Saturday, January 8, 2011

I LOVE Twilight and I am NOT ASHAMED!

Will someone please hand me a soapbox?

I had a lot of free time this weekend, so I was able to visit almost everyone on Parajunkee and Crazy-For-Books' blog hops. The question of the week for the Book Blogger Hop was "What book has influenced or changed your life?" Many people (myself included) listed Twilight as one of the books that most influenced/changed them. A substantial proportion of these people prefaced their answer with things like "I'm embarrassed to admit this but..." or "As terrible as this sounds..."

This really bothers me. Why should anyone be ashamed for loving Twilight, or any book for that matter? I'll tell you why - there is this pervasive attitude out there that it is "cool" to ridicule Twilight. I can sort of understand this among the NPR crowd (my favorite radio station), but I also see it strongly represented in the YA book blogging community as well.

Let me say here that I have no problem with people who do not like Twilight. There are many reasons to dislike Twilight. The writing is pretty awful. Bella is boring and weak (although I believe that she's a very strong character). Edward is controlling and patronizing. The vampires don't act like traditional literary vampires. The characters don't have sex until they're married (although I don't understand why people criticize Twilight for this...obviously teens have sex, but not all teens). The imprinting thing is freaky. The pro-life message in Breaking Dawn is a little too blatant. The ending of Breaking Dawn is a cop-out (although I grew to like the ending). The list goes on...

I acknowledge all the reasons that people commonly dislike Twilight. In fact, I agree with many of them.  Yet this series of books has still managed to capture my heart and my imagination more than any other book in years, perhaps ever. I love Stephenie's vampire mythology. I like my traditional vampires too, but I love that she turned them into something different. I love that the Cullens are a big family, each member with their own personality and history. The individual characters are actually more interesting to me than the romance. Bella is rather boring, but she's so plain that any reader can imagine herself in her shoes (people argue that Harry of Harry Potter has a flat personality for the same reason). The romance between Bella and Edward is epic and all-consuming. While this kind of romance is neither realistic nor particularly advisable, I think every girl dreams of experiencing it. In the end, my feelings about Twilight are not entirely rational. I fell in love with it about halfway through the first book and nothing any critic says about it has lessened my affection for the series.

Evidenced by the responses to the Blog Hop question, I am definitely not alone in being a passionate Twilight fan. This series of books has brought thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people back into the world of reading. It has re-introduced many people (particularly adults) to the wonders of YA. And not only YA. I've always read a lot of YA, but after Twilight I became a devoted reader of all things paranormal romance. Twilight has drawn me and many other readers into the entire paranormal romance genre, both YA and adult. Any book that can foster a love for reading is magical. Anything that gets people away from the TV, from Skype, from the Wii and back to the pages of a book is wonderful. Whether you personally like Twilight or not, that alone makes the books worthy of acclaim.

But this really goes beyond liking or disliking Twilight. It goes beyond Twlight entirely.

No one should ever be made to feel that they are less of a person because they like a certain book.

Twilight fans are not the only ones who get this kind of treatment. When Da Vinci Code was at the height of its popularity, all sorts of people characterized fans as unintelligent, too eager for an easy read, etc. I personally didn't love Da Vinci Code because I don't like thrillers, but I thought it was an interesting book. You should have seen my parents speed through Paris and London, super-excited to see all the Da Vinci Code sights. It made Europe twice as exciting for them. Literary fiction or not, if a book makes someone's life more interesting and pleasurable, can you really call it unworthy?

Sometimes I think people like to put on an aura of sophistication. When I was applying for law school, I frequented forums for fellow applicants. When threads came up asking about our favorite books, the answers were uniformly things like Confederacy Of Dunces or Brothers Karamazov. I didn't respond to these, because I was embarrassed to say that my favorites were The Giver and Harry Potter. It makes me wonder just how many people fudged a bit on listing classics as their favorites. Confederacy Of Dunces was a good book, certainly, and I know lots of people love Dostoevsky, but I imagine that I wasn't the only one ashamed of appearing to have less than "law-school-worthy" intelligence (actually it was probably better I didn't say anything, because that crowd never hesitated to diss anyone they viewed as less worthy. I'm sure it would have shocked them to know that someone as unrefined as me got into and did well at a Top-20 school).

