June 13, 2014

Thanks for Reading, But It's Not Good Enough for Judgy McJudgerson and Snobby Snobby Get a Hobby

Unless you have been on vacation and not read social media or blogs or websites at all the past few weeks, you know that people are really getting their panties twisted over what people "should and should not be reading".   In an age where reading books at all has slid down the incline quicker than a raindrop, you would think people could just be happy that someone has bothered to pick up and read a book at all.

But, NOPE.   

What fun is that?  We must start controversy.  We must make people lose their shit.

And, that is certainly happening, isn't it?

After reading yet another article (this time on how readers don't listen to critics and read what they want to read anyhow - great article), I realized that I need to say my piece. Mostly this:

1. Readers should be able to read whatever in the hell they want.  I think Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey are terrible and I judge you just a tweency bit if they are your favorites (who doesn't judge someone on liking/disliking at least one book, let's cut the B.S.), but I would never once say to you, "WTF, you might as well not read at all!"  Because that is just not true.  A nose in a book is better than a nose on the TV screen - period.

2. My second issue is that people get all up in arms about how many copies of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch sold or how many adults are reading TFIOS or how many formulaic books Patterson pushes out or how many more genre books there are than literary fiction.  Blah, blah, stupid points, blah.  You know why I think they are stupid points?  Because these stats don't even bother to take into account that some people who are reading these books are also reading Updike and Fitzgerald and Steinbeck and Geraldine Brooks and Ian McEwan.  Just because they want to also read Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steel doesn't mean as much as you think it does.  It means people are - GASP!  SHOCK!  SCANDAL! - well-rounded readers.  I know.  God forbid we read every kind of book.  What kind of untouchables does that make us?  I wish people would stop harping on these stats when it is only half the painted picture.

"I know I didn't try to find the rest of her face, but let's make judgments on her based on this.
I know we can easily find the rest of the portrait, I just don't wanna.  I mean if they like her mouth, 

there is no way they can also like her eyes. That's crazy talk."

3. Our world is more populated than ever before so, yes, a new book selling more copies than a classic did in its time makes PERFECT SENSE, PEOPLE.  There are more people to buy it.  Yes, I agree, there are also more choices now.  But that is another thing.  Why should we have to limit ourselves to only one type of writing and thought process instead of experiencing the abundance of various styles and opinions?   If I want to write stream-of-conscious on my blog, then I should get to.  If I want to write it very concisely and carefully and make rough drafts and edit myself, then I should get to do that too.  If I want to write eloquently, great.  If I want to write in the manner I talk (which is like a teenager half the time, to be honest, I mean, do you even know how often I say "like" and "totally"?) then I should be able to do that.  And people should have the freedom and choice to like reading them whichever way they like.   What a concept!

4.  Now, with all that said, I am not insinuating that people do not have the right to express their opinion that writing has all gone to hell and our culture movement is headed for volcanoes spewing out books that are simply hot messy messes.  I'm just saying that there is always more to the story than these people would like us to believe and it pisses me off that they don't want to look at the whole picture before making said opinions, you know?  I mean, is it really too much to ask?  Are we REALLY that lazy?  You're writing a freaking article! Research, bitches.  Learn it.  Do it.  Live it.   At least at that point, I can take your opinion under consideration.

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