Raise your hand if you are a book snob.
Keep your hand up if you only want people to think you're a book snob.
When I brought a fellow librarian down into the archive, she looked at me and said, "I loved these books! I was such a book snob that I read them in secret so no one would know!"
I did that too! I am the girl who read everything my library had written by Louisa May Alcott and Madeleine L'Engle. I am the girl who lied in my library's summer reading program. I only included books that I thought adults would nod approvingly at. I edited my own summer reading list.
One summer I reread every Sweet Valley High book I could put my hands on in the library. Did I make it known? Nope. That was between me and my library card.
I was really lucky in that I was a voracious reader. Reading came easy to me. I could read more than one book a week in the summer. I liked the attention that I got for reading the "right" books. Did that mean I wasn't reading all of the R.L. Stine and Baby-sitters Club and Sideways Stories from Wayside School books that I could? Nope. The adults just thought I wasn't. Well, the adults outside my home thought that.
My mom never made a big deal over what I was reading. She never made it feel like reading Little Women was any better than reading The Babysitter. Both were just fine. Thinking back on it now, mom made my book snob persona possible because while I was reading "impressive" books at the library and in school I could come home and read whatever I wanted. (Thanks, mom!)
These days it is easier than ever to keep your guilty pleasure reading secret. The advent of ebooks and apps like Storia have allowed both adults and children to read the books that they enjoy reading. No judgements. Just the joy of reading. Just as it should be.
Plus, new research tells us that reading for pleasure is just as vital, and that letting kids choose books to read has a ripple effect on how they view reading long-term. (Check out this piece in The Atlantic from the authors of the upcoming Reading Unbound.)
What books do you love but are keeping secret? Let us know in the comments!