[LET’S CHAT] Do We Have The Right To Judge People For What They Read?

I think we can all admit that we’re pretty judgmental.

We judge people based off of a lot of things, but as bookworms, I think it’s pretty obvious that the biggest thing we judge people off of is what they read, even though we don’t want to. But is it truly okay to judge what people are reading or is it a more complex issue? Let’s dive into it!

I think it’s obvious that we all really don’t want to judge people because we think it’s super rude. But, at the same time, it seems like we’re moving more towards judging and mocking people for what they read as something that’s socially acceptable, which is definitely not-so-great.
The issue is super complicated, and I really wanted to tackle it!
I think it’s pretty obvious that we all judge people for what they read.
We might judge people based off of genres – maybe some people think higher of themselves for reading literary fiction over those who like to read romance novels or erotica. Or maybe they don’t like our favorite authors and books, and how in their right mind could they not like that book or author? Or maybe they think a book you consider trash to be the best book they’ve ever read, and a book you like to be the worst thing every published, and how dare they think so!
But can we actually legitimately base the character of a person off of the books they read?
I mainly wrote this discussion based off of what most people say in regards to people reading books others deem problematic. I feel like there’s been a lot of discourse when it comes to this – someone says a book is problematic, everyone agrees, someone mentions that they think they should actually read the book before accusing a book of being something (which I think is totally valid!), which leads to a lot of backlash, mainly, “A person of a certain race/sexual orientation/religion/class, etc. said this book was problematic, and you’re still reading it??? How dare you!” But can you really say someone reflects bigoted attitudes or is okay with something just because they enjoy a book that is considered problematic?
Let’s take a popular example – 50 Shades of Grey. Most people agree that besides it having terrible writing, virtually no plot, and is just overall boring that the book also seems to romanticize the abusive relationship between Christian and Ana and portray Christian to be some sort of sexy, alpha male, when he’s really just gross and possessive. Even though this is information that seems obvious to some people and has often been spread, nothing has really changed. The trilogy is still a best-seller. The movies make millions and millions of dollars. And there’s still a huge fanbase surrounding it, those who don’t think that Christian and Ana’s “romance” is abusive and would jump at the chance of marrying Christian if he really existed – and a large, large majority of these fans are women themselves.
Obviously, 50 Shades of Grey isn’t the only series out there – you could say the same thing for a lot of popular romance novels with abusive relationships under the guise of being romantic. But there’s obviously more to that. What about Twilight, which has had the same accusations thrown at it, and none of them have stuck? Or Colleen Houck’s Tiger Curse, which has a 4.07 overall star rating on Goodreads, but has been accused of being racist by reviewers? Or Colleen Hoover’s books, which have been accused of being sexist in certain areas? Or even The Black Witch, where after the controversy has died down, has managed to get high star ratings from both people of color and gay people – the two groups the book was supposed to anger the most?
So, what does that mean? Is anyone who reads 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight and doesn’t think those relationships are abusive someone who thinks domestic abuse is okay in real life? Are people who enjoy Tiger Curse racist? Is the mostly female-led fanbase of Colleen Hoover being led by internalized sexism? Are the people of color and gay people who enjoyed The Black Witch self-hating individuals?
And that’s the thing – I just don’t think so. I don’t think people who want to read a book that’s problematic because they want to read it for themselves are bad people. And I feel like this can get complicated, especially in regards to certain messages people spread. Take the large female fan-base when it comes to 50 Shades of Grey – it seems like it’s been made openly okay to mock women who enjoy the books or get excited by the movies, by both men and women, even though there’s been lots of conversation about the sexism behind the idea of making fun or not taking seriously things that women like. Does 50 Shades of Grey fit that mold, or does it not because it has domestic abuse in it? IT IS ALL SO COMPLICATED.

Do you judge people for what they read sometimes? What are your thoughts on any of these subjects?


60 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] Do We Have The Right To Judge People For What They Read?

