BookRiot’s ‘Shit Book Snobs Say’ With Claire’s 5 Cents

I was inspired by Clare at A Little Blog About Books And Other Things to create my post with my opinions and responses to BookRiot’s post, Shit Book Snobs Say: Translations.

Let me say, that I thought this article was brilliant. Yes its judgey, but the writer isn’t pretending to be anyone other than who she is and the article is her opinion and translation.

Let me also say, that I haven’t really read or paid much attention to the comments. I see that there are a lot and I read a few before I because a bit too annoyed to read further.


E-reading isn’t REAL reading. = I need my personal preferences about my hobby to be validated as the only right and moral way do to a thing.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Preach Amanda Nelson. I’ll confess that I used to be that person demonizing e-readers (about 2 years before I even started Bitches With Books) and then my girlfriend at the time gave me one and I was hooked. Now, I think it’s a brilliant addition to the book world. Why be scared of it? Physical books will never go out of style, they’ll always be sexy beasts. Just let people read the way they want to, without judgement. Urgh.

Snob Factor: No.

Making crafts out of old books is a DESECRATION! = I’ve never seen a library dumpster.

Claire’s 5 Cents: I had to laugh at this, because I used to scream at this as well! Now? If I have an old copy of a book that I want to give away and my local library won’t take or will ban (my books are dangerous like that), I’d rather make something amazing out of it. I made a book end with a book once. Pow, beat that bookish Martha Stewart’s.

Snob Factor: No.

I only read prize-winners/confirmed classics *sniff*. = I don’t know how to think for myself.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Err… My coworker is a huge classics fan, and is always lauding the genre’s merits, however, and yet I don’t quite agree with her. I don’t agree with Amanda Nelson either though. I just find classics to be a bit boring, unless someone is willing to illuminate certain things for me. It’s a stale-mate. I’m neutral here.

Snob Factor: Hells no.

Book bloggers are killing literary criticism! = I’m an aging white man in publishing and I don’t know how to think for myself.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Oh we are? Well my apologies for sharing something I love- for free by the way. I’d dare say that we’re making books more acceptable, no? Still don’t agree? Oh well, as my little cousin says, taters gonna tate (he says problems saying the ‘h’ in hate, so tatters gonna tate!)

Snob Factor: Fuck no.

Oh, I’ve never heard of that book. Was it reviewed in the NYT/on NPR? = I don’t know how to think for myself.

Claire’s 5 Cents: I don’t think I’ve ever read a review by the NYT or NPR… erm, but I have read reviews by fellow bloggers. Are we lowering literary standards still?

Snob Factor: No.

I would never read the tripe that is Twilight/50 Shades/Oprah’s Book Club selection, and I am going to tweet that statement 50 million times. = I am still as worried about being cool as I was when I was in high school.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Oh my goodness, shut up. It might be tripe but if it gets people reading, I’m all for it. I work in the arts and any activity that promotes the use of imagination, creativity and thought is encouraged!

I don’t like 50 Shades or anything encouraged by Oprah for that matter, but if it likes the spark of interest in my fellow reader, then have it! Why are we all so judgey?

Snob Factor: 1/2 a snob star.

The book is always better than the movie, no exceptions. = I’ve never seen The Godfather or The Princess Bride and also I am no fun at parties.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Erm… I’ll admit that I used to be guilty of this but ever since the Harry Potter series I learned to be less of a purist. Why? Because sometimes there are good book to film adaptations, plus it’s wicked exciting to see the literary world become flesh and blood. So, sorry, but I had a heck more fun watching LOTR.

Snob Factor: 1/2 a snob star.

I refuse to use an e-reader because I just love that old book smell. People who do not love that old book smell are not real readers. = My favorite perfume’s base note is mold.

Claire’s 5 Cents: People say this? I don’t see how not liking something’s smell means that you’re not a ‘real’ reader (by the way, what’s a real reader? Am I some invisible ghoul reading on walls Harry Potter style?). Also, I dislike that new-car smell and gasoline, does this mean I’m not a real car lover? I guarantee you I am, especially when the option is driving up that damn hill and walking the whole fricken’ way.

Snob Factor: No.

People who shop at Amazon for books are evil. = I have disposable income and like to make moral judgements about people who do not.

Claire’s 5 Cents: I’m split here, I’m international so this whole notion of Amazon is evil annoys me. Why? Because I don’t have regular access to books and your ability to have a choice is a privilege, so if the only way I will get to read a book is to get it on Amazon, then, I guess I’m evil. Mwuahahaha.

Snob Factor: 0 Snob Stars

I would NEVER dog ear pages, crease a spine, or eat food while reading. = I have unreasonable expectations about how much the people to whom I bequeath my books when I die will actually want them.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Don’t crease spines. That’s not my being a snob, that’s my choosing an aesthetic that is uncracked, but other than that, spill your soup on that bitch or dog ear it to high heaven. I do.

Snob Factor: 1/2 a snob star.

I guess it’s good that they’re reading at all. = I will internally judge you until your reading tastes morph to match my own, which are far superior to yours because I read more books written by white men who live in Brooklyn.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Reading at ALL? What are we? Sheep?

Snob Factor: 0 snobby stars

I don’t have a TV because that would cut into my reading time. Did I mention I don’t have a TV? Hey. You there. I don’t have a TV. I don’t get that TV reference. = I am not all that interesting. Also, I watch three hours of Netflix a night on my laptop.

