"Why is it, with bookish people especially, that taste (in books and film, and music, and other variables like visual art, food, wine, beer, architecture, interior design), is such a sensitive matter?" asks Emily Colette Wilkinson at The Millions.
Have you spent hours meticulously arranging the books on your shelf? Does it seem convenient that books which convey something important about how [insert clever adjective] you are appear in the public spaces of your home? Are there secret closets, hidden corners where you carefully place (hide) books that you enjoyed but wouldn't be caught dead reading? Are books your favorite accessories? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you are a sensitive bibliophile. Ms. Wilkinson at The Millions calls it competitive aesthetics. This sensitive snobbery even effects our dating according to The New York Times, who ran an article in March titled "It's Not You, It's Your Books".
I hate to admit it, but it's true. I'm a bit of a snob (Webster's definition: one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste) when it comes to books. I coyly peek over my book to see what the person sitting next to me on the bus or airplane is reading. In a coffee shop, I'll conveniently need to "stretch" letting my eyes wander to the readers around me. Books are a must have topic of conversation on a first date. Why? Because I'm judging.
Is it fair to judge a person based on their books? I cringe when my musically inclined friends ask to see my iPod. I always warn that "I haven't organized my music very well and there's stuff I NEVER listen to". It doesn't stop the occasional smirk or giggle when they see that <you didn't really think I'd put the artists name here, did you?> was on my playlist. Reality check, perhaps.
So, are you ready to share your reading list? You book snob, you :)