The Most Boring Book Opinions

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Annika Barranti Klein

Staff Writer

Annika Barranti Klein likes books, obviously.   Twitter: @noirbettie

Hello, welcome. How are you? I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve asked you to join me. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? Please, make yourself comfortable. Yes, the point — I’m getting to it. This is awkward, so I’ll just say it. The fact of the matter is, you have boring book opinions.

Which ones? Well, to be honest, it’s difficult to even know where to start. There are so many boring book opinions, and you, dear reader, have expressed at least one of them. Sure, I can give examples, but first! Please understand that this is not exhaustive (though it is exhausting for me). There are countless other boring book opinions, and this is merely a sample.

Let us begin.

You refer to some books as “guilty pleasures.” Listen, if you feel guilty about something that pleases you, it had better be because it hurts someone else. And if that’s the case, this isn’t boring, it’s disgusting and I would like you to stop talking and most of all stop doing it. You like Nazi romance? Yes, you should feel guilty. Go away. You like romance between two consenting adults who are not committing war crimes? Great! But why does that make you feel guilty? Miss me with that nonsense.

And another thing — calling romance “trashy” (really any book opinion involving the word “trashy”) is boring. There is, of course, an exception for the aforementioned Nazi apologist romance, which “trashy” barely covers, but that isn’t what I mean and you know it. I’m talking about romance, one of the single most inclusive and best-selling genres in the world, and one that centers happiness. Sorry that you find pleasure trashy. Go play with the guilty weirdos from the last paragraph.

You know what’s boring and also phony? Saying that The Catcher in the Rye (or insert other beloved classic) is bad. Yes, I get it, Holden Caulfield is a whiner. [yawn] Can we go now?

Audiobooks don’t count.” Don’t count as what, exactly? They have exactly the same words as any other format! Did you know audiobook narrators have to include every word, even dialogue tags where it’s very obvious who is speaking? Every single word. So miss me with “it’s different” or whatever. Plus, I can read them when I have a migraine, or when I’m in transit and would get motion sickness from eye-reading. 

Comics are for children.” Okay, buddy. I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I have children who read comics almost exclusively and there are a lot of titles they aren’t touching. Because comics are for everyone, and some comics are very much for adults. Comics is a format, not a genre, and there are comics of allllll kinds.

You think “real” books smell better. Okay, Jan, you enjoy the scent of…mold, probably. Good for you. My ebooks smell like nothing, or more accurately, my hands. And listen, I have hundreds of paper books. You know what? They collect dust and contribute to my terrible allergies. I love them and I love the experience of reading them, but they are no more real than any other format.

“You shouldn’t dog-ear your pages/break your books’ spines/make crafts with books/whatever.” How about this? I promise to treat your books like the precious objects you consider them (I would do that for any of your belongings), and in return you shut the hell up and stop moralizing the way I treat mine.

“You have to read the classics.” Surely this is inconsistent with thinking The Catcher in the Rye is boring? Also, “the classics” rarely includes any authors of color, and only includes the rarest of white women, so nah. I will read a more inclusive canon and you can take your classics and shove them where the sun also rises.

In conclusion: