9 Book Awards I Would Appreciate Seeing

Ms. Constance Augusta A. Zaber is a New England writer and general artist interested in history, sex practices, libraries, what she’s going to eat next, and Virginia Woolf. Visit for links to her stores and her sex blog. Follow her on Twitter: @constancezaber.

Let’s not lie about it, we’re all drawn to the shiny stickers on the covers of books that have won someone’s award. Personally I’m more likely to pick up a book if it has a gold sticker on it even if I don’t know what it’s about, which means that I’m consistently picking up books that don’t ring my bells. Sure, a committee made up of five white men named Dave, a white woman who teaches at a college in the Midwest, and Oprah, may have picked this book by a white man named Dave who teaches at a college in the Midwest as their favorite fiction for the year (I KNOW this isn’t how book awards are awarded, please don’t send me nasty tweets, I’m fully aware book prizes are all awarded by a guinea pig named Bridget.) but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be up my alley.

Personally I would prefer book awards that are more specific than the usual “Best European Fiction Translated by a White Man Named Dave.” I’m advocating for award committees to start giving out awards that are going to be directly relevant to my life so that I can pick up a book with a shiny sticker and instantly know if I care about the award. Here are some suggestions that I hope get traction:

Most Comprehensive Plot Description On the Jacket of a Literary Classic So You Don’t Have to Read It

The Only Audiobook You and Your Partner Will Be Able to Agree On While Driving to Your In-Law’s (Awarded by the Committee of Couples Who Have Been Together for Longer Than Five Years)

Gold Star for Most Dull Book Cover So No One On the Subway Knows You’re Reading Erotica During Your Commute

The Dog Does NOT Die [note: not awarded since the year nineteen-oh-never]

Award for Celebrity Memoir That Will Inspire You to Tidy the Messy Drawer in The Kitchen but Won’t Make You Feel Bad For Not Drinking Five Green Smoothies a Day

Most Realistic Sex Scene That You Can Actually Try Out Without Hurting Your Back

Sports Memoir Your Uncle Will Actually Enjoy Getting for His Birthday

Most Shockingly Misandrist Book Cover So Men Stop Talking to You While You’re Reading at the Coffee Shop

First Place for Audiobook of a Young Adult Novel with an Unexpected and Explicit Sex Scene to Make the Family Roadtrip Super Awkward (Awarded by the National This-Will-Be-Much-Funnier-in-Hindsight Conference)