At the request of several users we’re moving all confessions about 50 shades of grey to the blog for a bit. Did you read it? Do you love it? Hate it? Is it awesome literature, or trashy romance?
I haven’t read it. I say that with no feelings of superiority. After all, I read and enjoyed Twilight. Personally, I can’t stand it when people get all snobby about whatever the popular book is at the moment. What is it about us as a species that makes us so mean when literature becomes accessible to the general public?
All this fifty shades talk reminds me of my mom. My mom doesn’t read much. She has dyslexia, and it’s always been a struggle for her. She managed through school and college and has had a very successful career as a nurse, but she’s always been so self-conscious about how little she reads.
Then a few years ago she discovered Dan Brown. Suddenly she was reading something and could talk about her books to her friends and family. She was so excited and proud of herself. Then she overheard some jerks in a coffee shop talking about how poorly y written it was. Drivel meant to entertain the thoughtless masses. Dan Brown was literature for people too dumb to read real books. She was crushed.
Now I’m hearing the same confessions about fifty shades. But here’s the thing, that snobby attitude isn’t new. Shakespeare was considered to be doggerel designed to stupefy the masses. Milton was a sell out because he wrote in English instead of Latin. Every time books become accessible to the general public and are actually widely read, we as a society feel this need to belittle it and shut it down. What’s wrong with us? Why can’t we just say, “Yeah, that’s just not what I’m into” instead of saying, “oh, anyone who thinks this book is good must be half illiterate.”
Am I saying fifty shades is in the same caliber as Shakespeare or Milton? It’s unlikely, but who the hell cares what someone else is reading? No one is forcing you to sit down and read it. If it’s something you enjoy, have fun, enjoy. If it’s not, find something you do like. Preferring Moby Dick to Christian Grey doesn’t make you a better person anymore than liking vanilla ice cream makes you superior to those who prefer chocolate. And if you’re bragging about it, it certainly doesn’t make you smarter.
So judgment free, what did you think of the book? If you hated it, that’s fine, say what you hate about it. Just don’t insult the people who liked it. If you liked it, post why.