Book snobbery can be insidious, demeaning and sometimes downright spiteful. The intention for the book snob looking down their nose at someone else’s choice of reading is to demean the other person and give an exaggerated inflated status to their own preferred choices and by implication their own intellect which is no doubt questionable.


Just in case anyone is in any doubt about the meaning of the word snob, the OED gives an example of a sentence using the word.

1.1 “ person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people” Quite.

The book snob can believe that their reading tastes are somehow better than anyone else’s and their book choices worthier. Ignore them and read whatever you enjoy reading. Reading is a pleasurable activity and there should never be any outside pressure from anyone for you to change your reading tastes. 

Those who stick to one particular genre and never read anything outside of their comfort zone are limiting themselves to a narrow choice of reading matter, but that’s fine and entirely up to them. If however, they imply or state that their choice of genre is somehow better or more superior to anyone else’s then it becomes book snobbery.

I once knew someone who only read books published before the year of his birth which was in the 1950’s, so his book choices were rather limited and I recall that he re-read a lot of Dickens. Fine and each to their own but he was openly disdainful about the reading choices of others and sneered at any contemporary novel. He was also a misogynist so books by Jane Eyre or the Brontes were definitely not on his reading list. The very definition of a book snob.

A few good articles about book snobbery.
30 things to tell a book snob by Matt Haig

Down with book snobbery by Entrada Kelly

Book snobs can change however and see the error of their ways. See here:
What life is like for a recovering book snob

Inverse snobbery can be just as bad as this Guardian article illustrates 
https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/mar/25/endinginversesnobbery
Talking of inverse book snobbery, I watch two TV Soap operas, (TV snobs can shut up too! ) Coronation Street and Eastenders. Both present essentially working class characters with the occasional toff or intellectual thrown into the mix. Inevitably it will be the toff/intellectual who are the ones who read books. Ordinary every day characters are never or rarely seen with a book, reading or talking about a book and their homes are without bookshelves. Why is this I wonder? Are the scriptwriters all inverse book snobs? It would seem so and possibly of the belief that working class, ordinary every day people don’t read books. A total misconception. The programme makers like to believe that they cover all topical and current subjects at any given time, but this is obviously one they’ve missed and misrepresented