Book Tags

The Book Snob Book Tag!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a non-review post (so many books, so little time to read and review them all!) so today I’m having a go at the Book Snob book tag, which was originally created by Tia and all the Books over on YouTube.

I was tagged by the lovely Jenny over at Jen Jen Reviews – thank you for the tag Jenny!!

This tag is really good fun and will hopefully give you a little bit of insight into my personal reading tastes and the way I like to read. So without further ado, let’s get on with the tag!

ADAPTATION SNOB: Do you always read the book before watching the film/ TV show?

Almost always.

That said, I’m not necessarily always of the opinion that ‘the book was better’ however (Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was, in my opinion, a far better film than it was a book, as was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl) and I have no issues with adaptations that retain the spirit of the book whilst playing fast and loose with some of the details (such as in the recent adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield).

In fact, some of my favourite adaptations are those that present the book to me in a new light (Autumn de Wilde’s Emma, Greta Gershwin’s Little Women), or that streamline the reading experience for the screen (Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings). Ultimately, an adaptation of a book is just that – an adaptation – and it isn’t the job of adaptation to be wholly faithful to the source. Instead, for me, a good adaptation conveys what is special about the book to a new audience and in a new medium.

And whilst I will always try to read a book before watching an adaptation, I do love that film and TV allows me to enjoy characters and story arcs that I probably wouldn’t pick up and read. I’m not the world’s biggest comic fan, for example, but I can watch and enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. I’m also not a huge reader of romance – but loved the Bridgerton TV series! And David Copperfield? Never read it! Dickens has never really gelled with me – but thanks to seeing the film, I now have the book on my TBR.

FORMAT SNOB: You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

Artist Credit: Maria Scriven

100% physical books. My Kindle is super convenient for when I’m reading on the go, and audiobooks are fantastic for listening to during my daily commute but, for me, nothing beats the feel of reading a physical book. Plus I struggle to read for long periods on the screen.

There’s something tactile about the reading experience that means that, for certain genres, I have to be reading in a physical format to fully immerse myself in the reading experience. So whilst I can happily listen to non-fiction on audio, or read a thriller on my Kindle, I need to hold a physical copy to immerse myself in the latest literary novel.

SHIP SNOB: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

I kind of did! My husband is a reader but I think he’d be the first to admit that he’s somewhere off my level of obsessed! And, when we first met, he really wasn’t a big reader having, like many people, been put off reading by English classes at school.

Despite not being a huge reader himself, my husband always accepted my love of books and the fact that I would spend a lot of my time reading – it sort of goes with the territory when you date an English Literature student, and that’s before you add in that reading is one of my favourite ways to spend my free time. And, over time, he began to become more interested in reading himself because we’d often talk about what I was reading, watch book programmes together and, of course, visit lots of bookshops and libraries.

Artist Credit: Debbie Tung

Nowadays my husband has a really varied reading taste – one that is quite different to mine (he’s much more of a sci-fan fan, and he reads a lot more non-fiction and classics than I do) – and, although he doesn’t read as much as me, he’s a much faster reader than I am when he really gets into a book!

To be honest, I think the fact that he loves that I love reading is the most important thing – and the fact that he puts up with my ever-increasing TBR, my ability to blank everyone and everything when lost in a book, and my propensity to find and visit the nearest bookshop wherever we go!

GENRE SNOB: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Probably sci-fi. I don’t read a huge amount of fantasy, sci-fi, or romance but, out of the three, I probably read more books that can be classed as fantasy or romance – or have fantasy/romance elements within them – than I do sci-fi.

By this though, I should say I mean hard sci-fi, which I don’t read a lot of. However I’ve read and enjoyed books that contain sci-fi elements but are placed into other genres – the most common being what gets termed ‘speculative fiction’, which seems to cover everything that is deemed to “literary” to be given a definitive genre label (and yes, that annoys me – see the question below about book snobbery!).

UBER GENRE SNOB: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Artist Credit: Tom Gauld

Now this IS a really tricky choice because I’m a mood reader so I wander between genres pretty freely – there is no monogamy in my reading life!

If I say ‘contemporary fiction’ is that cheating? Because I feel like a lot of genre fiction that can’t be categorically labelled gets placed into contemporary fiction so I’d still be able to read lots of different types of books.

If you absolutely made me have to choose a defined genre, I’d say either historical fiction or crime/mystery. Both are genres I can’t imagine being without in my reading life – and most of my favourite books tend to have a historical or crime element to them.

COMMUNITY SNOB: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

As I mentioned above, I think most genre fiction gets some snobbery – and I have no idea why, especially given the fact that many prize-winning, acclaimed, and historically notable books are, essentially, genre fiction.

Jane Austen? Romance writer. Mary Shelley? Horror. Wilkie Collins? I think you’d be hard pressed to read The Moonstone and say it’s not a crime novel. And current literary heavyweights such as Kazuo Ishiguro are open about the fact that they write within – and utilise – many of the tropes of certain genres (see this really interesting interview Ishiguro gave to Neil Gaiman when the former published his ‘speculative’ novel The Buried Giant).

As someone who reads a lot of crime fiction, it really annoys me that certain genres – most notably sci-fi, fantasy, and romance – are treated with snobbery, and that that snobbery sometimes extends to the readers who love and enjoy those books. Ultimately, reading is a pleasure and you should read what you love – whether that’s heavyweight literary fiction, hot-under-the-collar erotica, or a page-turning thriller!

On the plus side, I think BookTube and blogging has done a lot to reduce book snobbery. There may still be some of it within the mainstream press but one of the things I love about the bookish community on blogs and social media is the fact that there are readers sharing the wide variety of books they love and enjoy.

So those are my answers to the Book Snob book tag! Thank you again to Jenny for tagging me – do check her out over at Jen Jen Reviews if you haven’t already! I’m tagging:

If you buy any books as a result of this post, please support a local indie bookshop if you can by ordering from them either in person or online! Some of my favourites include Booka Bookshop, The Big Green BookshopSam Read BooksellersBook-ishScarthin Books, and Berts Books

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However if you enjoy the blog please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

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