11.02.2012

I am a book snob

Hello, my name is Laurie and I am a book-snob.  I have not always been one, and I am not entirely sure when I crossed the line from being a reader to a snob.

I have been struggling with this affliction for awhile now, and I sometimes feel alienated by it.  Many of my friends are happily reading popular books and novels, and I can not join in.  Now, I don't look down on these friends, no,  instead I am a bit jealous.  There is no illusion that the books are great pieces of literature,they are pure fun and they now it.  I can't bring myself to pick them up, but I am trying.
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Recently, I have been dipping my toes in to pages that are not Fitzgerald related, trying hard to be able to join in on the light conversations that somehow always gets back to the latest books everyone is reading.  So I decided that "Water For Elephants" was one I could read.  I enjoyed it.  I liked the backdrop and the details of the traveling circus of the 30's.  But in the end I was a bit let down. The love story was too easy, the hero and heroine were too perfect, and all the grit was on the peripheral characters.  If characters are too perfect they are not real.

I like my stories messy and flawed.  Is this an effect of reading so much Fitzgerald.  I mean he did mention he always found a way to add "a  touch of disaster" to his stories.  Am I addicted to the disaster?

And I wonder what this says about me.  I am not fulfilled by the fantasy of perfect love and finding the perfect person.  I mean even if I indulge the fantasy of "What if I had chosen differently"  I still think you can only go so far before things get messy.  We are all human after all, and we all come with baggage and issues. 

In the end I am a still a book-snob.  I don't really want to be, but I am.  Are you a book snob and how do you deal with it?

-Laurie

3 comments:

  1. Oh golly.

    I'm a total book snob too *looks around sheepishly* and I can't help myself.

    Like you, I try to keep my hand in current fiction (I had the same feelings about Water for Elephants) so I can at least hold a conversation without hearing crickets and I must admit sometimes the books are pretty good. Right now I'm reading Sea Glass by Anita Shreve and am actually quite enjoying it. It helps that her writing reminds me somewhat of Fitzgerald's. I was afraid she'd be like Jodi Picoult whom I can't stand. Same goes for all the 'Dragon Tattoo' books. I really wanted to like them. Really, I did! But, I just . . . no. I couldn't do it. Give me F. Scott or Edith Wharton any day and I am in reading bliss. Their writing and stories -warts and all- are just such a pleasure to read. But when I try to relay that to others I get funny looks. Huh. They have no idea what they're missing ;)

    On a side note, I love that series of cover you have pictured. I have one of This Side of Paradise and am keeping a look out for any of the others. I'd love to have the whole set!

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  2. I'm a book snob in that I value good writing. It's the reason I fell in love with Fitzgerald's writing and Jane Austen, too. However, branching out from Jane Austen, I'm now into (gasp) some historical romance novels set during the same time as Austen's novels. So I guess that means technically I'm not a book snob since I'm reading this type of book. But don't get me wrong. Bad writing is still bad writing and I am only finishing those that have that elusive quality.

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  3. I could consider myself so, as well. I usually choose a book based on the level of experience I want to have or how much time I have to devote to it. I often have a few books going at the same time. If I'm looking for a bit of fluff then I grab something lighter; though it's rarely what's popular. Most of the time, I want something I can learn from... something that really stimulates my brain. I either opt for a biography or classic lit. I love a good human story. Like you said, human stories typically have bitter-sweet ends and lots of loose strings left untended. As long as they're real or believeable, I'm hooked. I read so many books written "before my time" that I find myself emailing, texting, or speaking in similar manner; especially after I've been deep into one for a while. Feels good doesn't it? Even when I get funny looks :)

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Please remember that I am not a Fitzgerald expert. My posts are my point of view at a specific moment in time, I may get things wrong. Kind words and discussions are always welcomed. If I have made a mistake, politely let me know. I would like to keep Fitzgerald musings a positive experience. Comment Away.....

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