I apologize for this little rant but I just read something that bugged me. A lot. It wasn’t directed at me or anyone specifically, but it still got under my skin and I can’t get it out any other way.
What I read was someone saying that anyone who hadn’t read a certain book had a poor childhood and wasn’t old enough or literate enough to be here. ‘Here’ being the site I read it on. This bothers me.
It bothers me because reading is a matter of personal taste and enjoyment, unless you’re in school and have a reading list, and there is no, and should be no ‘required reading’ for life experiences (school reading list excepted). If having read a particular book was a requirement for being anywhere or a member of any sort of site then there would be a quiz as part of the sign-up process and failing would result in rejection. What someone reads is up to them because they want to read it (again the exception is students who have to read a particular book or books to pass a class) and there are no penalties for not reading it. Not reading a particular book does not make someone less intelligent, less literate, or less mature than anyone who might have read that book. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to force their own tastes and opinions on others and that is, quite frankly, abhorrent to me.
In the same vein what books someone did or did not read or have read to them as a child have no bearing whatsoever on how good or bad their childhood was. The assumption that someone had a poor childhood if they didn’t read or have this book or that book read to them as a child is absolutely asinine. Reading of any kind usually does make the quality of childhood, and life in general, better but the quality of a childhood is not made poorer for not having read a specific thing. Again, saying otherwise is trying to force an opinion or personal taste on another person.
Basically, just because one person likes one particular book doesn’t mean everyone else has to read or like it nor does it make them or their lives less than the other person’s for not having read it. And no matter how awesome, amazing, absorbing, incredible, or cool the book in question may be, saying or implying otherwise, in my personal (and probably about to get yelled at for it) opinion, doesn’t make someone wise or clever; it just makes them an ass.
So, thank you for your indulgence in reading this if you did and thank you to Tumblr for existing so I could put my little rant out into the world.