  1. *I’ve come at the point that I open Word to simply type out my rants so I don’t have to scroll to your discussion posts a hundred times while typing it out.*

    As you said, this is definitely not an easy subject to touch because so many people have different opinions on it. Or simply don’t even realize that they’re judging because “well, they said it so it must be right” and use that in their advantage.

    Anyway! I know I can say that I don’t judge people by what they’re reading. Will I have a tendency of not having a full-on bookish conversation with people reading completely different genres than what I like? YUP. Sorry. But that’s because it would be an awkard-as-hell conversation anyway.
    Do I judge them because of it? OF COURSE NOT. Why, if we all liked the same things, the world would be perfectly boring. Which doesn’t sound perfect at all.

    As for the examples you mentioned, I’m going to focus on Fifty Shades because I mentioned that one on another blog earlier this week.
    I get why people throw certain things out there when it comes to these books but in the end we all have different backgrounds, different tastes and different opinions. While people might immediately agree with some claims that’ve been made, others might only realize when they actually HEAR those claims because they didn’t even think of it while reading.
    That’s what I head with Fifty Shades. Yup, the number of smut-pages is there and I have to admit that I skimmed over those. As for the plot? Honestly, I quite liked the story – if only there would’ve been less of THOSE chapters because those simply became boring pretty fast. Abusive relationship? I get that people would say that, I honestly do. But let’s face it. There are people out there who actually have a relationship like that and need it as well. We can’t claim to understand what’s going through their minds; to know what they need. Only they do. If that’s their way of living? Let them! Judging them for THAT, judging this book for THAT, is the same as looking at a POC weirdly.

    Just accept that we all have different lives, tastes, backgrounds and needs.
    That reflects in our reading. Accept it. You don’t have to embrace it; but people need to simply accept it.

    *Is this my longest comment yet?!*

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I probably can’t hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t read the same books that I do, which is perfectly fine! I read all different types of books, and I obviously don’t talk about those same books with every person, and I think that makes sense!

      I think that makes sense! It’s very strange. I can’t get into the mindset or thoughts behind the people who read stuff with abusive relationships, so it’s sort of hard to wonder why they think it’s healthy or okay. I know there are some people who just don’t mind and read the book for fun, or are well aware and just like to read something to take their mind off whatever just for a little while (much like with any other book that is problematic and people love). We can never get inside the heads of other readers, so it’s all really a mystery. 💁🏾

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does!

        Haha, it would be awesome to crawl into people’s heads like that though. Too bad the world doesn’t work that way.
        I just hope that one day people will stop judging so much. But that’ll take ages; if it’ll ever happen at all. :’)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I too have seen this and think it’s what makes the community toxic sometimes, and quite frankly, I’m tired of seeing it. I don’t judge people for what they read. I sometimes judge people who have only seen the Harry Potter movies and have never read the books. Judging people for what they read actually violates one of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Great discussion as always.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I very much agree! I’ve seen some people who are just really crappy towards fandoms and authors because they find their books problematic – great, that’s fine, but I’ve seen people dedicate their entire life to reading and buying these books (then complaining about them) and heckling their fans ALL THE TIME. It’s very holier-than-thou. 😝 Thank you! ❤️


  3. First of all, great blog post! 🙂

    Then: I think that I am personally being judged by other people for what I read. I mainly read NA and Contemporary Romance because I love it. Period. I also read my books on my kindle and only a very few as paperback. I usually am embarrassed whenever I take one of my paperbacks out to a café, the train etc. because I know that when people see a guy and a girl on a cover (even if they are fully dressed and not kissing etc.) the majority of them will downgrade me for reading ‘smut’ which is not true, because I don’t see NA and Contemporary Romance being ‘smut’. But when I read a Thriller in public, no one really cares because it is more acceptable, whatever the heck that means. -.- It seems that reading supposedly ‘smut’
    novels is something appalling.
    I think us bookworms are judged by fellow booksworms as well as not bookworms because they have no idea what this genre or book is about. They just say what they have heard from other people only to have to say anything at all.
    Which brings me to people calling us racist or thinking we glorify domestic abuse only we read certain books. I have read 50 Shades of Grey and I can say that I am against domestic abuse and controlling the partner in every aspect of her or his life. Only because I read certain books, doesn’t make me like their contents. Sometimes I just wanna know what the fuss is all about, I want to build my own opinion.

