I don’t know about you, but I read a lot of things about reading. Inception! But also fun, because other voices make me better, wiser and more knowledgeable about what I do. Whether that’s Daniel Pennac reminding me that readers have the right to make a choice in The Rights of the Reader, or Alice Walker’s rhapsodic In Search of our Mother’s Gardens, reading about reading and writing and literature helps me experience the literary world from an alternate perspective and I’ll never give it up.
But that means I read a lot of bad things about books. Trust me, you know the sort of thing I mean. The sort of piece that begins with “When I first read Twilight…” and confidently describes Young Adult literature as being nothing but vampires. Also a genre.
So in the spirit of solidarity, here are ten phrases and things to look for in the next time you read those articles.
Eyes down everyone, it’s time for Bad Book Article Bingo.
- “The physical book is obsolete.”
- “Children/girls/boys/teenagers/adults don’t read. Actually, nobody reads anything now.”
- “You should all read the classics. I actually read the classics. I actually once read this particular classic in its original sixteenth century Italian. You should all do that.”
- “The system is wrong. Here is a better system. Coincidentally it is a system which directly benefits myself.”
- “When I was young, I read everything. And you should now read exactly what I read for no other reason than the fact that I read it.”
- “I blame modern life/children/adults/publishing/Hollywood/YouTube…actually, come to think of it, I sort of blame everything.”
- “I actually have an interesting point to make about bias but in fact, am ignoring my own part in perpetuating said bias.”
- “I wrote a book once. Nobody wished to publish it. I published it myself. I sold seven copies. Here is my solution for publishing.”
- “Here is a study which, I think, irrefutably proves my point. This study is academic. It has references. In fact, I read the entire abstract.”
- “I, myself, do not actually read.”