Often, it’s easy to accept a gift you don’t really want. It keeps you from making a scene, and if you don’t want it, you can take care of it without hurting the gift giver’s feelings.
Redditor Ok-Swan169 couldn’t seem to do that with her uncle’s gift. Instead, the original poster (OP) refused and gave the gift back. The two are at odds, splitting the family in this argument.
OP doesn’t think it was wrong to give the books back, but her dad is making her second-guess herself. So she decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subreddit about what went down.
“AITA for getting pissed at my uncle, telling him to stop shaming me, and giving back his ‘generous’ gifts?”
The two are at odds over these books.
“I’m 16F(emale), my uncle is 38M(ale). He used to be my favorite uncle so this really pisses me off.”
“He HATES the fact that I read young adult books. Like he makes a HUGE deal out of it every time he sees me reading.”
“It’s always the same ‘when I was a kid we didn’t have young adult books, we just read adult books’ and ‘you should be reading books at a higher level, these books are just brain candy’ and all that cringe sh**.”
“He makes fun of some of the books when he reads the cover details.”
“I love reading and idk, I like young adult books. I don’t get why it bothers him so much that I’d rather read about people my own age and stuff that’s relatable to me instead of stuff like Stephen King, or those endless fantasies where every woman has to be violently traumatized.”
“Like sorry that I’m not into trauma porn? Sorry I read enough to know what I like and don’t like?”
“Sorry that I actually LIKE diversity in what I’m reading (EVERY single book he has EVER told me to read has a white cis man as the main character……) I’ve told him before that I don’t like the books he recommends and asked him to stop.”
“So two or three weekends ago I was reading the Good Girl’s Guide To Murder series. He came up and asked me about it.”
“He just laughed and shook his head when I told him. So then the next day he comes over and he has a ton of books with him and it’s all this Sherlock Holmes stuff.”
“He tells me that I should give it a try, it’ll expand my mind and help me.”
“I finally had it and stood up and dumped the books and told him I don’t need to read books about some crusty old coke head to ‘expand my mind’ and that I’m happy reading books that I LIKE and he needs to stop shaming me for it.”
“I said that he NEVER treats my brothers like this, he’s happy to just sit there and play video games with them without criticizing everything they’re doing but somehow everything I do is wrong.”
“He told me that I just have a hard time taking any suggestions bc I’m stubborn. I pointed out that I watched a really popular old show, Veronica Mars, because my mom said I would like it.”
“He got pissy and was like ‘Stop trying to make this into a gender thing, kids your age are OBSESSED with gender’ and told me I was being a bratty little b**** and to forget him ever giving me anything ever again.”
“My dad heard about it later and said I came across kind of ungrateful for the books and that I could have just taken them and said thanks and let them get dusty. I said I’d rather he have them if they mean that much to him. AITA”
OP and her uncle are of different minds when it comes to books they read.
Was OP being ungrateful by telling the truth?
On Reddit, the users judged OP for refusing to read her uncle’s recommended books by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP presents a ton of evidence that her uncle’s actions are not borne of sincere attempts to improve her reading experience. He seems to have something against the books that OP actually likes to read.
On top of that, his simple acceptance of the video games OP’s brothers play without criticism shows there may be a gender bias here.
OP is NTA for returning the books like she did.
“Book snobs drive me nuts. I am over 50 & I still read YA if my nieces & nephews recommend a particular book.”
“I have found that it helps me connect with them because we always talk about the book afterward.”
“Granted there was likely a softer way to say no thank you, but I also understand getting pushed to snapping. So, a hint of E S H for the delivery.”
“Read what you want to read. A book doesn’t have to be a classic or non fiction to have value.”
“I remember all those books I was forced to read in school but never did bcs it was so boring. There was one year that they promised to add something never that we would like and it was some sob story about some teenage girls boys problems.”
“I think it was even worse that the old sh** that they forced on us. Now I am an avid reader but I read what I like. Moral of the story, let people read what they want.” – National-Platypus144
“NTA and I bet he has no idea what ‘young adult’ means with respect to books. They are not silly or trivial or shallow.”
“Hand him a copy of The Giver, Unwind, The Fault in Our Stars, Hunger Games, and The Alchemist. Ask him to read just one of them.”
“Also ask him if he read The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, A Wrinkle in Time, or Ender’s Game. Those are all young adult novels from his time period.”
“They didn’t have the ‘young adult’ category the same way back then but that’s beside the point. The point is all about the target audience, no matter the terminology they were marketed with at the time.” – JanetInSpain
“NTA, people have this weird idea that reading is somehow mean to be serious, studious, educational, ‘expanding your mind’ and all that.”
“no. it doesn’t have to be. read what you enjoy. life is way too f***ing short to waste time reading sh** you already know you wouldn’t like.” – sunfloweries
Some of the responses were so impassioned, OP came back to respond and talk about the issues with her uncle.
“-‘He told me that I just have a hard time taking any suggestions bc I’m stubborn.’-”
“Uhm, no? You just have your taste in literature, as it should be?”
“He is trying to force his tastes on you, since he doesn’t like/understand your books. And HE is making it into a gender thing, since he has no objections to whatever your brothers likes.”
“NTA and YA books are COOL. Books with POC and WOC characters treated with respect? Give them to me!” – 000-Hotaru_Tomoe
“he genuinely got pissed at me one time because back when i was even remotely open to his suggestions i asked him if he had any books by or about WOC and he made this whole speech about how doesn’t care who writes the book and nobody should bc it’s about the book and not the writer.”
“like tell me you’ve never read a book by a woman without telling me? and i know the books he likes and octavia butler is RIGHT THERE?” – Ok-Swan169 (OP)
“It sounds like this was you finally snapping after being harassed by him repeatedly.”
“I’m reminded of all the hate that ‘Twilight’ got. I saw some videos by people who argued that while some of the ‘Twilight’ criticisms are valid, the overwhelming and staggering hatred that the population seemed to develop towards ‘Twilight’ had more to do with being mad that young girls were able to be excited and passionate about something.” – RedditUser123234
“Yeah bc like the main people who read YA books are girls so of course it’s a target for people you know?” – Ok-Swan169 (OP)
“Everything teenage girls like gets dismiss as ‘insipid’… It’s really sad!” – Miss_1of2
Some of you might not have read any of what was said up there, as you were too focused on OP calling Veronica Mars an old television show.
On one hand, she’s not wrong, as the show premiered nearly twenty years ago.
But on the other hand, OP did go back and update her post with an apology.
“SORRRRRYYYYYYYY I called Veronica Mars an old show, I know how sensitive people are to aging nowadays!!!!”
“But if you love it you should be happy bc it aged well for the time it was aired in!!! Like some of the race stuff w/ the latinos was a little weird but it was a great show!!!”
In the end, let people read what they want to read. If the subject matter isn’t too objectionable anyway.
Sounds like the uncle has some other problems, especially to insult his niece, a child mind you, so blatantly.