Recently I was having a nice conversation with my uni housemates about reading, which went a little something like this:
Boy: “I find it easier to relax watching Netflix that to read.”
[To which I gave no answer because that is his opinion, and that’s fine, whatever floats you boat and all. But then the unforgivable was said…]
Boy: “I agree. See I don’t read as much as you [meaning me, of course] because my books are intellectual.”
Excuse me. Intellectual. Are you trying to imply that the books that I read are not intellectual? Let’s discuss that, shall we…
Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe you haven’t, but the majority of the books that I read are YA, and to categorise that even further, urban fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance, fantasy, contemporary, children’s, YA, and more. I do read other things, there’s aren’t very many genre’s that I haven’t; at least tried, but I really don’t read a lot on non-fiction… and apparently that makes me unintellectual.
What does it mean to be intellectual? According to this boy means not indulging in fiction, because non-fiction has an educational value that places him on a pedestal. Apparently it is possible to rank book genres, so than some are better than others. But, I’m going to argue that I get so much more out of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horrowitz, a book that I love, that I would out of a non-fiction account of climbing Everest. A book is what you make it, it’s what you get out of it, and I’ve always though that the books that I read, no matter what genre, change me, even if it’s just in a small way. Am I ever going to need to outrun some assassins in a field, like Alex Rider, probable not, but neither will I be attempting to club Everest anytime soon.
I read so many different genres that I have never judged someone on what they prefer to read, and to be honest I kind of expected the same curtsey. There is such a fantastic presence of readers online that I think it’s too easy to forget that other people are not quite so open minded. It hurts me to think hat some people out there think that I’m not as smart as them because I read YA, or I like romance novels, but more fool the person who underestimated me.
What does intellectual mean to you? Do you agree with me, or do you disagree? Can one book genre ever be placed above another?
Thanks for reading!