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who look askance at people who honestly love literary fiction or other, more difficult reads. These people are characterized as hoity-toity eggheads, the nerds that the cool kids avoided in school. There's certainly nothing inherently wrong with classics. They're classics for a reason. Literary works like The Iliad, Siddhartha, Death of a Salesman, and The Great Gatsby are permanently etched in my mind, each playing an important role in the development of my outlook on life. No one should be ridiculed for seeking out these types of works - for using their precious leisure reading time to grow as a person. I've never been a huge literary fiction person, but for many years the majority of my reading consisted of heavy-duty history and policy books. I liked them. I liked learning. Who can blame me?

As book bloggers, we should encourage people to love whatever book appeals to them. No one should ever feel the need to hide her face before admitting that she loves a particular book. That's not what we're here for. The book blogging community is a refuge.  We spend most of our lives around friends, family, co-workers who would rather hit their heads against the wall than talk passionately about books. We should feel most comfortable declaring our love for any and all books that appeal to us in a community of our book-loving peers.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever felt ashamed about the books you love to read?

62 comments:

  1. You're totally right. A person shouldn't be ashamed because they like a book. I'm not a Twilight fan, but I don't think any less of someone who likes it. And this was a great post. I think I'm going to link to it.

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  2. WOW! Great post!!! Bravo!!! I personally was not a HUGE fan of Twilight but did enjoy reading the entire series. More importantly the books had many teenagers(girls and boys) walking into my library and asking for them. That was exciting to see!

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  3. Thank you for your post. I do agree with, even though I was one of those that said, "I'm a little embarrassed to say this." I'll explain my reasoning.

    When I first read Twilight in 2007, I was so consumed by it that I did something I had never done before. I joined an online forum, the Twilight Lexicon. While a member of the Lex, I met hundreds of women in my same walk of life, mid-twenties to early forties. We became (and still are) great friends. We realized that there were several of us from the same state, Utah. 24 of us started to hang out together. A year later, we all went to Forks together. I'm not ashamed to admit that I went to Forks. However, some of my group friends are. I didn't let that bother.

    After Breaking Dawn was released, the excitement for the fandom kind of died down because everyone, except me, was disappointed in the book. (I do think the ending was a let-down, but Breaking Dawn is my favorite of the series.)

    Then, Midnight Sun was leaked and Stephenie Meyer posted her response to the leak. Several of my friends started to hate Stephenie Meyer after that, calling her a baby. My husband is a graphic designer and has had some of his artwork stolen. While he didn't respond the same way Stephenie did and probably wouldn't, even if he was that famous, he and I still understand where Stephenie was coming later. Besides, later on, she said that her legal team made her say some of the stuff she said. She wanted it to be light-hearted and funny.

    Then, the Twilight movie was released. Everyone, except a couple of people in my groups, were let down. They HATED (not a strong enough word) the movie. So, their already slowly waning interest in the series began to wane even more.

    Once the movies started to get a lot of press and a whole new set of people start to love the series, my friends decided to distance themselves from it. I secretly still loved it, but I didn't want to be labeled by my group as someone who couldn't move one or someone obsessed, even though all of us were at some point. Because my friends decided they didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore, I stopped talking about it. My co-workers were happy that I stopped talking about it, although they still teased me about it.

    I still love the books and love the stories. The movies are something to be desired, but they bring one of my favorite series to life. I guess I'm so used to not talking about it anymore because my friends, family, co-workers, blog readers thought I was too obsessed and thought I needed to simmer down a bit, that when I do talk about it, it's almost in a shame-based way.

    I'm glad I read Twilight. I love that it ignited my passion for reading, something I had never had in my entire life. I will still read anything Stephenie Meyer publishes, even though I don't think she'll ever publish anything again.

    I'm glad there are people out there that think it's okay for me to have been influenced by Twilight. I know I shouldn't care what others think, but I do. I'm working on it. But, I won't be ashamed to admit that Twilight made a big difference in my life any longer. Thank you!

