Since becoming a book blogger it has been impossible for me to ignore the concept of genre-snobbery. It is everywhere. People (including me!) are always talking about it, blogging about it, yada yada yada.
But what is genre-snobbery, really? How does one know if they are a genre snob?
You have come to the right place for questions! Through a series of extremely scientific studies (a.k.a I sat around and thought about it for approximately five minutes) I have determined that everyone fits into one of four levels of genre snobbery. While there may be some variations out there (people who are cool with fantasy but hate on Dan Brown), I think you’ll find that this holds near UNIVERSAL truth.
I have spoken.
Level 1: Non-snob
“I’ll read anything.”
The Non-Snob is much like myself prior to book blogging and exists in a happy bubble where they don’t know even know genre-snobbery is a thing. While they may have preferred genres and genres they don’t read, it’s purely a preference thing. Likewise, they throw judgement on nobody for their reading habits. The Non-Snob is open to new reading experiences and is always ready to try something different.
Level 2: Romance-hater
“Genre fiction is fine, but I draw the line at Harlequin romance novels. That’s trash!”
The Romance-Hater enjoys “respectable” genres, especially science fiction and fantasy, and is probably very invested in the Hugo awards. They love classic genre fiction like Philip K. Dick and Agatha Christie. But they can’t understand why anyone would waste their time on smut like romance novels. Those are barely even real books! The romance-hater is excited to talk to you about their favorite genre fiction, but as soon as they find out you read romance suddenly finds that your opinion isn’t worth their time. They may also have a similar disdain for Dan Brown, pulp westerns, and magazines.
Level 3: The Ageist
“As long as it isn’t young adult…”
The Ageist enjoys genre fiction, but has determined that young-adult books aren’t acceptable reading for adults. The Ageist often wonders when people will “grow out” of their YA phase and join them reading chick-lit, which for some reason is such an improvement. The Ageist also likely has a disdain for Harlequin and other pulp romance, but if female may secretly enjoy a good contemporary romance. They just would never admit it out loud. The Ageist is probably either a man or a woman of 50+ years. The ageist likely especially enjoys Space Opera, Grimdark, and/or Crime if male, Chick-Lit and Mysteries if female.
Level 4: The True-Snob
“Genre fiction just can’t compare to real literature.”
The True-Snob reads almost exclusively literary fiction, though they may also enjoy obscure classics and Jane Eyre. The true-snob can often be heard discussing the importance of consuming high-quality literature in order to be a cultured member of society, and follows awards lists closely. The say the words “Chick-lit” absolutely dripping with disdain. They have likely read some genre fiction (like, three books), and will happily wax poetic to you about all the ways it is sub-par. Most importantly, the True-Snob will always emphasize that they are not a genre snob, but that they just have “excellent taste”.
So where do you fall? It’s okay, you can be honest! Let me know in the comments (which are a judgement-free zone!).