"Books are the new snobbery, according to a survey today. Social competitiveness about which titles we read has become one of the new mass forces of the era and only middle-aged people are relatively free of it.
Driven partly by pressure from incessant literary prize shortlists, more than one in three consumers in London and the south-east admit having bought a book "solely to look intelligent", the YouGov survey says.
It finds one in every eight young people confessing to choosing a book "simply to be seen with the latest shortlisted title". This herd instinct dwindles to affect only one in 20 over-50 year-olds." SOURCE
"One in three Londoners surveyed by research organisation YouGov admit having bought a book "solely to look intelligent". Younger people were most likely to succumb to the urge to buy literary prize-winners simply to be seen to own them. Once middle age hits, a certain "who cares" attitude comes to the fore, the survey found. By 50, most people are fine with perching their polyester-clad butts on the bus stop bench and reading Dan Brown.
Hard as it is to admit to such snobbery, I challenge any book-lover not to sneak a peek at any book they spot being read in public, and then judge - yes, judge - the reader on that basis. Recently, there was a young woman in the gym reading a slim tome in French. I practically fell off the stationary bicycle trying to peer at the jacket, to no avail - she could have been reading Mills & Boon. But I was impressed. Hey, it's French.
Why the snobbery? Why can't you enjoy Harry Potter and War and Peace?" SOURCE