Hey, you! Have you seriously not ever read classics? You should! You’re over 17/18? Then why are you reading a young adult book? This book is meant for people aged 9 to 13, why are you reading a kids book? You should read books your age. Wow, are you seriously reading trashy romance novels? You should read some quality work. Do you still read fiction? You should branch out to nonfiction, you’ll learn a lot of real-life stuff and gain more knowledge that way. Aren’t you a little too old for fantasy novels? Maybe you should shift to something better like a crime/thriller novel. Are you seriously reading that? Do you want better book recommendations? How have you never read this book? You’re seriously missing out! You HAVE to read it!
Tell me you’ve never heard any of this at some point in your life, or heard yourself say this, and I’ll call you a liar. We’ve all genre shamed at some point. So have I, I’m not going to lie. But I’ve recognized it, and I’m addressing it. I learned and so should people who still genre shame. I’ve realized how much I used to hide books I was reading in order not to get judged by other people, and often pretended to read certain books that everyone else read because I didn’t want others to know I really didn’t have any interest in that book.
It’s easy to make people feel bad about what they’re reading. It should be okay if other people don’t share the same interest as you or don’t want to read a book you recommended. You should read what you want without feeling ashamed or feeling the need to explain why you want to read the book. You should read whatever you want, even when you don’t fall into the target audience category used for effective marketing. Because you CAN. No one should make you feel otherwise.
STOP GENRE SHAMING