And, yes, “I read what I wanna, no judging” is also boring

As regular readers will know, I count myself among the book snobs that the folks over at Book Riot and whatnot always seem to complain about. The book snobs: those sniffy, snotty, elitist people who fail to validate one and all for whatever reading choices they make. I’ve taken various positions against the “I read what I wanna” position that predominates the anti-book-snob snobbery, but this one here from David Mikics really says it so much better: repetitive assertions of one’s own consumer sovereignty, are, among other things, simply boring: :

There have been a memorable series of “battles of the books” over the centuries (Jonathan Swift’s extraordinary eighteenth-century satire The Battle of the Books will give you a taste of such combat.) Arguments over how to judge the worth of books are perpetual and unavoidable: they are also deeply useful. such arguments can be invigorating and helpful no matter what side we’re on. They can save us from a dull insistence on our personal taste. We ought to stretch that taste, to see where it might lead. Be hard on yourself; think about why you like or dislike something in a book, and how someone else might respond to your judgment.

Emphasis mine. This is from his wonderful book Slow Reading in a Hurried World.

IOW, insistence that you can read whatever you want is, indeed, factually true, but if you use that freedom merely to indulge your fantasies and need for entertainment, fine, but don’t expect the rest of us, who are challenging ourselves, not to find you dull.