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July 1, 2017

CAN A GUY READ DORK DIARIES??

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Hey Brandon!
Ok, call me a scaredy cat or whatever. I want to read Dork Diaries, but I’m a boy and think that people will make fun of me because it’s a girl book! I’ve read The Misadventures Of Max Crumbly (you know, your friend) and I LOVED it. What’s your opinion? Should I read Dork Diaries too?

Can A Dude Dig Dork Diaries?

What’s Up Can A Dude Dig Dork Diaries,

Dude, I have a question for you. What is a girl book? Like, does the book wear a dress? Does it use the girl’s locker room at school?

There’s this weird thing we do where we say guys shouldn’t read “girl books.” But nobody has a problem with girls reading “guy books.” I mean, we don’t even think of books as “guy books.” But books with a main character who’s a guy? Books that are pretty action-oriented? For example, Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. NOBODY calls those guy books or says it’s weird if girls read them. Why??

I think it’s because girls are expected to read books about boys (and watch TV shows and movies about them too) and figure out how to relate to them. But boys aren’t asked to relate to girls in books or movies. And I think that can become a problem beyond books and movies. Because books and movies are a great way to learn about how the other half thinks, and develop empathy for things they experience. Girls are kind of expected to have empathy for guys, but nobody asks boys to develop empathy for girls.

Sorry, that kind of went a little deeper than whether or not you should read Dork Diaries. But YES, you totally should. First of all, because they’re awesome and hilarious. Second, because they’re not specifically for girls OR guys. And third, maybe even most important, because reading outside your own experiences can help you grow as a person.

That goes beyond just boy vs. girl books, too. Reading books with main characters who are a different race, religion, or who have a disability are all things that help you see beyond your own experiences. And look, if we only ever read books about people like us, how boring would that be?

Okay, with all of that said, I do know you’re in a tricky position when you’re worried about other people’s opinions. Because you should TOTALLY read Dork Diaries. But, can I promise that no one will make fun of you because of it? No.

I mean, I hope not. If they do, they’re close-minded jerks. And they’re probably pretty insecure about themselves. Plus, they don’t know much about what makes a good book. So they might lash out, because kids say and do dumb things sometimes.

I think you’ve got two options.

  1. You could read the book at home. OR…
  2. You could confidently read the book wherever people will see it and shrug off the haters, if they give you a hard time. Act like THEY’RE the crazy ones. You could say, “Why wouldn’t I read Dork Diaries? It’s hilarious, man! Plus, it gives me insight into girls. Now back off, I’m trying to read.”

I’m not saying one way is right and the other is not. Because only you know your situation. If you’re vulnerable to bullies, you have every right to take care of yourself. Just know that there’s nothing wrong with what you choose to read, and if you need to read it privately, then you do you.

But if you have high self-esteem and can withstand a few jabs, think about reading out in the open. You might give others the confidence to like what they like, and even help somebody rethink what makes a “girl book” or a “boy book.”

It’s your choice. But what I can definitely say is YES, you SHOULD read Dork Diaries! 🙂

Have you ever avoided a book, movie or TV show because you thought it was only for guys or for girls? Do you think guys can enjoy Dork Diaries?