    I hate when people get so judgmental about everything!! And why should we all read Hemingway, Austen, Bronte, and all those other literary classics. I think that we should read what makes us happy. And if my friend loves to read fantasy? Fine with me! Only because I don’t like it doesn’t mean I talk bad about her or that genre. We are human beings with different tastes so I don’t know what the people’s problems are… :/


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ❤️

      Yeah, I’ve heard that the romance community can get tired of being constantly put down, which I think is very valid. I hate contemporary romance and don’t like NA, but to get out of a reading slump, sometimes I read a M/M novel that I know I’ll finish in a day. Sometimes, I need a break from all the gloom and doom, or something that makes me have to think a lot.

      Yeah, I don’t think that liking a book means that you agree with everything that’s written in it. I mean, I love reading about serial killers, but that obviously does not mean I think serial killers are great people. I feel like some people will conflate the two, but I don’t think it truly makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, thank you so much for writing this? I definitely judge people by what they read, I’ve read the 50sog trilogy and seen the movies, but that was purely from an analytical standpoint (also intense curiosity). In my opinion, it was okay for me to read the series because I am mature enough and have enough knowledge to understand that it isn’t BDSM, but domestic abuse. On multiple occasions, Ana (the main chick) says that she is afraid of Christian, but he manipulates her into staying and then they end up married with kids and everyone is happy. But, yeah, I still definitely judge people who read the series. I think the thing with the trilogy though is that mostly I am just worried that people won’t see it as abuse, and that they will fall for Christian’s “charm”.

    On the other hand (but pretty similarly), the thing I judge people most for is reading Colleen Hoover’s novels. I’ve heard something controversial about every single one of her books from consent issues to all the ‘ism’s, I just don’t understand why she continues to be published, and why some people refuse (and at this point, it is refusal, we all know about the controversies, there’s no way to avoid it) to see the issues.

    But, back to the topic. Yeah, I’m hella judgmental. BUT, just because someone has read a CoHo book doesn’t mean I’m going to shame and unfollow them, I might just question whether we share the same taste in books. I judge but within reason. I’m not going to yell at anyone for reading what they want, hell I wanted to read 50sog so I did it, big deal, I’m a big girl and I can handle my shit. That being said, I also got a lot of backlash for reading the trilogy, it’s certainly a conversation starter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that makes sense! I tend to feel meh about someone’s bookish opinions, to be honest, if they constantly love books that I just don’t think are good. I’ll still love the person, but it’s sort of hard to take someone seriously if they love the most mediocre of books, but when a really good book comes out, it’s a one-star. Like, really??? 😒 I’m definitely not going to tell someone off for reading a book that I think isn’t that great, because who really cares?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t judge people for what they read. I’m all for letting people read whatever strikes their interest. Reading in anyway should be celebrated! You can’t control what people like or don’t like, all you can do is try to understand and let them enjoy it. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Your post is such an apt one for the current circumstances because we all seem to become judgmental in every aspect of our lives. People get mocked and judged and trolled for having a political opinion, for reading a certain book, for liking a certain show and it goes on and on and on… I really do worry sometimes that what world will the future generations inherit from us , one where every second of your life is scrutinized…
    I also am probably very judgy about a lot of things but not books.. Books are the most important part of my life and reading gives me such joy and happiness that I only wish people read more… Also probably because no one around me reads at all… I just want everyone to read, anything that suits them, anything that they need at that point in their life… Case in point being 50 shades, I have a feeling I would have loved it if I had read it 10 years ago but I read it 5 years ago and I hated it.. so, my tastes changed, my interests changed… People change… Reading is such a joy that I find it a sacrilege to mock and judge readers unless it leads them to harm themselves or others…


