Friday, 18 December 2015

Is there such thing as 'lesser' fiction?

"Whatever do you mean by 'lesser' fiction?" I hear you cry.

In the eyes of some, a well-read person is not someone who reads a lot, but someone who only reads 'proper' books. Do you use an e-reader? Do you listen to audio books? Are you a slow reader? Do you prefer YA or fantasy? If so, then some will tell you that you're reading habits are inferior.

Of course, reading habits aren't the worst thing to be judged on. Most people in the unusual world of reality don't actually care. But among us fiction enthusiasts there appears to be a hierarchy of books. If you aren't reading 'the right kind of book' then you're 'not a real reader'. I like to call enforcers of the hierarchy of fiction book snobs.

But this post isn't about the silly people of the Internet telling people how they need to live their lives. This is about everyone being open to all types of books, because let's be honest, most of us have been book snobs ourselves. A person doesn't get any less from a book if it's read on a kindle or is being read to you on audible than they would had they picked up a paperback. You don't need to be holding a book to be experiencing it.

Plus they come with added bonuses: it's cheaper, it doesn't take up physical storage, and it's suitable for travel.

Now onto another 'lesser' form of fiction (see how funny that sounds?). Somehow YA readers are the joke of the reading world. Even authors of the genre seem to not be ranked with the writers of crime or realistic fiction (non-fantasy). I've read some pretty bad YA in the past which could be where the stigma comes from, but it also links to the belittling of teenage emotion. It is the themes of young life that make people think the content has no value - but this couldn't be more wrong! Plenty of these inferior books actually contain highly profound thoughts and are beautifully structured.

Life is too short to read books you don't like, so just read what you want. It's that simple!

What I will say is that although you may know what genres interest you,  remain open to what you read. Just because you like one genre does not mean you must read it exclusively.

In fact, I dare you to challenge yourself. Read a book you would have never thought you'd touch. Read something with challenging language or ideas. It doesn't need to be a classic, but let yourself out of your comfort zone. Read 10! Only when you know what you're not experiencing can you determine what you really enjoy. Do not limit yourself to the boundaries of genre.

How do you feel about this whole hierarchy of fiction debate? Can someone honestly set a standard? Let me know if you've read anything challenging recently and if you enjoyed it. I'd love to discuss this with you in the comments below!


  1. Awesome post!
    Book snobbishness is just the worst. Reading is reading, however you do it and whatever you read, and I personally think people should just read whatever they like to read, whether that's a classic, fantasy or YA book.

    1. Thanks! I absolutely agree. It's good to experience other genres but I know some just aren't for me. I don't think it matters what we read or how we do it as long as we enjoy it.

  2. This is ridiculous! I had no idea that there was such a thing as lesser fiction, and I certainly do not agree.
    I think there has been studies that show that if you have a physical book and actually turn the pages it is easier to remember what you have read. But I have no way of knowing if this is actually true.
    Myself, I prefer reading hardcover library books. Because I think paperbacks get easily ruined and I don't like having a dustcover for my book. So with library books I get neither of this things because the dustcover is actually laminated to be a part of the book :3 Also, I prefer holding a physical book and being able to smell it. But this is all preferences on convenience. :)

    Cucie @ Cucie Reads

  3. I agree - there is no such thing as 'lesser' fiction. Book snobbishness sucks because all books, whatever format or genre, bring something new and have their own individual value.