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  4. Very well said post. I ran into a lot of things you are talking about being a creative writing major. I'd hear all the time that "ya lit isn't a 'serious' genre" or "why was I wasting my time with kid stuff" from a lot of really closed minded literary snobs. Drove me insane. One kid said he wrote a "silly little ya novel" for "fun" during the summer but he didn't even know what YA was. I hated it because too many writers would say they favorite novels were classics which is fine but if you want to be in today's market, you have to know what you are writing for and you should help your chosen market out by buying new novels. Publishing houses aren't going to buy your manuscript if your market isn't selling.

    I liked to use my Twilight t-shirt to start arguments in "serious lit" classes. Always made me laugh to see people argue over the "merits" of contemp fiction. I used to be nervous to tell people what I liked to read too but have since learned to be proud I read YA. You are so right when you say that no one should feel belittled because of what they read. Awesome post!

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  5. Great post and yes there are people who have given me the side eye because of some of my choices in books but I don't really care. I love books, I love reading and I'm pretty much try anything.

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  6. This post is really great! I get a lot of comments being a college student who still loves reading YA fiction. But if I'm reading for pleasure, I'm going to read what I like! You make a lot of good points here; I think it's not just book bloggers who need to read this as much as everyone else!

    (Oh, and I'm a new follower from the Book Blogger Hop!)

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  7. I am handing you this soap box and saying preach it sister. I hated the Twilight series for all the reasons you said people would, however I don't think less of people who have read them. Those were long books, no small feat for some. I sometimes read romance/erotic novels and I would hate to tell people that because of the teasing that I would sometimes get. I believe that has a huge hand is why us readers are sometimes afraid to share about what we've read. Reading is not something to be ashamed of! Not. At. All.

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  8. I really like this post. The whole concept of "guilty" pleasures and feeling embarrassed for liking something is troublesome. I don't like Twilight (for a lot of the reasons you listed) but there is another part of me that can appreciate it for what it is. I enjoyed the time I spent reading the books, and they've given me a lot to think about.

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  9. Amen! I love your post. I'm 100% with you on this. If a book makes a person happy, then I'm happy for them. I don't need to love the book they love to relate to them.

    That's what I love about book people. Even if we like different genres, we can still find common ground understanding the thrill of discovering a good book or the anticipation of waiting for our favorite author's new book or wishing our favorite characters were real.

    I giggle a lot about the Twilight books. All of the criticisms you mentioned are true, but I don't really take the books too seriously. I just have fun with it for what it is.

    I am also eternally grateful to Stephanie Meyer for helping spark such a huge interest in YA and paranormal romance! The genres have exploded and books that wouldn't have even been considered are now being published. My TBR is huge and I've had so many great new books I've read as a result.

    Plus, I've met a bunch of really great bloggers who wouldn't have started their blogs and been here for me to talk books with if it weren't for Twilight. So, for that, I LOVE Twilight.

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  10. WOOOOOO! Go, girl.

    I actually loved the Twilight books. I gobbled every single one as soon as they hit the shelves. It has always bugged me that bloggers diss and dismiss the whole series so easily.

    Twilight is actually hugely similar to The Hunger Games in the fact that it took thousands of reluctant readers and turned them into book lovers!!!

    Awesome post :)

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  11. I strongly agree!!!
    This is a great post

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  12. Thank you for this post!!! I LOVED Twilight... and I also still love the Babysitters Club and probs a few other "unpopular" book addictions... I've never heard anyone compare Bella to Harry though- I need to text my BFF and see what she thinks, haha! I actually was a lot like Bella in HS and my relationship with my BF was like her relationship with Edward, so I get a little miffed with people complain about those aspects in overly dramatic ways ("that would NEVER happen! etc.)

    Anyways, great post, and judging by the comments, you've given a lot of people a lot to think about!

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  13. AGREED.

    I personally enjoyed the Twilight books, but were they the best things I've ever read? No. The writing wasn't that great, but I was totally sucked into the story. I agree with you--if it brings people to the pages, then what does it matter whether it's Moby Dick or Junie B. Jones? I find that I actually have MORE respect for those with eclectic, open-minded taste in books than for those with hoity-toity, narrow-minded taste. That may be taking it a bit far, but I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone should be able to cultivate their own interests without fear that some uppity person is going to look down on them. As long as they are reading, who cares what it is?