  7. I think sometimes we just take things out of proportion, I know that there are quite a few books out there that are problematic due to abusive relationships or racism, sexism, but the thing is that we might enjoy some of this titles even with those issues over them….you might even like them with bad writing and all…and nobody should judge you for it…you are entitled to your own opinions and tastes…
    I remember a while back the whole controversy/borderline boycott on the book Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth due to misrepresentation of the people of color….It’s hard to deal with this because is so subjective…Does it mean I’m a bad person if I enjoyed that book?? No, Not at all…It feels to me like saying that because you like Horror movies you are a serial killer….
    We shouldn’t judge, just give advice and orientation…pointing out what you might find troublesome in some books I think is the best way to do this but never being hurtful or just mean.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s very true! I saw another comment that said if we only read perfect books that weren’t problematic whatsoever, that we wouldn’t be reading very many books, which is true we wouldn’t. Most books, someone is going to find something problematic, so there’s really no point in trying to find one that isn’t.

      I think that’s a great point you make! I’ve seen people deal with the whole problematic books/call-out culture totally wrong, and it really doesn’t do you good to make fun of people. Said person is really going to shut themselves down from anything you’re saying once you start attacking them. I think feeling people plain and simple works out fine and can make a good conversation. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a great topic. I really don’t judge people based on what they read. I can read the same book as someone else. It may bother or hurt them, but it doesn’t me. So I can enjoy it, but still support and comfort them. We are all different in how we see things and how we feel things. I think that someone will get offended by any book, no matter what. I obviously don’t want people to be hurt. But I also feel that books are written for the author to get a story out. Sometimes people get pissed about things that are similar to things that have happened in the past. I think we can learn from those books and they serve as a warning to keep it from happening again. It doesn’t mean the author feels that way or wants things to be that way. If an author is openly racist, etc (they admit it), I would definitely chose not to read their books.

    This just seems to be such a big thing now. I find so many people who get mad about so many different books. I don’t judge them for that reaction, so I hope they don’t judge me if I read a book and see it differently than they did. I like to respect everyone’s feelings, but also do my own thing. The reason why books get so many mixed reviews is because we are all different.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think you bring up a lot of good points! It’s true that no one wants people to feel bad for reading books, whether it’s diversity advocates or people who think call-out culture is out of proportion or people who are in the middle. And I think we all want everyone to feel represented when they read a book. But it’s true, I mean, I feel like even during these huge fights and discussions and controversies, someone out there is learning something, and I think that’s really the whole point, right?

      And I think that makes sense! We all have different feelings and to expect that everyone will love or ante something or all feel the same way one person does missed the entire point of reading. 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooh boy, this is a sticky question, because it not only applies to particular books, but WHOLE genres! I notice the judgement is typically geared toward books that women tend to “favor” such as romance and YA, which I think says a lot about how society still views women in general. Sometimes YA will get a pass if it has a lot of action and “boys like it too”, but a cute, romantic contemporary YA? Cue all the eye rolling. It’s definitely problematic, and I try to catch myself when my own thoughts start getting away from me (because I’m human and I do it too) and change my perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I was writing an outline for a discussion about some genres being seen as superior to other ones, and I was noticing that the ones that readers usually take seriously are geared towards males and the ones not taken as seriously are the ones geared towards women and teenage girls. It’s very interesting. And I think that mentality has had me reconsider the way I think about the romance genre lately!


  10. What a huge discussion subject.

    I think many people read as a form of escapism from their own troubles and life. If a book in any genre can allow someone a few hours of escape then that’s great.

    Other people read to learn or experience a life style or a place they may never see in their life-time. There are millions of reasons why people choose a certain book and as many different experiences will be gained from reading the same pages as everyone else.

    This used to be the end of it.

