Category Archives: Books

A new and most exciting venture!

This is just to say that you shouldn’t read me HERE today. You should go read me ELSEWHERE. (Well, read this here, too, I mean, you’re already here, and all.)

See, for the past month or so I’ve totally been working on this project which is LIVE TODAY! Well, “live” is relative. It’s live now, but there’s not a hell of a lot on it. There will be soon, though.

I have officially started my own book review blog; all of my reviews will be there from now on, as will random other literary-related things as they strike my fancy. Will they strike my fancy? No idea. Fancies are strange like that. You can’t predict a fancy!

I guess you can predict a Cat Fancy; they're bound to have cat-related articles in them, right? Right.

I guess you can predict a Cat Fancy; they’re bound to have cat-related articles in them, right? Right.

What does this mean for YOU, my loyal Lucy’s Footballians?

Well, really, very little. You can choose to read my writing over there as well, or, if you have no interest in reviews and literary things, you can keep reading here; I promise I’ll be posting in both places. (Speaking of which, I even made up a SCHEDULE for posting over here this month for myself. Like a grownup LADY. I know! Impressive, right? It’s hanging in my kitchen next to a magnet making fun of Dubya. What, isn’t that a thing everyone has in their kitchen? ANYWAY, I totally have posting ideas for like a DOZEN posts at LEAST over here this month, so go go gadget me. Some are even – GASP! – humorous!)

So, if you’d like to be ahead of the curve and see what a blog with ZERO CONTENT looks like, you can go here and check it out (and follow it! And tell your friends! And totally give me a ticker-damn-tape-parade! What? That’s way too much to ask? FINE) and in about an hour, the first post will go up, And about an hour after THAT, the SECOND post will go up. You can follow it and get notifications, or get email telling you when new posts are up, or watch my Twitter timeline or my blog Facebook page or or or…you know. All the usual things one does to find out if I’ve posted, I suppose.

I hope you love it; I’m very excited about it, and have all kinds of plans and schemes for things I want to write over there. Stay tuned, jellybeans.

Oh, and in Lucy’s Football news, since this IS Lucy’s Football, after all: um, things are…well, the same. I decorated for Christmas; I am getting packages in the mail so I can send people their Christmas packages in (hopefully) a timely manner (two of them arrived today that are so perfect for the person they’re for I totally squeed upon opening the box); work is going well; Dumbcat has not gotten any more intelligent and as we speak is twitching in his sleep so I think he’s dream-fighting cat-ninjas.

NINJA CAT!

NINJA CAT!

I hope Dumbcat wins.

Dad bought a laptop with a camera in it; after I convinced him that blacking it out with a Sharpie was a bad idea (you know, because THE GOVERNMENT), I may have convinced him that once he gets to Florida for the winter he and I can talk! WITH our FACES! I can’t even imagine the adventures that will happen if that occurs. (He’s totally going to Florida for months on end this winter, like the old people do. He doesn’t like to be called the old people but he’s not reading this so I suppose I’m safe.) I told him he can also make amateur porn and he said “daughters aren’t supposed to say ‘amateur porn’ to their fathers” and I said “yeah, probably not” and he said, “but that was a good one” and I said “yeah, I know, that’s why I said it.”

So all’s well here. Busy busy busy. Christmas is a’comin’ and I want it to be so special for people this year and that doesn’t just happen, you know! Plans need to be made!

That is all, I think. So, if you are so inclined, pop on over to new-blog-land and give it a look-see, or a follow, and I promise to tell you about books both good AND bad, and hopefully add books to your to-be-read lists, and have all the fun. Or, if nothing else, keep track of what I’ve read, because I totally brought a book home from the library the other day? And I’d already read it. TRUE STORY!

See you soon. Elsewhere, perhaps!

This is totally going to be me to all the people over there. New or not. I'm just that excited. And now I want to watch "Up" again.

This is totally going to be me to all the people over there. New or not. I’m just that excited. And now I want to watch “Up” again.

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And Indeed There Will Be Time (Guest Post Goodness!)

I know, I’ve been neglecting you all terribly. Sorry; lots going on. I’ll try to catch you up this weekend, if I can get in the right headspace to do so.

In the meantime, I DID blog today; just elsewhere. Over at Tipsy Lit, I have a guest post up about reading and time and memories and all good things. With a photo of MOI. Sort of. So go check it out. You’ll like it, I think. (And yay for guest posting! I always feel so damn fancy. I hope I remembered my etiquette, like which fork to use, and to put my napkin in my lap.)

Have lovely weekends; do some late-autumny things. It’s supposed to be in the low 60s here. The low 60s! In NOVEMBER! I think Mother Nature is experiencing some sort of mental illness this year. This autumn has been weirdotimes.

Go read me being me elsewhere. *smooch* Love your faces.

And Indeed There Will Be Time.


Goodreads; Badcensorship.

Some of you may know that as well as blogging about whatever the hell tickles my fancy over here, I also review books. Yes! It is true! To hell with you, all the kids that mocked me for reading too much in school; I’ve made a nice little lucrative (in a non-paying sense) career out of it on my beloved interwebs! I have two places that allow me to spew my book-related thoughts whenever I feel the need; Insatiable Booksluts and Snobbery. It’s the perfect gig for me; no deadlines, I get to read what I want, and I get to tell people about amazing (or, at times, NOT-amazing) books that I come across (and there’s nothing happier for a reader than when you recommend a book to the faceless masses and someone takes your recommendation, reads the book, and loves it as much as you do. It’s an amazing feeling.)

