So a few days ago on Twitter someone got a little fired up about the way books are marketed. Specifically, that some books would be labeled “beach” reads, as though there were specific times of the year to read a particular book. I subscribe to that notion, and so I said so. I explained that for me, summer books were quick, fun, sometimes fluffy reads while winter books were meatier and required more concentration.
He replied, “That’s ridiculous.”
I replied, “No, it’s not,” and left it at that. In general, I avoid arguments on social media. It’s been bothering me, though, and so I’m writing a post about it.
I’m not bothered that he disagreed with me. I’m bothered because his “that’s ridiculous” response implied (to me, at least) that there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to read books.
Listen, if I want to read novels with no substantive plot other than “I like this boy” during the summer and dark, dreary literary books that are Frought With Meaning during the winter, that is my perogative. If I want to read the ending first, that’s my choice. Maybe I do it the other way around because that’s what works with my work/life schedule. If I want to read five books and once, I get to do that. Maybe I read short story anthologies during the week and read novels on the weekends. If I only read scary books during the month of October, that is my right. You know why? BECAUSE THERE’S NO “RIGHT” WAY TO READ A FUCKING BOOK. I would go so far as to say that the ONLY wrong way to read a book is to not read the fucking thing at all.