    But now with social media, everyone can have a voice and share their views on the world wide web. Freedom of speech now takes a different form and can become invasive and influential, often putting thoughts into readers heads that perhaps would not have been considered, say thirty years ago. It is a sign of the times.

    Any subject in a book that causes great discussion is likely to draw other authors to write about it, especially if it has readers buying that book in droves. Throw in marketing, advertising, supply and demand and it no longer becomes about the book content but about statistics and sales revenue.

    Instead of judging people by what they read, I find myself encouraging them to try different genres and to challenge themselves with their reading choices.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I appreciate what you had to say, Rosie. Admittedly, I’ve never enjoyed reading romance nor erotic novels. I’m just not comfortable going there. My escape is out into nature. I also don’t care for television shows that “tell” me when to laugh by feeding be a laugh track. If it’s clever, I’ll be the first to laugh, but if it’s inane, I’d rather spend my time in the forests.
      That said, I actually have difficulty reading anything longer than a one-page poem or treatise. I have long felt the shame of being judged for not being a “reader,” especially since I am an author. My defense is that I am living life, rather than reading about it, and attention deficit is my excuse, or maybe it’s poor impulse control that gets me into the real life adventures I write about. Whichever, I’ll try not to judge others for being stupid or unimaginative, if they’ll grant me grace, as well.
      These days I do enjoy audio books, and have recently decided that I can comment on books that I have listened to. Will this elevate me in the eyes of other readers? I guess I’m hoping so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, such a great comment, Rosie! ❤️ And I think it makes sense that instead of judging or attacking what someone else is reading, that instead we should maybe reach out to them and recommend them some books to read that might capture their interest that are outside the norm. And I think it’s very interesting what you said about social media changing things. The fact that we can now publicly share what we’re reading and interested in makes a world of difference, and you can tell it’s really changed things!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m going to say – no we don’t have the right, but yeah – if I see someone on the train reading something I consider silly (e.g. Twilight) I do judge them a bit. But just with my inside voice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think that what we all forget is that as we mature, our reading tastes tend to change and hopefully broaden. In my younger years (oh, where did they disappear to in such a hurry?) I was a huge Mills and Boon fan. But we move on, or most of us do.
    Now in my sixties, I will read almost anything. If I don’t enjoy it, I will abandon it and move on to something else. I read fantasy, young adult, crime, horror, mystery, family sagas, murder and anything with a cover that appeals. I don’t tend to read straight out romance these days, but I would never mock anyone who does.
    We need different things at different times of our lives. And isn’t it lovely that we all like different things?
    What I do tend to get upset about is the recent trend for people to find underlying ‘messages’ in children’s books. We had Noddy banned for years. Now someone has decided that The Cat in the Hat is a racist book. I think we all need to stop looking for things to take offense at and start just enjoying things for what they are.
    And adopt that principle with people. Let them be.
    I have a good friend who is an English teacher who loved 50sog. Her husband remarked that he didn’t understand why she was reading it, she wasn’t likely to put any of it into practice. She replied that he liked documentaries about great adventures and exploration, but she hadn’t noticed him rushing off to climb Everest or navigate the Nile. Fair point. Don’t judge. Or if you have to, don’t let it come out of your mouth.
    Happy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I also read from a variety of genres! Yeah, I’m only sixteen (seventeen next month!), and my reading tastes have changed drastically. I used to be super into contemporary, and now I’m into horror and thriller novels. 😂

      I think that makes sense! I’m sure there’s someone out there who doesn’t understand my obsession with serial killers and true crime and might find it “troubling,” but it doesn’t mean I’m planning on murdering people! I just enjoy learning and reading about it! 😄


  13. I don’t judge people based on what they read because people have done it to me and I don’t think it’s fair at all. I tend to not talk about things that I like because people have laughed at me and called me stupid for it which doesn’t feel good at all.

