Do you have book hang-ups? You know, you read something on the back of a book and you immediately put it back on the shelf? Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with alien books, so you see the word and run around screaming, or hate any British literature you’ve ever read, so you only read American authors? Perhaps you’re more well-adjusted in your reading life than I am, but I definitely have some book hang-ups that I wish I didn’t. To me, having a book hang-up is different from just not liking something. For example, I don’t like mystery as a genre. There’s some very well-written mystery books, but they’re just not for me. A hang-up is more of having a prejudice against something in a book because of a bad experience in a past(that’s going to me my definition, anyway). After all, just because I dislike certain books with those traits doesn’t mean I’d hate all books that would fit in that category. A few of my book hang-ups are:
1. Books set in the south–where setting plays a role
I blame Faulkner for this one. I had to read a collection of short stories by Faulkner for school in the ninth grade and since then I have actively avoided anything labelled “southern literature”. Faulkner is probably my least favorite “classics” author. I just don’t like his stuff. I changed my schedule one semester during college just to make sure I didn’t have to take an American Southern Literature class. I almost bought Beautiful Creatures on Amazon when it was a daily deal, but the synopsis emphasized the southern influence and suddenly I had no desire to read. This one’s quite a silly hang-up because I am southern. I’m a Texan, for goodness’ sake!
2. Paranormal Creatures
OK, yes, I was neither a fan of Twilight nor of Hush, Hush, but that doesn’t mean all paranormal books are bad. I’ll probably never be interested in “paranormal romance”, which isn’t so much as a hang-up but me just realizing it’s not the genre for me, but I have nothing against paranormal creatures in general. I like movies and TV shows with paranormal/supernatural creatures, so it’s not fair for me to say I don’t like all books with paranormal creatures.
3. Christian Fiction
I’ve only read Christian fiction a few times, and for the most part it hasn’t been a good experience. I find most of it too cheesy and sentimental for my taste, especially since about 75% of books published in this category feature a woman wearing a bonnet on the cover. Also, sometimes the underlying theology makes me cringe. However, there have been a few times when friends have given me books that would definitely fit in this category and I’ve enjoyed it, so clearly it’s not that I dislike the genre as a whole. I just have a mental block when I see this genre labelled.
4. Love stories
I decided to call this one “love stories” rather than romance, because I don’t find the romance genre is for me as a genre, which is fine. However, even when non-romance books–like Young Adult books– are labelled as “love stories” I tend to turn away. I ended up loving The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but I had to get over this hang-up first.
These are my biggest book hang-ups, though I’m sure I could find more if I thought harder. I know it’s possible to overcome book hang-ups, because I’ve done it before. Yes, I admit, I use to be one of those people that looked down on young adult literature. It was cool with me if other people read it, but I didn’t want to read it myself. As I’m sure you can tell from the rest of this blog, that’s one hang-up I’ve gotten over!
Do you have book hang-ups? Ever overcome any of them?