Why You Should NEVER Feel Ashamed Of What You Read

While I was sitting by the pool in Hawaii, I took the cover off my hardcover copy of The Heart of Betrayal because I didn’t want anyone to see me reading fiction aimed at 12-17 year olds. My godmother has special book covers made out of patterned-fabric to put her books inside – she says it’s to protect them, but on another level, I’d say it’s because she doesn’t want anyone to know she’s reading Harlequin romance novels. When was the last time you told someone about what you were reading? When was the last time somebody even cared? We ask each other what TV shows we’re watching all the time – but books hardly ever come up in conversation.

Why?

The answer is simple – reading has never been perceived as particularly “cool.” A post by Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner recounted how, as a child, her family would make her feel bad for reading so much, and still do to this day. A post on ‘Confessions of a Book Geek’ described how a good friend of hers joked about her having a collection of Roald Dahl books, and she felt the need to lie about it and say they were for her nephew. I’ve only recently found a friend who I can share my passion for reading with – and only because she shares in that love. People turn down their noses at those who choose to read books like Twilight because they think they’re silly and poorly written – but for a whole generation of teenage girls, that book and its sequels were everything. And they should not have been made to feel ashamed for loving it.

No one – not children, not teenagers or adults – should feel ashamed of what they read, or of loving to read.

Does a chef feel ashamed for loving to cook? Does a musician feel embarrassed by what instrument they love to play? No. And neither should you feel ashamed or embarrassed by what you love to read. People read for many reasons – to expand their horizons, to learn more about the world, to lose themselves in another place for a while, for fun! There is no reason to feel embarrassed about that, or to make others feel embarrassed for it.

To quote Rae Carson, “I don’t care if it’s Twilight, or Fifty Shades, or War and Peace, never let someone make you feel ashamed of what you love to read.”

EM

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8 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your article with me! It was a really great read, so well written. Do you mind if I share it on my Facebook page??

      To be honest, I hadn’t actually thought about the privacy offered by a kindle. At the moment, I’m sort of of the mind that hard copy books are everything – I don’t even read on an iPad or anything! I know for a fact my godmother has a kindle though…perhaps I should tell her to put away the book covers, and start using it! 😛

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      1. Thanks 😊 Of course you are welcome to share it on Facebook.

        I have a kindle but I still favour paperbacks. I might write an extension to that blog post, with a focus on kindles…I’ll let you know if I do!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree! I hope people will want to read and enjoy it no matter what others say! As an author it is my fervent prayer that people will read my books! Lol!

    My goal this year on Goodreads is to read 115 books. I have already read 111. I will surpass that by December! Loving every minute of all of them!

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    1. Wow, 115! That’s fantastic! You must be reaping the benefits of regular reading haha. Any book recommendations you’d like to share?
      It’s my dream to become a published author one day, but for now I’m just reading all the books I can until I’m ready to write my own.
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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      Reply

      1. I love all Jeffrey Archer, Mary Higgins Clark and Harlan Coban books but lately I am reading a lot of indie authors like Nicholas Rossis, Charles Yalowitz, Mike Wells, Richard C. Hale and many others. Go to Goodreads to see what I have read this year. Of course I have ten books of my own you might like to look at! Lol!
        I have seven children’s books, 2 middle-grade books, and one novel for 18+. I am working on a new paranormal mystery novel now and two more children’s books. A YA fantasy is waiting in the wings for editing and am working on a collection of short stories in between to put into a book.

        Don’t wait to write or publish. I waited all my life until I retired to become an author. Do it now. Live your dream. It is not an easy road to travel but there are plenty of resources out there to draw from.

        Best wishes!

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  2. Hi! Thanks for the linkup! I’m proud to say I’ve since corrected my friend, admitted they were mine, and added some Alice in Wonderland books to my collection. I spent a few years being bullied in school for being geeky, a reader, and a teacher’s pet. Like hell am I going to be made to feel bad at 25 years of age by one of my own friends. Own it! When I did, she didn’t have much to say!! 😀 R xx

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