    The biggest fanbase that I’m a part of gets called all sorts of awful things like we compared to Nazis, we get misgendered, we get called all kinds of ableist slurs and even accused of being on drugs just because we like something that isn’t even problematic.

    We can’t all like the same things because that would be boring but I don’t think it’s ok to judge people for liking it at all. Liking a book doesn’t mean that you wholeheartedly think that everything happening in it is ok.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel that! I like some unpopular books/series/movies, and I’ve just gotten so jaded from it tha I don’t care anymore. Ah well if you think you’re so much better or holier-than-thou because you don’t like this thing. I’ve never understood being rude to fandoms. 💁🏾

      Yeah, it’d definitely be boring if we all liked the same things. And I agree that liking something doesn’t mean you approve of everything within it!


  14. I read so many different genres it would be hard to judge my character by looking at my bookshelf. I don’t have a problem with people making informed judgements of me – it is the hasty and harsh judges I have a problem with. There are many different reasons why I read a book – not always because I like or agree with the author – so that is one good reason not to judge people by the books they read. Imagine if you were acussed of a crime, ended up in court before a judge and the judge just said ‘Guilty’ after looking at a list of the crime fiction you like to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also enjoy reading a variety of genres, so I feel you as well! 😄 It’s true, I don’t think there’s one reason as to why I read a book, so it’s silly to claim someone is reading a book for a certain reason. And, oh God, that’d be terrible! Especially since I enjoy watching true crime and conspiracy videos on YouTube! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a great discussion and very well said. I agree with some of what you’ve said here, although I’m definitely guilty of judging people for reading books deemed problematic. But recently I’ve realized it’s a lot more complicated than I’ve thought about it in the past. Ultimately, I don’t think people are *bad* for reading a problematic book, but they do need to acknowledge the problems rather than just dismiss the issues. But if everyone avoided every book that has problematic content in it, we’d probably be left with, like, three books to choose from, haha.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much! ❤️

      Yeah, I think it’s a very complicated subject. I’ve never really agreed with the idea that someone reading a book for themselves is a punch in the face to marginalized people, because it’s really not. But I feel like every single issue surrounding problematic books is a complicated issue that people feel like they can only take two hard stances on. 😝 I agree, I think it’s okay to like problematic things (and to believe in it, because I’ve seen lots of people say this same thing, but still heckle fans of certain books). But, yeah, there wouldn’t be any books left. I’ve seen books that everyone has loved and praised be called problematic, so it’s true that there’s no such thing as a faultless book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think a big part of the problem regarding problematic books and representation of marginalized people in books is that *so much* of the conversation happens on Twitter which is just an impossible platform to use for nuanced discussions. Everyone ends up trying to fit their argument into 140 characters which results in them not really saying what they mean and the conversations just spiral until everyone is mad at everyone else and super defensive of their own positions, haha.


  16. What a great discussion! Thank you for starting this dialogue!!

    I feel like I’m ALWAYS being judged on the books I read. I’ve read YA fantasy since high school, but I could sense a shift in people’s reactions in college. Now that I’m in my late 20’s it’s even worse. For a while whenever I described the books I liked, I would follow it with a self-deprecating joke to try and break the ice. I’ve stopped doing that though because I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for liking certain books and neither should anyone else! We’re all different individuals with different tastes and that’s what makes us great. It’d be too boring if we were all the same.

    If I see someone reading Twilight or Fifty Shades do I silently judge them? Yes I do. Guilty! But that’s just a gut reaction to a book I personally don’t like. I’d never hold that against anyone else! I just love talking about books in general. The more the merrier!! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true! It sort of reminds me of the discussion around people saying that guilty pleasures shouldn’t be called guilty pleasures because you shouldn’t feel bad for liking something. I feel the same way about reading! And I agree! I get gut reactions seeing books I don’t like get highly praised, and I try to not judge that person because of it. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You make some very interesting points in your discussion. I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey, and don’t intend to. There are too many things for me which are problematic about it, not to mention the cringe-worthy excerpts I have heard. Yet I can understand while people might get caught up in the craze, and that is ok. I just hope that people are aware of it.

