Bookish Rants and Raves: Getting Shelved

Filed in Bookish Rant or Raves , The Winged Lover Posted on June 30, 2011 @ 11:00 am 12 comments

I absolutely abhor getting shelved as a reader, and it’s funny, because the people that do it, aren’t authors or publishers, but other readers.

A fellow reader and I were talking the other day and she said to me: “I know you just read vampire books…”

Then she continued on with her sentence.

Excuse me, but I do not “just read vampire books” the last four books I read weren’t vampire books! The last three weren’t even paranormal in nature!

It infuriates me to know that just because a large selection of my reading material is mainly paranormal, other readers think it’s okay to shelve me as “one of those people that read just vampire books”.

This makes me so mad!

They think that they are on a higher grounding than me because this person in particular only reads mysteries and non-fiction, this person doesn’t read “weird stuff” because they want to keep their mind and palette clean of such a writing style. They also mentioned that I read far too quickly, and couldn’t possibly take in any detailed material.

Well excuse me for breathing.

I consider myself to be quite a broad reader…those horizons have been getting further and further away the longer I blog and review. But just because I read Sookie Stackhouse and watch True Blood…the only thing that has ever or will ever interest me again is vampires…of course!

Reading is already dying, and with the closure of so many bookstores (especially in Australia) the attraction for new readers is slowly dwindling as well. So why can’t we just stick together?

It’s what I love about the blogging community, we stick together, because we know that in truth…there aren’t that many of us. We don’t put each other down because of content, but rather lift each other up and recommend as many good books as we can find.

Have you ever been shelved?
Was it by another reader?
How did you feel?

About Amanda

Amanda-Lee is a proudly addicted reader and writer from Sydney. She lives with her wonderful husband and their more like a baby than a kitten Hamish. Amanda-Lee has been blogging for 4 years now and is a lover of all genres, though she does have a tendancy to stray towards the weird and wonderful concotions in the paranormal and fantasy genres. In addition to being the Winged Lover on BLI she also runs the book blog StoryWings.

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  • Sullivan McPig June 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

    It has happened to me and usually I do not mind as I don't care.

    The one time I got annoyed it wasn't for me but for the book I was reading at that moment. It was a really well written UF and then someone said:
    Oh, that's one of your trashy paranormal pulp romances isn't it?
    (Yes, I can only conclude that this is how my friends call my PNR books)

    I got all defensive of the book, as I just couldn't let a brilliant book be classified as trashy pulp.

  • pattepoilue June 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I've often been shelved. Mostly by my friends and family here. My cousin shelved me because I made her read the Twilight series (which she loved) but after that I became her 'vampire reading' relative. Mehhh

    Well…I could say that I helped being shelved as the HEA reader since I tend to only read books with HEA. I guess I don't really care what people think.

  • Elizabeth June 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    According to my mother i read "fluff" whatever that is! Just because i like any kidromance books and not sad depressing true life stories like she reads my books become fluff!

  • Bookish Brunette June 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I know… since I started doing Zombie Craze, I've been pegged "The Zombie Chick" now I love zombie books- but I freaking read EVERYTHING!!!
    The Bookish Brunette

  • Estella June 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Have never been 'shelved'. I read all genres and all the people I know are aware of it.

  • LSUReader June 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Interesting post. I don't think I've ever been shelved. I don't really care what people think about what I'm reading…as long as I'm the one choosing what I read. Power to the Readers!

  • Wings June 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    @sullivan mcpig: i hate that too, it takes away from the book when people mis-clasify it.

    Ive seen Jeaniene Frost classified as a romance once…i dont really think you could say cats "bosom was heaving" lol

    @pattepoilue thats fair…and you are THE hea lover hehe. i usually don't mind, especially if people are doing it in fun or just in normal conversation…but when people see fit to look down on me because of it…it annoys me because its false anyway

    @Elizabeth: I read weird stuff according to my mum hehe, even though its only the really weird psychological crimes that she ever comes to me for. but she always encourages my reading…she even tries to help in her own way with my reviewing lol

    @Bookish Brunette: thats the one thing that annoys me…I love vampires…but I also love most other things and I read everything! We aren't one track minded 🙂

    @Estella: You are definitely very lucky that everyone has realised it 😀

    @LSUReader: I usually don't mind, as long as people are nice about it.

    Power tothe Readers I love that! we should make a button lol…might get a shirt…

  • Sheree June 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I read a lot of children's and YA books. Do you have any idea the looks I get at signings being the only adult in the audience who isn't there with a child? Even the authors look at me strangely (not so much the kids for some reason, just the adults). There's always some relief on their faces when I tell them that I review books for my friends and their kids. I suppose everyone would be even more freaked if I were a man.

  • draconismoi June 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Ever since I went to law school, my friends have relatives have been shelving me as a legal-fiction reader.

    SO many book recommendations start with "well it's about this lawyer…"

    And I don't even like legal fiction! I think I've read one or two John Grisham novels, but that's pretty much the extent of it.

    cass at feministdracona dot net

  • JessS July 1, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Yeah, I've been "shelved" before, though it's not usually by readers.
    I really don't like it, because when someone gets the wrong idea about what I read, I end up feeling bad and embarrased, even if the story's pretty good.
    And it really sucks that so few people read anyway.
    Great post!

  • Lusty Reader July 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

    "getting shelved as a reader" what a great turn of phrase! thats why i rarely talk about my reading preferences with people in real life, our online community is so supportive with many great conversations i dont want to take the risk of being "shelved" in person. altho even online i feel like i have to work hard to convince some people i can make good reading recommendations outside of romance!

  • Alisha (MyNeedToRead) July 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I tend to laugh it off and joke about it when someone refers to "those vampire books" that I read. (A side note: why is it always "those vampire books"?! Just goes to show that such people don't know a first thing about that which they speak.)

    But really, I embrace being a "genre" reader. When someone is like "oh, that's not literature, that's a book (and I was once told this), I'd be likely to say "yup, and I love that book!"

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