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  14. Wow! What an amazing and well thought out post. I personally didn't like Twilight, but I recognize that it got people reading. So Bravo! Sometimes I feel embarrassed if people refer to classics that I haven't read but I'm trying to read more of those.

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  15. Well written! The reason I adore Twilight is because it got so many of my friends into YA books. So now I can recommend other books to them and they will give that book a chance!

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  16. Yeah Alison! I adored Twilight as well, it was what got be back into reading after not reading really anything since college, so for that I will always be a fan of it. After reading a bunch more YA books I do realize that it's not as brilliant as some of the ones I've read, but it affected a lot of people and got a ton of young (and old) people back into reading in a time when video games, TV, and the internet are more popular than ever, so for all it's flaws, that's something that's indisputable.

    Loved this post Alison!

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  17. Good for you. You should never be ashamed of what you read and what you enjoy! Shame on those who judge!

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  18. I liked this post. I am not a fan of Twilight, but respected the fact that it (like Harry Potter) got people interested in and enjoying reading again.
    I used to live in Kuwait and reading just wasn't viewed as something done for fun. But I tell you, I would be in the mall and see kids sitting outside of stores or adults walking around reading Twilight. This series made reading something that people over the age of 10 could do for fun.

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  19. New follower! <3

    This is a great post, Alison. I personally did not like the Twilight series. Honestly, I think I would've enjoyed it more if had been less Bella and more Cullens or Volutri, but that's my thought.

    Being an adult who reads a lot of young adult fiction, I am constantly criticized for not reading material more in my age bracket. I think this is a load of crap. So I can't imagine why so many young adult book bloggers trash the people reading the series. If you don't like the books, fine, you're totally welcome to that opinion. But do not make people who did like it feel crappy about it.

    I think anything that gets people reading again deserves a round of applause.

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  20. Great post! I absolutely agree - a lot of people picked up Twilight and then were inspired to read tons of other YA books or classic books referenced in the series.
    You should read what makes you happy.

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  21. Great post! Twilight has brought so many people into the world of books for the very first time. I say this because I've witnessed individuals from a variety of age groups come into the library and want or be excited about this series. Honestly, I wasn't interested in reading the series until my mother said it was fabulous. Just try it she kept telling me. So I did. I absolutely loved the entire series. So I praise Meyer for the work she has done in the literary world. Without her work so many peeps would still be wandering around lost not having experienced the world we love...the world of books.

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  22. I loved Twilight too and I'm not ashamed :). I don't think I've ever been ashamed of anything I've read. Not even when people give me odd looks for reading YA literature at my age. I just think they don't know what they're missing.

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  23. I'm a Twilight fan, and proud! Team Edward forever! I'll never be ashamed! :)

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  24. Great post! I agree, people shouldn't be ashamed for liking a book--everyone has their opinions, and nothing should stop someone from voicing them.

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  25. I didn't participate in the hop this week, so I had no idea what the question was, let alone the answers but that's rather sad to hear that people said they were ashamed to read something like the Twilight series. Just because a lot of people may hate/dislike a series, it doesn't mean you need to hide your own love for it.

    I'm Team Edward all the way, but I'm not afraid to make fun of the books even though I like the books too, lol. What annoys me is people saying they're the best books ever when they're the ONLY books they read and they don't try anything else. On the other hand, popular books like Harry Potter and Twilight have gotten more people reading, and that's always okay in my books. :)

    Great post Alison!! ^_^

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  26. Great post, Alison!

    Stopping by to say Hi! and to present you with the Stylish Blogger Award! You can pick it up here: Me Stylish?

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  27. Sing it sister! One should never be ashamed of the books they read or be judged for it by anyone else. Unless you're that guy who wrote the pedophile book on amazon. Twilight was just a fun, entertaining read despite its flaws that you pointed out, and I loved it for that.