    I also find it peculiar how worked up people get about these problematic books, and the implication that reading such books makes you a terrible person. I do think it is possible for us to be aware of the issues, yet still appreciate the work of literature. If we were to ban any work of literature deemed problematic, I suspect we would lose a considerable quantity of our classic written works.

    I have read a number online articles also which have criticised adults who read YA fiction, stating they should be embarrassed. As a woman in my 20s, I still dearly love YA fiction, and I know a man in his 70s who still enjoys it. I don’t think we should criticise anyone for their book choices. we can all have our certain preferences, but I think that the fact someone is reading anything at all, regardless of what it is, should be celebrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! I think it’s possible to like problematic things, just like how we like things we can admit are terrible or trashy (for example, I enjoy cheesy, over-the-top action movies. Some are great, and some are awful, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a Liam Neeson movie just because it’s objectively bad).

      Yeah, I agree! I’ve seen so much criticism thrown at YA, and it can get frustrating, since it ignores the fact that teens still read YA and it’s primarily for them (I mean, I’m a teen who reads YA, and 99% of articles talk about adults who read it). 😝


  18. I do judge people, a bit. I’ve read Shades of Grey and it was hilarious – so got my money’s worth there. But I do know people who only read trashy novels, and who don’t realise they ARE trashy novels – and that does influence my opinion of their reading intelligence. But I don’t take it too seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I really try not to… but somethimes I do (shh let’s keep it a secret). Sometimes I don’t even realise I’m doing that, but it’s true we shouldn’t do that and let everyone do their thing.

    Mostly I think I would judge them if their favourite book is one that I hated, more than if it was a particular genre, because I actually have a certain knowledge of that book and.. yeah.

    STILL I SHOULDN’T DO THAT. We all have different tastes and opinions, and if someone likes 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight well, we need to respect that (I sometimes like my fast and steamy NA).

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oddly, I don’t see too much of this. My husband and I are on opposite ends of the genre spectrum- him liking nonfiction and hard science fiction, and me reading basically everything else. It does mean our books rarely overlap, but that’s ok. He lets me rant on books and I listen in befuddlement as he waxes poetic on the math in a book describing how they made fertilizer on Mars.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Books such 50 shades of Gray sound like trash and a waste of time to me so I won’t read them but if someone’s reading books I think are trash, I’m glad that at least their reading something. I’m more inclined to judge people who don’t read at all, especially if they’re proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I mean, what’s the point in getting hung up on what somebody else is reading? I do feel okay with people reading and enjoying something if they’re at least reading – sort of like people who only read a couple times of year, and only read best-sellers. I mean, who cares as long as they’re enjoying it!


  22. I couldn’t agree more with this post! I think that anyone can take offence from a book and some people even look for things to call problematic. I think that judging people by what they read is a really awful thing to do. When I read Sarah J. Mass books I did actually really enjoy them, but then people would shout at me over the internet as they found them problematic and now I cannot enjoy those books anymore.

    And, sometimes, people judge the book before it’s even released, or has just been released and then it puts people off reading the book, (when they could have really enjoyed it). And that’s such a shame because if people go into the book thinking that it’s going to be problematic, all that that they will see are the aspects that other people call “problematic”.

    I think that it’s totally okay to say that books are problematic, but I don’t see the point in people judging people for liking a book that other people find problematic. It’s like me judging someone for reading paranormal romance even though I don’t read from that genre. It’s silly, really.

    Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh, yes, SJM is one of my favorite authors and despite what everyone throws at her and her fandom, I still enjoy her books. I honestly think some people are so obsessed with hating anything she’s done, it’s ridiculous. Like, just don’t…read…the books???

