A Jezebel post about the Daily Mail’s Stephanie Meyer profile inspired the usual commenter-scorn I’ve come to expect for the ridiculously popular vampire scribe. What I found more interesting was the show of support for Meyer, even from those who don’t personally enjoy her writing. I haven’t read any of the Twilight books myself, but I can’t imagine they’d make me want to throw them across the room and start shouting about “kids these days.”
I think what bugs me about the Meyer-hate is that it’s all wrapped up in how successful she is. Like it or not, we can’t control what those screaming tweens want to get their little paws on at the bookstore. Does the success of the Twilight series take away from the rest of the publishing industry, or does it groom young readers who may move on to weightier material?
I remember my dad trying to explain to me, at the tender age of six, why the Sweet Valley Kids (Sweet Valley High, but for the velcro-shoes set) and The Baby-Sitters Club books were (gasp!) not literary masterpieces. I think the word “formulaic” was even trotted out for the occasion. The thing is, I read just about anything back then, and eventually managed to figure out on my own which books were brilliant and which were more suited for a quick skim.
I always get touchy about guilty pleasure shame. It’s because I love TV so much.