There is this site called Goodreads that is connected with Facebook. I have been receiving requests for some time from various of my friends to join it and be their ‘friend’ on it. I was highly skeptical and put it off until just recently. I have no opinion about the merits of the site yet; I have not been on that long, and I have been rather busy with other things. However, one of the features of the site is the ability to rate books you’ve read based on how much you like them.
And for the first time ever, I was completely honest.
Do you know how freeing that is? I stopped caring what people thought and gave my honest opinion. I didn’t care if people could see that I loved Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare but hated Othello. I didn’t care if people knew that I enjoyed Bullfinch’s Mythology and loathed The Scarlet Letter. I felt free to admit that, although I have read both Emma and Pride and Prejudice, I loved the second and hated the first. I admitted that I have a passion for children’s literature. I gave all the classics I hated the grade they had always been assigned in my mind. For a few short moments, I let go of my literary pride. Ten minutes later, I started to worry what people would think again.
But I haven’t gone back and changed anything.
I have been slowly working through the books, continuing my policy of honesty. But my original furor and complete joy will probably not be back for a while.
I finally know, though, that I can let go of my trappings of literary snobbery.
And there is freedom in that.