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(English) Book-Shaming and Why It’s Dangerous

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BookShaming and Why It’s Dangerous – Have you ever heard about book-shaming? It must be admitted that non-book lovers rarely know about this term.

In my case, I accidentally found out about this term from my Twitter Timeline. At that time, there’s a tweet that seems to demean someone’s reading.

Something like, “Nah, I don’t like the romantic genre. It’s boring and sounds cringey.”

Of course, it invites many people to comment and one of those comments mentioned that term.

Up to this point, I’m sure you’ve started to understand what this article tries to talk about.

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Definition of Book-Shaming

As I mentioned before, there’s one specific point about this term; an attitude of disdain or invalidating other people reading. 

So now, we can make a clear definition of this term. 

Basically, book-shaming is a term for disparaging behavior of other people’s favorite books or genres. 

Did You Ever Do Book-Shaming?

Of course, before you can answer that, we have to classify characteristics of book-shaming behavior.

1. Somehow You Feel Like, “Oh, I’m the Coolest Reader!”

Basically, such feelings are not problematic if they do not arise excessively.

However, it’s another thing if it makes you feel a lot better than other readers.

Or in other words, you’ll feel arrogant about your reading. And it’s dangerous, of course.

2. Judging Other People Reading

From the feeling of arrogance, you’ll have the potential to judge other people’s reading.

Some examples are as follows:

  • “Ew, I’ll never read romantic books. It’s cringe.”
  • “Fiction books are never my type of book.”
  • “You’re not getting any smarter if you keep reading those books/genres.”

Well, maybe the examples above are a bit exaggerated. However, that’s how it is.

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The Effects of Book-Shaming

Well, based on the explanation just now, it can be seen how dangerous this book-shaming is.

Based on my personal experience, here are a few:

1. Afraid to Read a Book You Like

Re-reading the explanation just now, it’s reasonable to be afraid to read a book you actually like.

Out of fear of being ridiculed, a person will choose to read that “safe” book instead of one she/he likes.

I personally have often experienced this thing.

For example, instead of read “Twilight” (which often called cringe), i choose to read Stephen King’s It (to make me look more confident).

In other words, this book-shaming phenomenon creates fear and forces a person to like a book that she/he doesn’t really like.

2. Dishonest Review

Guys, believe me. There’s nothing good born out of compulsion.

If you’re forced to like a book, it means you’ll also be forced to review the book.

As a result, dishonest review are born.

You’ll be forced to write words like, “Woah, this book is totally great!” or “This definitely my forever favorite book.”

Even though it was all a lie.


In conclusion, I believe that all books are precious and can provide benefits for their readers.

Therefore, it’s unethical to do the book-shaming thing on someone’s reading.

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