      Yeah, I’ve been seeing a rise in people judging how problematic a book is by the synopsis, which is valid in certain cases, but in other cases, it’s very much ridiculous and has no real founding (I actually talked about today in the discussion I posted haha). I agree, I don’t think you can really say who a person is just because they read a problematic book. Thank you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes!! I don’t know why books continue to read a series that they hate on.. . that’s just you know. . . WASTING THEIR READING TIME!!

        Yes!! Andddd the synopsis isnt the entire book!! Like Steifvater’s new release!! People werer syaing that it was problematic when the hadn’t. read. the. book.

        Aww you’re welcome!!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. My opinion on this is: I don’t care what people read, and they have no business telling me what I should or shouldn’t enjoy.

    Even if a book has problems, there might be parts that are just fine: maybe it’s got some homophobia issues, but portrays feminism really well. Or has some awful tropes but good characterization. I’m part of a few ‘minority’ groups myself, and I usually look at representation problems like I do plot holes: irritating, but not necessarily what makes or breaks a book. So long as you know some people have a problem with it for whatever reasons, it’s up to you to decide if you find it unreadable.

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, and I think what you’ve said really dives into the whole controversy surrounding 27 Hours. If you didn’t know, it was a very diverse book with all the characters being in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and the author is pretty well-known and has talked a lot about diversity and rep in YA and how people shouldn’t read problematic books. The irony: a POC said her book had colonization issues, and it was very interesting to see how it was handled, especially since this was a book that a large portion of the diverse community, who frequently talks about how problematic books shouldn’t be read no matter what. From what I’ve seen, it wasn’t handled very well, and it seemed like a couple of people that were part of the community were hurt in the process, and it sort of brought up the question of can people still read this book with the really good LGBTQ+ rep, or no because POC found the book to be problematic.

      That was a super long response, but it was interesting, and I think it also cemented why I don’t explicitly define myself as someone who’s a diversity advocate just because I’m a black teenage girl. 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  24. this is such a great topic! i, personally, don’t care what other people read. just because it’s not something i care to read doesn’t mean i am going to look down on someone who does choose to read it. i guess i didn’t realize this was actually a thing. i mean i know the controversy behind 50 Shades; but i didn’t think that meant people were being rude to others for choosing to read it. people these days… i’ll read just about anything, i may not like all of it; but i’ll give a book a chance, and i would hope people wouldn’t judge me for what i choose to crack open.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yeah, I feel like I not get too hung up on what other people read that much. And I think that’s valid! Most books that a lot of people call problematic are books I’m not interested in the first place, but I think I am one to like what I like and oh well if people can’t handle that. 💁🏾

      Liked by 1 person

      • exactly! someone else’s opinion on a book isn’t going to play into whether or not i choose to read the book. i will just read what i want to read!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. […] Caffeinated Bibliophile recommends Spooky Books Chloe @ Diary of a Lonely Girl celebrates 2 Year Blogiversary  The Orang-utan Librarian shares Bookish Confessions Beth @ Reading Every Night Discusses Why Book Bloggers would make good writers and why they wouldn’t Mikaela @ The Well-Thumbed Reader chats about wether we have the right to judge people for what they read […]

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Wow this is an amazing discussion post! Your points are so valid. I also don’t think that someone reading a book which many people believe supports something like racism or sexism means that they, the reader are racist/sexist/etc. People read news articles about terrorists and things like murders all the times but does that mean they are going to become a terrorist or murder someone?

    Everyone should have the right to read what they want to read. Maybe the choice to read some books will make others look down on them but personally I don’t think it matters that much; if they’re a sexist person, their personality will show it, not their reading habits. I think people just like to find ways to make themselves superior to others and this is one of those ways.


  27. Apart from abusive relationships in romance novels there is sexual harassment in there that people just ignore. I wrote a whole blog about it. I do know that different people have likes and such but what I want is for these problematic things to be addressed and not just be counted as normal, you know? I do love things you’ve pointed out. There is also like this thing of thinking someone is less intelligent if they read middle grade novels but some really great novels such as The Monster Calls or Wonder are middle grade level.

    Liked by 1 person

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