Books, like all art, are pretty darn subjective. Of course there are some books that the pros have decided are classics or literature, or better writing than your fanfiction. Somehow, these aren’t most people’s favorite things to read. Like it or not, people enjoy things like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I know. But those books aren’t any good– they’re just fun.
I think fun is important, don’t you? So I present to you, the Venn Diagram of important things in books:
Now, you might think Ulysses is the most fun book EVER, I don’t mean to blast anyone. These are simple examples. I enjoyed The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I didn’t have a blast reading it. You know what book really had fun reading? Soulless by Gail Carriger. Yeah, it’s a book about a woman who falls in love with a Scottish Werewolf Alpha in a steampunky version of 1800’s London. It’s not classy, but I read it by our city pool during our 7 weeks of summer! I had an amazing time.
So what’s The Good Stuff? First on my list of Good Stuff are some YA staples: The Hunger Games, The Golden Compass, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Everything Tamora Pierce Ever Wrote.
Now, someone out there decided what goes in “Objectively Good Literature,” for all of us. Google it and you’ll find tons of lists– Classics to Read Before You Die! 100 Best Books of the 21st Century! 30 Books to Read Before You’re 30! and so on, ad nauseum.
But you get to decide what goes in the FUN category. Read every Jack Reacher book, dad! Read every darn Western you can get your hands on! Make Twilight and its brethren your friend!
Embrace your reading level! It’s OKAY to read books for younger kids! Some of the best literature coming out right now is written for kids and young adults. Even if you read at a high level– don’t feel like you have to stay up there in the clouds.
We have this idea that reading is this highbrow thing, and you should be reading Shakespeare and quoting Kant. Should you be? It’s your life. If you’re going to use some of your precious leisure time absorbing a book, you should at least enjoy it. I used to be a total book snob. I have turned over a new leaf and now read entirely for fun!
I read a lot of books that I LOVED that I knew were kinda bad books. I’ve read some books I knew were excellent and hated them. This is why my books all get two scores– one for how “good,” the book is– pacing, length, word choices, story arc, etc. and one for how much I enjoyed reading it. I think both are important.
I hope you go pick up whatever book your little heart desires! Subjective Hearts for Life!