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  28. Excellent post. If I'm being honest, there are a select few situations in which I don't elaborate on my favorite books or genres because I'm somewhat anticipating a snarky reaction. That said, that tendency is fading as time goes on...because truly, I enjoy what I enjoy and don't read books for others...I read them for me! ^_^

    I remember explaining the concept SteamPunk to a friend, trying to describe it as a particular type of literary genre. Once I finished she replied..."Oh, that's not literature. That's 'books.'" She said it with a wry smile, but as she's a lit teacher, I'm sure there was a note of seriousness there. That's the type of response that rankles me... for obvious reasons, I guess. ^_^

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  29. Wonderful post! I'm tweeting it.

    I'm a "moderation in everything" kind of person. So, sometimes I get frustrated when people read only YA or only one genre. I truly feel they are missing out. BUT I recognize that a)if they are reading that's good and b)not everyone is at the same place in their life to read Russian classics or contemporary fiction and enjoy it. A "good" book read at the wrong time or with the wrong mindset won't seem good to the reader.

    Anyways, I read the Twilight series. It was captivating! And while I was disappointed with the last book I still like the series. I haven't read anything since then that was so much fun to read.

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  30. Hear hear! Not sure I can add much that the other commenters haven't already said, but I definitely agree with where you're coming from. I'm glad that Twilight sparked such an interest in reading, especially in the YA category - thanks for putting this post out there! :)

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  31. This is a great post! I don't think anybody should be embarrassed about what they read and like because every person has different tastes. I liked Twilight though not in general as a series, but it did re-kindle my interest in the paranormal genre, which I'm really happy about.

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  32. Great Post! I totally agree with you... although I personally had mixed feeling on the Twilight books I would never criticize someone for liking it! Everyone's entitled to their own opinions.

    Sometimes my friends will stifle giggles when they ask me what book I'm reading and I'll respond with something like "...oh just this book about werecats. Kinda like werewolves, but not." I feel like saying "Yea, that's right! I reading a book about werecats! SOOO WHAT?!" It's just annoying to me that they laugh at me for loving to read YA paranormal books, just because they'd rather be reading historical fiction or something like that (which is super-boring to me btw, but of course I withhold judgment of them as readers just cause that's not a genre I like personally)

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  33. I LOVE TWILIGHT TOO! I just watched Eclipse last night, and it got me in Twilight fever - so now I want to read all of the books, and watch the other movies. I absolutely love Twilight :)

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  34. With the exception of the last book, I like Twilight! I wouldn't worry about it. Once it was cool to like it. As soon as the tide turned then it wasn't cool to like it. The question becomes... do you change your likes accordingly or do you think for yourself and face the fear of possibly being different. Besides, you are rarely alone. Someone somewhere will agree with you, just like someone somewhere will disagree.

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  35. Thankyou for taking a look at my blog :)

    Now a follower :)

    Jess :)

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  36. This is one of the best posts I've seen lately. I have so many things to say about it, but not enough room in a comment, so I actually posted my response on my blog: http://thebookscapereport.blogspot.com/2011/01/twilight-and-other-books-you-love.html

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  37. Great post, hun =D
    I notice that a lot of people I knoe don't like it or all the rave about Twilight but I don't care I love Twilight, the books of course...for getting me too read and I am so grateful for Meyer for creating Twilight.

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  38. Amen sister!! I have not read the Twilight - though feel inclined to do so with such an empowering speech... but I hate, hate, hate the snobbery and aura of sophistication that some folks use as a weapon to pummel the "real" folks of the world!

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  39. YES!!! I love this post!

    Thank you Alison. I have Twilight to thank for reawakening my passion for reading. I'm not ashamed.

    Yeah it sucks (no pun intended) that the movies didn't live up to par, but the books are great. And people can diss SM all they want, but the truth is she really caused quite the phenomenon to start by getting more young adults to read, and increasing the popularity of YA authors as a whole.

    Was that her intention? Did she know that her stories would blow up like the did? Probably not. But I'm glad it happened.