Claire’s 5 Cents: I like t.v…. If you watched Games of Thrones, True Blood or Bones you’d like it too. I promise it’s good, we’ve got blood on our side.

Snob Factor: No.

I don’t care if the main character is likable. It’s the PROSE that’s the thing. = My ability to tolerate insufferable jerks makes me better than you because you’re obviously only reading for escapism, which is an inferior motivation for reading.

Claire’s 5 Cents: I like escapism, what’s wrong with having a healthy disdain for reality?

Snob Factor: None.

I’m not a romance/crime/Western reader. I mean, I’ll read LITERARY genre. SOMETIMES. = My kitchen is full of quinoa and kale and soy ice cream. Someone please validate what a grown-up I am.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Don’t know if I agree with Ms. Nelson’s translation here, because I don’t like romance (I guess that makes me all shrivelled up and old-cat-ladyish, and I sure as hell hate Westerns (I guess that means I dislike fun, vitality and adventurism). I also, hardly ever read the Literary genre. So I’m staying out this, I have dragons to cuddle up to now.

Snob Factor: 1/2 a snob star.

I don’t understand adults who read YA. You’re a grown-up person, you should read grown-up books. = I don’t like dancing in the rain or ice cream cones or trampolines or whimsy and my neck tie is too tight.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Wow really? I never read YA as a teen and now that I’m 24 I love the genre! I think people should read what they want to read and ignore criticism. If they read for escapism, what’s wrong with that? Read for your own personal reasons, and enjoy it- but just read.

Snob Factor: 0 snobby ass stars.

Verdict: 2/15 Snob Stars. I guess that makes me the irreverent, bitchy book-snob-lite. Like a diet snob, with artificial sweeteners, and the usual chemical kick.


This is the most I’ve written in a while! Granted, I started this article pissed-off at the world, and ended it even more mad. That explains the teensy bit of aggressive writing I’ve got going on here.

But in all seriousness, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and people will judge them for it, we’re all judgey, it sucks but we are. Just let people read what they want to read, and don’t get mad if they disagree with your opinion (disagree with me, I’m fine with that).

Are you a snob? It’s OK if you are :)!!

Power to the books!



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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15 Responses to BookRiot’s ‘Shit Book Snobs Say’ With Claire’s 5 Cents

  1. Nicole says:

    Wow. This ended up really long….. Consider it my honouring your effort put in to right that post with a considered response?? I duno. You know I’m long-winded… Sorry. You can skim/skip if you fee so inclined :’)

    I love when you do these posts! 🙂

    Oh man! I actually really enjoy a lot of classics…because I am an old man….hence my recent request for YA recommendations…I’m trying to ease myself into contemporary fiction (I have no problem finding current non-fiction! hah). I would never restrict myself to the classics, but there is often a good reason they’ve stood the test of time and not faded into obscurity: they’re good! (Or otherwise socially relevant).

    I don’t see what’s wrong with reading books reviewed by NYT/NPR and, especially if you’re of the older or less digitally literate, it’s completely understandable that you may not have heard of a book if you didn’t see/hear about it on your regular channels. I think it’s assuming too much to judge people who say “Oh, I’ve never heard of that book. Was it reviewed in the NYT/on NPR?” as snobby.

    OH MY GOSH! Book to film is something I was tweeting about not long ago. My favourite example of Film-Better-Than-The-Book? = Blade Runner!

    Splitting book spines is annoying to me because chances are the pages will start falling out and at that point, it’s garbage to me if it can’t hold its shit together – I have no patience for that. That’s an issue with compromising the physical design or a book, not its aesthetics. But if it’s just ugly and there’s no danger of damage, I don’t mind.

    “I’m not a romance/crime/Western reader. I mean, I’ll read LITERARY genre. SOMETIMES.” I don’t like the idea of ruling out any genres actually. And I don’t like when people assume that a book isn’t for them just because it falls in a certain genre. I feel like I could easily say that YA is probably not for me, but I believe there probably are YA books that would appeal to me. I just haven’t found (m)any yet. I don’t think there are genres that I would dislike so much as wiring styles. There are writing styles that have turned me off books that seemed like they should be right up my alley! I’m currently reading (don’t laugh) Around The World In 80 Days and that should totally be right up my street, but it’s boring. It is exactly what someone who thinks they don’t like classics would think of when they imagine the fusty, musty old classics. But I’ve read so many other old books in the same vein that have such vitality to them for me to know that it’s not that genre I dislike. I’m just not fond of this author’s form of communication (and maybe it’s just this book!).

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  6. Anya says:

    *is too busy cuddling dragons* >.>

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  9. Kelley says:

    Hah! Yeah, I agree with your assessments here, for the most part. And I don’t like romance or Westerns either. And I didn’t started reading YA until I was in my 20s! I don’t think I really knew it existed before.

  10. Heather says:

    I think people can hold these standards for themselves and still not be a snob, as long as they aren’t holding OTHER people to those standards, too. That’s the key. People who expect everyone to be like them or else decide they suck…well…they’re jerks. 🙂

  11. Tara says:

    This x 1,000,000. This post may inspire me to do up a ‘read on the web’ post on Sunday just to highlight both the original list and your comments on it (I’ve been reading some amazing internet things this week that must be shared with the masses). Basically, throwing books away used to be one of my favorite parts of being a librarian AND I turn my nose at the book blogger haters — listen, fools, I know a thing or two about fancy-pants literature stuff and I still prefer book blogger reviews to those of fancy-pants NYT reviewers. WORD.

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