Letter to the Editor: Don’t Worry About Intellectual Elitism; Read What You Want

To the Bit (and its readers):

Digital Illustration by Ella Schneider. 

Avram Shapiro’s piece about intellectual snobbery in reading echoed things I’ve heard from students for years. To the Bit readers, though, I’d like to point out that Shapiro makes an erroneous assumption: that the English curriculum has a monopoly on the literary or “free” reading the school wants you to be doing. Your English teacher would be among the first to remind you that developing the habit of free reading — as in, reading whatever you choose, for your own edification — is one that will serve you well throughout your life. (Your other teachers will be the second, third and hundredth voices echoing this.) Plus, there’s another entire department at GDS–place, space, and program–intended to support you in this: your LIBRARY! We’re coming up on many school breaks, and your library team (eight amazing student volunteers and me) will be working to make it easy for you to find books that you want to read…just for your own personal edification. No judging, no vestiges of snobbery. Just check out a book that appeals to you, curl up somewhere cozy and read.

Please, GDS students, don’t let concerns about intellectual elitism stop you from regularly choosing to read the things you want to read, in your own time, on GDS’ dime. (Well…on GDS’ dime as long as you return library books when you’re done with them!)


Rhona Campbell, High School Librarian