Let's Talk Bookish; Gatekeeping in the Book Community

It's Friday and perhaps time for another Let's Talk Bookish post, courtesy of Book Nook Bits and the theme of the week was gatekeeping in the book community.

Here's the further prompts, in case anyone's interested.
Are there times where you have noticed gatekeeping in the book blogging community? What about in the publishing industry as a whole? What does this gatekeeping look like? How can we combat this?
Before I venture out in this, I just want to point out that not everyone does this, and not with everything. I also just voice things from my perspective and with the tendencies I've noticed with the book community as a whole and not just "old school" book bloggers.

Now, time to bite the gatekeeping bullet. Something I've noticed is the ever-occuring debate on audio books (and graphic novels) versus physical books. Audio books may not be reading-reading, but it's in my opinion still a proper way of enjoying a book. Some people may be dyslectic or visually impared and audio books give them a way of enjoying the stories without having to (struggle) reading them. And just to be the devil's advocate for a second, for centuries oral storytelling was the way to experience stories after all, especially before the printing press made things more available.

Something else that bugs me a little bit is the buying hyped books and/or new releases, over perhaps borrowing backlist books from the library. Fair enough, some of us recieve free press copies from authors/publishers, but that's a different discussion, so I look aside from that. Like, books aren't fresh produce in the same way as tomatoes and lettuce, so it's not like we're missing out if we don't read the newest releases right away. The books are still there.

Another issue that I've noticed is when some people look down on what other people read, such as YA versus adult. Regardless of age group, some books are well-written. There's also the "proper" literature versus genres such as smut, fantasy, and horror. Needless to say, I've heard many times that horror isn't "proper" literature (sometimes even followed by a sexist comment that girls/women shouldn't read such books). When I majored in English at university, I wrote my Bachelor's thesis on Bram Stoker's Dracula, so it's fair to say I can give people a university-level chew-out that (gothic) horror is indeed a proper literature genre.

The element that ties all of this together? Let people read/enjoy books in whatever way and in whatever genre they want to. Books are meant to be enjoyed, whether it's through audio books, or a bodice-ripping historical romance novel. The moment when we start gatekeeping how and what we read, we lose.


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