Don’t Be Ashamed of What You Read
September 1, 2017 8:30 am
The year is 2014, I’m at a library and I have two books in my hands. One of them is “The Selection”, which I really wanted to read, but didn’t know how to feel about the fact that it seriously resembled the reality show “The Bachelor” (which Didi loves) and I kind of dreaded what people would think about me if I bought it. Would they think I liked cheesy reads? That I was a typical teenage girl?
The other was a book that shall remain nameless. I didn’t really want to read it, but I thought it might be a better choice just because it didn’t involve a bunch of dresses, crowns, or love. It was the serious option, per say.
I ended up buying this second book, the one I did not find appealing at all, just because I was super embarrassed to admit I liked romance novels. I only read half of this book, I didn’t feel hooked enough to continue. However, not long after this, a friend of mine lent me “The Selection” and I loved it. Up to this day, it is one of my favorite books.
We live in a time where everyone feels entitled to criticize and be opinionated about what other people are doing. And this causes a negative reaction in them, it makes them feel upset or guilty about certain things they do, like reading what they like to read. Both teenagers and adults experience this feeling, but shouldn’t at all. Everyone should be able to read whatever they want to and not worry about what others will say.
In the age we live in, that of technology, the simple act of reading should be celebrated. It means that you’re able to take a second and analyze the information you’re taking in, unlike television and other forms of media that just bombard you with it. Books give us the chance to pause and think: “Okay, what do I think about this? Is this type of behavior, relationship, etc. acceptable?”
In fact, the books most people feel guilty for reading, teach a lot of valuable lessons. Since they target a certain audience, they have the responsibility to send a strong message about certain topics that everyone should pay attention to. Everyone. Adults included. And they hardly ever disappoint.
I strongly believe that every book teaches something in the end. Whether it is what the author wants us to learn or what we learn on our own account while criticizing what we read. Not every book is objectively good, but each one presents a good opportunity to analyze something, to go on a journey of self-discovery. By learning something in its pages, books help us learn something about ourselves too since you get to ask yourself: “Why did this make me feel that way? Could I do the same as this character? Maybe __ isn’t the best for me?”
Reading is not only a way to increase our intellectuality, it is also a way of escapism and it shouldn’t be such hard work. If you’re reading a highly acclaimed book and you don’t like it, you simply don’t like it. It’s okay. But don’t give up on reading, just look for something that does thrill you and makes you want to keep on reading. However, I strongly recommend that you try new genres every now and then. I personally thought that I only liked romance and fantasy books, but lately I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers and I’ve discovered that I really like that genre (something I would’ve never found out if I hadn’t tried something new)
In conclusion: there’s no reason to be ashamed of what you read, but you should also keep an open mind to other options. There’s an infinite number of books in the world and it would be unfair to their authors if we didn’t give them a shot and ignored all of their hard work, just because we don’t want to try something new. So feel free about reading whatever you like and be happy, but embark on an adventure from time to time and choose something different the next time you go to a bookstore, I’m sure there’ll be a valuable lesson in there somewhere.