I just read in a chat-group post that a certain author who became famous writing mysteries now insists that she not be categorized as a mystery writer. She purportedly claimed that mystery readers are stupid.
Wow. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
I've met readers who aren't the brightest bulbs in the box, of course, just as I've come across those who like nothing better than to show their (supposed) smarts by putting me in my place: pointing out mistakes, giving advice, and naming authors they like better than they like me. But by and large I enjoy talking with readers. I'm a reader, too, and talking about books is a favorite pastime. In my presentations, I never talk solely about my book and my work; I always share authors I like with the audience and ask them to share their favorites as well. Besides being fun, it lets listeners know what sort of reader I am. From this they can hopefully deduce the type of writer I am and make an informed decision about whether they want to read my book. I'd rather have them say, "Her tastes don't sound like they jibe with mine," and pass on MACBETH'S NIECE than have them read it expecting something else and end up unhappy.
The fact that a person reads ANYthing means that he or she is working on getting smarter. The genre matters to some extent, but I believe that those who read eventually widen their choices. Even L'Amour titles run out eventually, and his fans have to search for another favorite author. Maybe they'll try a mystery author's work.
I'm guessing they won't be choosing one who refers to them as stupid.