Why I Read What I Read OR How I Became a Book Snob

This post is inspired by Brian, who was inspired by Stefanie, who was inspired by Tim …whew.

All book lovers have reasons for reading. Beyond that we all have reasons for reading what we do. We’re all complex but I think I can at least nail down why I have all the love for literary fiction:

Books were always around when I was little. I grew up surrounded by piles of Little Golden Books and other small kid tales. Once I reached a certain age my mom handed down her boxes of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries.  I read each of those series. Multiple times.

Then I got a little older and the long drought began. I was too old for Little Golden and Nancy Drew. I NEEDED more.

I grew up in a very small town without a public library. For a long while the only books I had access to were the collection of Jackie Collins that my mom had (I read them all, secretly) or the stacks of bodice rippers at Grandma’s house. (Grandma once caught me reading one of those and gently suggested that I read something more appropriate.)

Enter the hero of this tale, my maternal grandfather and the BookMobile! (I’m sure I’ve talked about this before.) A quick recap: Grandpa saved the day and took me to the BookMobile. He would check out a whole box of books. I didn’t realize you could do that!


Finally! After years of reading only cereal boxes or books with Fabio on the cover I had access to real books! No longer would I be reading scraps left by other people. No longer would I have to be content with reading the rubbish that was commonly lying about. Now I could become a SERIOUS READER of SERIOUS THINGS. And that, I think, is where my love of  literary fiction began.

“Fetch me a book…of quality!”

Maybe I’ll explore my adoration of nonfiction on another day. That’s a whole ‘nother topic.

Why do you read what you read?

58 thoughts on “Why I Read What I Read OR How I Became a Book Snob

  1. Love the end! My mum got me reading and I don't think she ever checked what I took out from the library, which helped, I'd say. I didn't check out anything inappropriate for my age, but that unspoken trust did help.

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  2. How funny that your grandma was reading bodice rippers! My parents surrounded us with quality reads – the classics, good mysteries. I'm not sure my mother has ever even touched a book with Fabio on the cover. I guess I should thank them again for raising me right!

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  3. My grandma had an entire basement bookcase filled with bodice rippers. I didn't read them too much because my younger sister was always around and by the time I was a teenager, they had moved and the books were right next to her favorite chair. I'm not THAT interested in getting caught lol. I like literary fiction because I love the serious topics, but I also like to dissolve into a fantasy world because, well, my world often sucks. So I like to go to a place I've never been before and do things I cannot do. Whether it is in a fantasy world or a historical environment. I guess I like a variety.

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  4. A town without a public library? I can’t even imagine! I read because my parents read, and I have also snuck in my fair share of Jackie Collins books (I may or may not have a signed copy). My grandmother was a big reader and could totally tune out the world, which explains why I don’t respond to people when I’m reading (I truly don’t hear them). Of my four sisters, I read the most but we are all readers of varying degrees.

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