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  40. I *love* your post here. As you know, I chose Twilight this week. I almost changed my mind at the last second b/c I thought people might think it was too 'light' of a choice. In the end, I decided to just go with it, because it truly did change the way I looked at reading and even vampire novels in general. Before then, I had read only one vampire novel and that was Cirque Du Freak. Heck, I even put off reading Twilight even when I had an arc because it was about a vampire! Once I read it, of course, I was totally enthralled, and the rest is history.

    You're totally right. No one should feel ashamed of their favorite books or posts, especially on their own blog and among fellow bloggers. Kudo's on a great post!

    (BTW, do people really criticize the novel for Bella and Edward waiting to have sex till marriage? Really? Yeah, in this day and age it isn't totally realistic, but there are still some people (me for one) who think that it's a fine idea, especially when Bella is so young to begin with! And how realistic does a book with a vampire as the main love interest have to be, really? Anyways...)

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  41. Hey, in response to your question: Rachel Vincent's Shifters series features werecats ...the first book in the series is titled Stray

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  42. You've said everything in this post that I've always thought, although you expressed it better.

    Personally, I enjoy Twilight. I used to be totally obsessed with the series, and although I've calmed down, I still like it... a lot.

    I always hear people saying things like, "If you like Twilight you're dumb and probably can't read anything above a fifth grade level."
    And I always think how untrue that is. I like Twilight, yet I still read everything from YA to classics to reference books. I am not dumb and I have an education higher than the fifth grade.

    I don't blame people for being ashamed to admit that they like Twilight (or any other book the majority of people seem to hate) because they get ridiculed for it.

    Anyways, rant over.
    I absolutely love this post.

    (:

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  43. This is a great post and I join the ranks of Yes I love TWILIGHT! I only wished it didn't end with Breaking Dawn. I so want to hear what happens to Jacob and Nessie... arghhhh... please Ms Meyer can you raise your pen and write that tale next....

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  44. I have had the window with your blog open since you posted b/c I wanted to comment on your interesting post, but had to finish the book I was listening to. In the interval, I note that you have already received a ton of comments in support of your love for Twilight and encouraging you not to be ashamed!

    I read the entire quartet. I was impressed with Twilight, not so much for the literary merit but the way Meyer captured the obsessive aspect of a first/ high school crush. In the second book, I landed squarely in Team Jacob and became a bit less enamored of Bella. Nonetheless, I was thrilled that kids were checking the books out and raving about them. It took me forever to read Breaking Dawn b/c I kept slamming the book shut in irritation and strained my eye muscles with constant rolling. That said, I have never once shared my opinion with my students or discouraged anyone who was a fan, though I will admit to sporting a Team Jacob button on my ID lanyard;-)

    When I think back to my favorite book in high school, I cringe in embarrassment and thank my lucky stars that my parents kept their mouths shut. Nonetheless, it was an awakening, of sorts, for me and that is what counts when it comes to taste and reading. There is no right or wrong.

    Keep reading, keep blogging. Good convo.

    brenda

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  45. I have a friend who used to hate reading. She simply despised it. And then she read Twilight. Now, she reads anything she can get her hands on. She used to laugh at me for my love of books, and now she reads probably more than I do. This goes along with your thoughts about Twilight reintroducing people to the world of reading and YA.

    Reading also made us both much closer, and it was a bond we shared. We both like fluffy novels, and novels with good romances, but we also explore into the world of classics and more difficult reading. No matter where I go, I am never ashamed to say that I like a certain book or genre, simply because I know firsthand that a book can change a person.

    Thanks for this post!

    Jane
    janestoryblog.blogspot.com

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  46. *applause*
    *standing ovation*

    This has got to be one of the best blog posts that I've seen in a while. Wow!
    And great comments, too!

    I loved everything you had to say about Twilight - excellent points, all. It's not the world's most perfect or literary book - but that doesn't mean that it isn't great reading or that it hasn't (or shouldn't have) brought delight to millions of people.

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  47. I'm pretty sure the 47 comments above me say it all, but great post! =) Much needed, and well written!

    --Ashley (Bookaholic Does Blogging)

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  48. This is a wonderful post. I have never and *will* never be ashamed of loving Twilight or any other book. To me, favorite books are a little like the people we care about; we know their flaws but we love them anyway. As long as they touch and enrich us in some way, they are worthy of our appreciation.

