The last two books I've read couldn't be anymore different. Both were recommended to me by friends whose opinions I respect. The first, Little, big by John Crowley is a literary fantasy novel. The second, Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich is most definitely commercial fiction. Crowley's brilliant prose often made me envious as a writer. Evanovich crafted her story in a way that made me laugh out loud through out. Little, Big took me several weeks to finish. I completed Eleven On Top in an evening and a half. But you know what? I enjoyed them both. And so would a lot of others. So why are there so many book snobs out there.
I once knew someone who carried around a certain type of book by day, literary classics so they would look intelligent, but read a different kind of novel by night, romance and mysteries. How stupid is that? There are a whole lot more people out there reading James Patterson than James Joyce. As long as a book entertains me, whether it be with humor and sex scenes, or awe-inspiring prose I don't care. Give me a character and story that I care about and it doesn't matter to me if I'm riding along to rid the world of an evil terrorist, trying to bring about social change, or joining a vengeful wife as she saws off her philandering husband's appendage with a rusty pocket knife. Okay, as a male that one might be too tough to read, but you get my point. Pun intended.
As a writer, I say anything that brings people into bookstores or gets them interested in reading is a good thing. So I don't read many horror , Sci-Fi, or historical novels. That doesn't mean I think I'm better than those who do. I don't care if you only read books about rabid goats who lust after cross-dressing porcupines. Just so long as you read.
Besides, whose to say one of these days, when I finally convince the world of my talent, that the goat book aficionado isn't going to be perusing the shelves at their local brick and mortar only to notice one of my novels on the shelf. They might just pick up my work, turn the jacket over and say "WOW, I've never heard of this Travis Erwin fella but he sure is good lookin', and get a load of that fish he's holding. Think I'll buy this novel too." But that wouldn't even be possible if they hadn't been at the store to pick up a copy of Me and Ewe: The Pointy Side of Love.