Love for Books: Why it's OK to love the books you love
Published on: 01 February 2016 Author: Darran Stobbart
As part of our February Love for Books month, children's bookseller Darran Stobbart blogs about why it's good to love the books you love, and like KT Tunstall too.
I'm a big fan of KT Tunstall, and have been since I was a teenager. When I was a teenager, all my friends were into punk - bands like Dropkick Murphys and Rancid - and so was I. But somewhere deep down inside I kept this secret love for KT. It was a guilty pleasure - something I enjoyed, but I feltlike maybe I shouldn't because it wasn't 'cool'. Do you feel like this? Well, let me tell you something - STOP IT. Don't let anyone else tell you what is acceptable to enjoy. Don't.
I work in the children's department of a bookshop, and you'd be amazed by the amount of times I overhear teens saying things like 'Oh, yeah I read (book title), it's actually okay - total guilty pleasure though', and every time it makes my skin crawl and my eye twitch. What it all comes down to is: Did you enjoy that book? If the answer is 'yes', then pass it on, talk about it and preach about it, because odds are you won't be the only one. See, the thing about so-called guilty pleasures is that they are invariably REALLY POPULAR and if millions of people love them,they can't be SO bad.
And actually, even a book is awful but you still love it THEN THAT IS FINE. There's nothing worse than book snobbery - people who only read literary greats and classics and assume anyone who doesn't is some substandard order of life. What you read should always be what you want to read, and what you enjoy reading; not what you should read.
As my mum always told me - 'If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place' (usually when I asked if I could go to Tesco in a Spiderman outfit). And she's right, my mum, we should all be proud to be different. This cannot be overstated when it comes to reading. Battling all the other distractions in life and trying to get children and young people to read is a struggle at times, so if graphic novels or books about tractors work for them, let them read as many of them as they'll have.
If reading a book about a girl who fights vampires but also loves one makes a rainy cold mid-January morning feel warmer, then crack that book out on the bus and if someone gives you a funny look, read this out at them. Sing it at them. To the tune of Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall.
Darran is a Children's Bookseller in the North of England, who reads a lot of YA books, writes horror stories, plays bass, video games and is an expert at falling over his own feet. When not writing here, he blogs at his own site www.shinraalpha.com.