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  49. That is such an awesome post! I'm not ashamed to admit that Twilight was the book that got me reading, and I said that last week. I can see why people do feel ashamed though, and I think it's sad. It doesn't matter that there were things in the books that were flawed, after all, people aren't perfect, so why should books? Thanks so much for an awesome post!

    I was just wondering, if you could stop by my blog, and give me some feedback on a new meme idea that I've had? If you have the time, that would be much appreciated! Thanks

    Bella
    www.cheezyfeetbooks.blogspot.com

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  50. Wow, Alison, that was amazing. I was actually on a GR discussion group one day saying something about Twilight because, in fact, it is one of the books that changed my life. I wasn't ashamed per say, but I was a little worried for the backlash my comment may have received (although, looking back, maybe I was a bit embarrassed). Someone responded with a comment along the lines of there is no need to be embarrassed. Everyone likes different books and genres. If we all liked the same thing, life would be so boring. It was followed up with something about Justin Bieber which made me laugh hysterically and further impress her point upon me.

    I always try to remember that because she was SO right! Everyone likes different things. I love Twilight. I love the general principal and the creativeness of Stephenie Meyer. I love how she took a topic I wasn't originally interested in and showed me how I could enjoy it. That one book, lead me into the whole series which then lead me into the entire genre which just sky rocketed from there. I went from 20-30 books a year to 147 books read last year. Yeah, I agree with you for all the reasons why people shouldn't like Twilight, but I also agree with you for why I do. There is just something about it that comforts me and I get it. Thanks for the post, it was just what I needed.

    Jen
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

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  51. I'm not going to lie, I am here because I saw your little icon was an image of Edward and Bella and my heart started to beat a little faster ... Haha! I was scrolling down to find a post where I could tell you that and then, BOOM, a post dedicated to Twilight. Love the series. I couldn't put it down.

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  52. Well stated!!=) No shame, no accusations, no belittling..... I am proud to love the Twilight series and wear my 3 shirt tall.

    I feel the same about the book blogging community. It is a place where we get to talk passionately about what ever book is on our mind. I love this community and have not felt ashamed for my Twilight love.

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  53. Awesome post and I too love Twilight! I agree with all the issues you raised about the books, but I am still drawn to them. Thanks for posting this!
    NC
    http://trulybookish.blogspot.com/

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  54. Well, I'm going to disagree a bit.

    I agree that there is no shame in liking any book, and I don't have problems saying that I read all four Twilight books very quickly, or that I've read all the Harry Potters or any other books that I gobble up. And become an avid reader, or even a reader at all, is a profound life change, so any books that hook you on reading deserve mentions as books that change your life.

    But I also think that there is a difference between books that are sweet and yummy but don't leave much after impression. Some books stay in your soul after you read them, because they have echos all the way down to your psyche, because the characters are deep and real and bring you closer to yourself. And pretending that all books are the same cheapens the ones that do poke through to the deeper self.

    That doesn't mean that all great books are miserable; I don't believe that at all. But just as I can tell which books I like and which books I don't, I can tell which books feel solid to me and which are puffs of air. Sometimes I love a book and it doesn't really have much aftertaste. Sometimes I read a book that moves me deeply and I hate it and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole if I had a choice (Madame Bovary, I'm looking at you. Also, most YA of the "deepest misery and awfulness genre"). But they are different judgements.

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  55. I love this post! It's one of my biggest pet hates, people ragging on popular books as being dumb. I read all sorts of books, from classics, psychology and natural history to YA and paranormal romance, yet it seems people are quick to stereotype based on that small few 'bestseller'-type novel.

    But I unashamedly adored the Twilight Saga (and my favourite was Breaking Dawn too!). When I opened one of those books I knew I'd been completely swept off my feet for a few hours. I didn't sit there thinking, 'jeeez, Edward's creepy' or 'heavens, Stephenie, that was a bad sentence'. I just enjoyed it! I fell head over heels in love with various characters, got stuck into the excitement, swooned over the romance, it was great! I know people that were just as enthusiastic when they first read the books but now they act like it was the biggest mistake of their lives, like an embarrassing haircut. 'Don't worry!' they proclaim, 'I don't read those books any more!'

