Barely a Book Club

Teetering on the edge of a normal book club

Literary Snobbery August 14, 2007

Filed under: Blindness — antof9 @ 1:57 pm

While this has nothing to do directly with the BBC I wanted to report that I might be a Literary Snob!! I took time away from Chabon’s TYPU to read a book I picked up at a garage sale “Vendetta, Lucky’s Revenge” by Jackie Collins. Okay the first question you might ask is why I would even buy this book, and to answer that, if I bought five books or more I got a better deal.
So I started reading said book this week and I’m completely stunned that something like this would get published. Sometimes the passages would remind me of my own teenage manuscripts. Then I thought to myself…am I a snob??? Obviously books such as these make money, why do I think they are so elementary? The words don’t flow together and often information is just added in so they don’t have to explain things. I think I’m going to finish this book just to see if the plot line is so engaging I forget about the actual words. Anyway…does anyone else feel this way or am I just a snob??

 This week will be starting Blindness, reading to page 114. Let’s meet at Stella’s.

http://denvercoffee.blogspot.com/2005/09/stellas-coffeehaus-old-pearl-street.html

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11 Responses to “Literary Snobbery”

  1. Shanda Says:

    I meant to ask you about this. I saw you reading it on the bus…I secretly wanted to ask somebody else on the bus to trade seats with me!

  2. Kelly Says:

    Well first I have to say I’ve never read any of Jackie Collins’ books. But I must admit that I am one of those people who supports the bad or “elementary” writers. A completely mindless read is a good thing sometimes. You can only read it for the story itself, not the quality of the writing. They seem to get new books out pretty quickly, so they are definitely not an amazing work by any means.

  3. Ant Says:

    LOL at Shanda!

    I’m on the Book Snobbery fence, myself. There are some books I’ll never read (anything by V.C. Andrews, for example) because they’re stupid AND offensive. There are some books I’ve never read not because I’m a snob, necessarily, but because they’ve never appealed to me (Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele fit that category for me). Some books I’d rather not read solely based on the cover (I hate the Oprah’s book club stamp and pictures of the movie cast when a book has been made into a movie) and some books I don’t like to read when *everyone else* is reading them (SO glad I read Secret Life of Bees before every book club on the planet did). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these books; I just like to think I have more discriminating taste than 99% of the world’s population (you know I’m saying that with my tongue in my cheek, right?).

    But … Kelly’s right. There are times when, just like with popcorn for dinner, you need a little junk food for your brain. It might actually come after a book like TYPU, for example. Basically, my philosophy is that you can only read so many heavy books in a row. “Heavy” subject matter or “heavy” with brain-work required (or anything you have to slog through, like Glass Bead Game — that required *work*!). And then you need some good junk. I highly recommend Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? at this point (although NOT the Shopaholic series — bah!) or The Devil Wears Prada or even something lite like a Diane Mott Davidson sort-of-cosy mystery (her character, Golde, lives in a fictional Colorado town, so there’s that added bonus for us locals!).

    There are also certain “times” or “feelings” when you need a lite-r book. When I’m sitting in the sun, I need a classic “beach read”. When I’m flying, I don’t prefer something that might make me cry. For years, I read John Grisham and Nora Roberts on airplanes. Perfect for getting lost in a story, and usually finish-able by the time I landed, where I could leave the book on the other end. They also don’t require any brain power so if I fell asleep on the flight or was interrupted by my seat partner, it didn’t require a lot of effort to pick back up where I left off.

    And that’s my $.02 on Book Snobbery 🙂 “War and Peace” has nothing on me!

  4. Inspector Love Says:

    Well, bad writing is bad writing. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good (i.e. Paris Hilton). Unfortunately, if you read a lot or are somewhat educated, you are part of the elite. Your tastes change and you may no longer appreciate poorly written novels.

    I noticed this with eating out… I eat out so much that I’ve developed a taste for quality ingredients and expert preparation. I still enjoy pizza, but not fast food. So, you’ve picked the fast food of books. I like the occasional fluff novel (pizza), but if I’m going down that route, I’d rather read a well written children’s novel like the Harry Potter series than pseudo romance novels.

    I don’t think you’re a snob, but you have an appreciation for good writing. I guess I see a difference between that and being pretentious about literature.

    You can appreciate bad art, too.

    http://www.museumofbadart.org

    I’ve actually been to this museum. Hilarious, but I digress…

    Here’s a question for you- would you rather read something poorly written with a palatable plot or something well written with a lackluster plot (like TYPU)?

  5. Kylle Says:

    Inspector – That’s tough call. I’ll have to think about it.

    Currently I’m on page 63 and getting disgusted. Basically every female character has been sexually abused by a father/stepfather. I understand this is prevalent, but it’s written in such a cavalier way.

    Also, for a female author she sure likes to degrade women.

  6. Shanda Says:

    That IS a hard question. I’m trying to think of a good BC comparision: maybe TYPU vs. Angels & Demons…I don’t think I’d prefer either! I guess with TYPU I did come out with a few new vocabulary words…so maybe it has a slight edge.

  7. Ant Says:

    I don’t think you’re a snob, but you have an appreciation for good writing. I guess I see a difference between that and being pretentious about literature.

    Very well put, Inspector! And LOL at the Museum of Bad Art!

    Ky — you just told me why I’ve never wanted to read one of her novels. I’ve recently finished several good books. Can I give one of them to you instead of you continuing this one? Here’s the list — I’ll give you any or all you want:
    A Girl Named Zippy
    Bel Canto
    The Color of Water
    Good in Bed (if you were looking for something “lite”)

  8. Shanda Says:

    Just by way of an update, Kylle pulled out THAT book again on the bus today. I asked her if she cared to read to me aloud:)

  9. Inspector Love Says:

    Kylle pulls out poorly written “novel” that is degrading to women at the bus stop.

    Shanda points at her accusingly and says, “Stop! Drop that offensive book! Put your hands in the air and step away from that terrible Jackie Collins novel.”

    Bus stop people stare in horror and back away as Kylle slowly places the book on the ground. The glossy cover with Jackie Collins’ name in large letters forces a few to cringe and look away.

    Shanda grabs Kylle’s hands and places an Ant approved novel into them. Kylle’s eyes widen as she puts her hand to her mouth and says, “Oh, no. What have I done?”

    Shanda, “Don’t worry. It’s all over.” Kylle turns to look at “Vendetta, Lucky’s Revenge” abandoned on the concrete and starts to say something. Shanda interrupts her. “No, don’t look back. It’s better this way.”

  10. Ant Says:

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA

    *thunk*

    (that was me falling off my chair)

  11. Kylle Says:

    To my credit I took off the glossy cover and I cleverly cover the spine while taking the book out my bag. I’m on page 100, so the ordeal is 1/3 of the way over.


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