge what they deem to be “escapist fiction.” Though, the tides are ever changing as the two worlds merge.
Petty distinctions aside, both groups have more in common than they admit. And, that crossover could bring us together if we took the time to acknowledge it. When you think about it, educational readers still gain escapism from what they read. And, escapist readers learn about other cultures and experiences. So, you could say that the distinction is an unnecessary one. It doesn’t matter why you read 100 books a year; the outcome is going to be much the same. You are going to be a better, more understanding person, and you’re going to have a fantastic time while you do so. Because, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that reading is the best way to spend our time.