Are you ever embarrassed when asked about your taste in books?
Why would I be? Certainly answering a question with a question is a dodge, but I’m definitely going to tell you why I asked that. I’ll never be the person who doesn’t answer this kind of question. Absolutely, there are authors, even regular people, who like to play the enigma. There’s no fun in that, just a faux edginess. (Although, I agree there are times when silence or another question is a fitting response with no additives.)
I have been an enthusiastic reader since I was a very young child. Books were provided to me by my family and I kept all of them (that my dogs didn’t destroy). Never did I once feel shame at having them on my shelves, and they remained there well beyond the age for which they were recommended. They were my friends, so to speak. They were the first members of my library. Their place, always, honorary—honored. When they were packed up, they were packed up with the thought of their preservation and my love for them. I wanted to pass them onto any children I might have.
The fact that the question wonders at my concern regarding what another might think of my reading habits is where I would like to focus most of my answer. Growing up, I liked to fit in as much as anyone—or so I assumed. What I never understood, however, was the need to go along to get along. That is probably why I was outcast more than I was included. That detail stands large in my history. Betraying who I was never occurred to me, least of all in order to fit into arbitrary ideologies of arbitrary roles, set by arbitrary school mates and even teachers.
Indeed, I owned who I was. Probably, I lamented being unable to change myself more than lacking a clue as to who I should have been to please those with power over the happiness of my youth. That’s likely due to the fact that I realized early on, despite the discomfort they could cause me, it was still myself who was in charge of my happiness. Part of the equation to happiness is being true to the self. I cannot remember wanting to be someone other than my best self. Striving toward that took the place of caring what others thought of me.
There are always going to be those people who judge you. Their actions make you feel like you’re right back in high school all over again (or worse, junior high school!). It gets better, but someone always tries to rock it old school, because that’s when they peaked, and that’s what they know. I literally do not care what those people think of my taste in anything, or myself personally. Even those who love me, I don’t worry about their opinions of my book tastes, not my movie tastes, food tastes, decor or even what breed of dog I prefer.
Happiness lies in the pursuit of those things that put smiles on our faces, and sometimes in those who share the same elation. Fantasy books have been a staple in my life forever (starting with fairy tales). Science fiction was a natural branch out for me, due to my curiosity about the natural world, my love of the stars, my worry over the existence of aliens. I enjoy non-fiction, historical, thrillers, and I used to read romance quite a bit, too.
All of that has laid the bedrock on which I now write. Being embarrassed of such roots would be absurd. Check out my book shelves here and my kindle list here. You can also see my have read and to be read lists on my GoodReads page.
If you loved this article, subscribe to the blog to get more. Donate by buying a book.