A few weeks ago, I read that article (you know the one everyone read and commented on but me, 'cause I'm too busy sleeping all day) by Maureen Johnsson where she talks a lot about an author's gender and book covers and the way they're designed for boys and girls specifically and I think she also talks about sexism.
That was not, however, what I wanted to write about.
I picked up a few sentences she wrote about beach reads and novels that are underrated because they go as "beach reads" or chicklit.
And I wanted to utter my honest opinion about that.
Beach reads are usually considered light and funny realistic fiction reads that you can devour whenever you are, well, on the beach. Or a similar setting like the pool or the hammock in your garden.
That is why I don't agree that beach reads/chicklit are an underestimated genre that suffers from prejudice.
I mean, most men probably would not pick up a book with a pink cover that has lipstick and highheels on it. I get that. And there might also be women who consider themselves too educated to read such a book.
Please don't hit me for the following, but I actually think those people have a point. Beach reads are, in fact, usually targetted towards women more than men. They are, as I said, light and fluffy because we - the readers - want them to be.
Of course they are brilliant. It's not easy to be funny, to make people forget their worries and laugh out loud instead. It's probably even harder than making readers cry. However, we all have to admit sooner or later, that beach reads or chicklit very seldomly win the huge literary prizes, their authors - though admired by the fans - often don't get a lot of recognition from the rest of the world.
I personally think that's okay, too. It's just like TV. Shows like Grey's Anatomy or Pretty Little Liars have a huge fanbase, they are watched regularly and win awards at events like Teen Choice. Then, we have documentaries or movies based on historical facts and those are the ones that win the experts' prizes. Same with movies. Highschool Musical 3 was awesome (oh, come on, it was awesome in my head!...), but it won't ever win an Academy Award like Les Misérables did.
In the end, I think it does not matter how society seems to describe the books we read, we shouldn't get annoyed because someone finds chicklit shallow. In most cases, it just is. Still, that doesn't mean, it's bad to read it. It doesn't mean we shoud read nothing but autobiographies anymore.
It might mean, though, that we should hand the person underestimating our taste in books one of Meg Cabot's or Sophie Kinsella's works and let them see for themselves... :)