Plebeian Reading Tastes by Camy Tang

My name is Camy, and I have plebeian reading tastes.

Yup, uncultured, unrefined, lowbrow, philistine reading tastes.

My tastes do not run to poetic prose. I want the common, vulgar fiction known as popular fiction or genre fiction.

No artfully crafted literary fiction for me. The fewer college degrees the author has, the better (my exception might be Eloisa James who is a flippin’ smart college professor).

I would not choose to read a classic (except for Jane Austen). I would instead reach for a category romance. I will finish it in a few hours and probably not read it again. I will never need to reach for my dictionary to look up a word in the book. The characters will feel like my friends.

At the end of my book, the heroine will not die, nor will the hero leave the woman he loves in the arms of another man and go off to find himself a new life, nor will the main character see his son killed in front of his eyes and give up his greatest dream as a consequence. No, I will be blissful at the end because the characters live happily ever after.

I am also usually averse to spiritually or emotionally enriching nonfiction because I’d rather read a pulp fiction book. Yes, I am not interested in improving myself. I simply want to be entertained.

For part of my life I was made to feel ashamed at my coarse reading tastes. As a Christian, especially, I thought I needed to immerse myself in all the great Bible studies and books on how to walk deeper with God. I read my common novels in secret. I didn’t have anyone to share them with.

Then I got older and realized that like my faith, my reading tastes are personal, so why should I care about people who criticize either? If God doesn’t object to the fact I like simple romances, and not literary fiction or nonfiction, then no one else has the right to have an opinion about it.

So what do your tastes run to? I promise not to cringe if you love literary fiction if you promise not to sneer at my pulp fiction.


About Camy Tang/Camille Elliot

Camy writes romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at and to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.
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6 Responses to Plebeian Reading Tastes by Camy Tang

  1. raebillings says:

    Amen, girl! I am SO with you on this. With few exceptions, if I read literary fiction or nonfiction it takes me months to finish the book (if I finish it at all). I just can’t connect! For so long I felt like a “non-intelligent” reader because all the know-it-alls sneered at my book of choice. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this.


  2. PatriciaW says:

    I like to say that I’m “widely read”. So not true because my tastes have converged in a plebian fashion. And I’m fine with that. I went through a period in my 20’s when I purposely spent a year or more reading classics. Interesting and definitely made me more culturally aware, but fun? Not so much. I definitely use to read literary fiction, but these days? Meh! Not so much. In fact, I might run in the other direction, grabbing a category or even a single title pop fiction along the way.

    What’s wrong with popular fiction? I love it.


  3. Chris P. says:

    Yes and Amen! I could have written this post myself. I am so glad to know I am not alone! This is why I barely ever read non-fiction and run the other way from any book with the Oprah book club sticker on it. I want fun and humor and love and a happily ever after in my books!

    Team Plebeian!


  4. camytang says:

    Glad to know I’m not alone! It took me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t care about people who looked down on my reading tastes. We all have our own reading tastes and there’s nothing wrong with mine.


  5. Helen says:

    I actually feel a bit embarressed that I love biographies. My kids think I’m weird and it does make me feel old, but I’ve alwasy loved them. I also rarely read a fiction boook twice. I did really enjoy all your books, Camy.


  6. camytang says:

    Helen, I know a lot of people who like to read biographies! I’ve actually met more of them than people who say they love reading romances.


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