    Hey, you know what? I loved 'The Da Vinci Code'. It was unique at the time, exciting, and full of amazing places I'd never been. I cried buckets over 'The Notebook' and 'A Walk to Remember' and went straight out to buy a box set of Sparks' books for weepie afternoons with a box of chocolates. It hardly means I'm an idiot, does it?!!!

    Okay, rant over... To sum up: awesome post! Twilight (still) rocks!

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  56. I love you! This is a perfect post. And yes, you may have a soapbox, but I am going to need it for a second.

    I get tickled at how irate people get about things sometimes. In my life, I try to make things simple...if you don't believe in something - don't do it but you don't ever put others down because of it. If you don't like a book for a certain reason...that's great and yeah, constructive criticism is fine, but too many people are so passionate that they lose their impartiality and respond with unkind words.

    There are so many genre's out there, find one you love, read every book in it, brag about it to everyone you meet, branch out, read another genre...but remember that everyone has the right to love any book passionately and you have no right to judge them.

    I am one of those people who did not pay attention to the writing of Twilight because I was so pulled into the story. I found a lot of positive messages in the series...perhaps I am more of an optimist than I once thought. Sure, teenagers have sex, heck, I had sex when I was a teenager, was it a good idea - probably not. So what if a book has moral principles about abstinence until marriage and prolife concepts (I am very much prochoice...meaning that I believe every woman should have a choice, not that I am pro-abortion.) Bella's choice was to protect the child's life at all cost. Who am I to judge? No one.

    I think any time a book causes this much discussion it has made an imprint on society that isn't all bad. As I said to someone - haters make others curious and they go find out for themselves. "Only no publicity is bad publicity" as the saying goes.

    Ok, I am done with my rant. You may have your soapbox back!

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  57. It's the first time I've seen your post. I started my blog last May so maybe that's why I'm not aware of this one.

    YOU SAID IT VERY WELL. I'm not ashamed that I like Twilight (Oh wait, I LOVE Twilight!). I've been saying this to everyone who knows me. Twilight is the reason why I read more books that I could never imagine enjoying. And that's why I am now into blogging. If Stephenie Meyer didn't wrote Twilight, there's no movie, there's no Books4Juliet now.

    I'm not ashamed either that I don't read classics much because I hardly felt the connection at all. I'm not ashamed to say that I love YA books instead, and I love paranormal and fantasy and chick-lit and YA dystopian novels. These books entertains me and they are my escape.

    We may all love to read, but we have different tastes in books we enjoy. I think we all need to respect each other. We can't fully judge a person by the books she reads nor weigh a person's worth with what she chooses to believe in.

    I love Twilight!

    Thanks Alison for this intriguing and beautiful post.

    xoxo.april

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  58. Oh by the way, I like this one:

    "Any book that can foster a love for reading is magical. Anything that gets people away from the TV, from Skype, from the Wii and back to the pages of a book is wonderful. Whether you personally like Twilight or not, that alone makes the books worthy of acclaim."

    I can't agree with you any more than I do.

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  59. I love this post! I make fun of Twilight all the time and call it the twinkie of YA Lit but I do enjoy it. Teasing is fine but I don't think you should make fun of people for liking it. Thats so middle school!

    I don't get the waiting to have sex thing. I waited till I was married!

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  60. Last week, when I attended Gregg Olsen's signing here in Manila, he asked the crowd who are those who loved Twilight. I raised my hand. I am proud. and I was the only one who did! I loved Twilight, I've reread the series more than 20 times and watched the movies more than 20 times. AND I AM NOT ASHAMED. ♥

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  61. Love this post! And yes I loved Twilight(: In fact it was the series that got me back into reading, which is why it will always be a memorable series to me. I don't understand why people feel the need to judge others because of the books they read. For me reading is a way to relax and have fun so those are the type of books I read it shouldn't be something to be ashamed of.

    - Good for you Kate wish I could of been there to raise my hand with you!! (:

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