However, there are some books that I read that, for whatever reason, don’t make it to either site, Either I didn’t like them well enough to write a full review of them, or they just don’t fit either site. For those books, I write a quick review at Goodreads.

Goodreads is perfect for me; I can keep track of what I’m reading, I can socialize with other readers, and I can write quick reviews of books that don’t deserve the full-review treatment. This is as much for me as for everyone else. I read a lot, and I like to keep track of what I read. I used to have a spreadsheet, but I lost track of that when it got insanely long. I like the graphic aspect of Goodreads, as well – sometimes I don’t remember the title of a book, but I remember the cover. I can just scan through what I’ve read lately and pick it out of the list.

I’m not a rabble-rouser over there. I know there ARE rabble-rousers; trolls who do various things like bait authors into getting into fights, or bait other reviewers, or if – GASP! – you disagree with their evaluation of a book, call you names. NAMES! Can you even IMAGINE the HORROR!

I don’t get involved in the drama. I don’t care for that nonsense. I’m there to write reviews so people can make educated decisions of books before they purchase or read them, and for my own records. That’s all. That’s it.

Recently, Amazon purchased Goodreads. There was a LOT of uproar over this. Up until this point, Goodreads was an independent site for readers. How would the biggest online bookseller owning the site change things? People threatened to leave, and people left, and people moaned, and people groaned.

I’m a big Amazon fan (although I’m not blind to their issues; I just like their prices and convenience.) I decided to wait it out.

Well, Goodreads dropped the hammer last weekend. I assume only the first hammer. We are, I would guess, going to be nailed with so many hammers in the coming months that we’re going to want a platinum umbrella when we visit the site.

Right before leaving for the weekend, they put up the following announcement, but they didn’t make it obvious; they put it up in the forums, where as few people would see it as possible.

In case you don’t feel like clicking, here are some of the highlights:

“**Delete content focused on author behavior. We have had a policy of removing reviews that were created primarily to talk about author behavior from the community book page. Once removed, these reviews would remain on the member’s profile. Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior. If you have questions about why a review was removed, send an email to support@goodreads.com. (And to answer the obvious question: of course, it’s appropriate to talk about an author within the context of a review as it relates to the book. If it’s an autobiography, then clearly you might end up talking about their lives. And often it’s relevant to understand an author’s background and how it influenced the story or the setting.)”

“To clarify, we haven’t deleted any book reviews in regard to this issue. The key word here is “book”. The reviews that have been deleted – and that we don’t think have a place on Goodreads – are reviews like “the author is an a**hole and you shouldn’t read this book because of that”. In other words, they are reviews of the author’s behavior and not relevant to the book. We believe books should stand on their own merit, and it seems to us that’s the best thing for readers.

“Someone used the word censorship to describe this. This is not censorship – this is setting an appropriate tone for a community site. We encourage members to review and shelve books in a way that makes sense for them, but reviews and shelves that focus primarily on author behavior do not belong on Goodreads. 

“Some people are perhaps interpreting this as you can’t discuss the author at all. This couldn’t be further from the case. The author is a part of the book and can certainly be discussed in relation to the book. But it has to be in a way that’s relevant to the book. Again, let’s judge books based on what’s inside them.

“Some people are concerned about their “not-interested” shelf or variants of that. We are not deleting those; you are free to keep cataloging books that way. We are deleting shelves like “author-is-a-jerk”, as they don’t fit our guiding principle that the book page be about the book.”

“Thank you for all the comments so far. One concern that has come up in this thread is that the content was deleted without those members first being told that our moderation policy had been revised. 

“In retrospect, we absolutely should have given users notice that our policies were changing before taking action on the items that were flagged. To the 21 members who were impacted: we’d like to sincerely apologize for jumping the gun on this. It was a mistake on our part, and it should not have happened.

“Anyone else with reviews or shelves created prior to September 21, 2013 that will be deleted under the revised policy will be sent a notification first and given time to decide what to do.”

OK, so let’s see what’s up here.

  • We’re no longer allowed to discuss authors when reviewing books. I know this SAYS it’s ok if it’s relevant to the book; we’ll discuss that in a minute.
  • Any reviews violating this rule will be deleted.
  • Any shelves labeled offensively toward the author? Also deleted.
  • Goodreads will be making these decisions. How? Arbitrarily, it seems.

Goodreads went around deleting things before even telling anyone they were doing it. They say it was only 21 people; more than 21 people are reporting it happened to them. Who’s to say who’s telling the truth, here? The big, bad company, now owned by Amazon, or people who aren’t getting paid and just love to read and write reviews?

Here’s my issue.

I understand if you review a memoir or an autobiography or sometimes even a collection of personal essays you’re probably going to have to touch on the author. Goodreads states very clearly here they won’t censor that (HA HA IT’S NOT CENSORSHIP! says Goodreads! We’re just telling you what you can and can’t say or do, and what to think! IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN!) but who knows what they’ll do. If they find it offensive, it’s gone.

It’s a nice thing, to say the author and his or her behavior and personal beliefs have nothing to do with a book; that it’s easy, just judge a book on the content, not the author. It’s an easy thing to say. It must be nice to live in such a black-and-white world.

However, I just read Ender’s Game.

And I can’t, in good conscience, review Ender’s Game on Goodreads.

Because I cannot, utterly cannot, divorce Ender’s Game from the beliefs of its author, Orson Scott Card. It would be a betrayal of my own beliefs, and a betrayal of a number of people I care about a great deal.

Would my review, among a veritable sea of reviews for the book (which was written in 1985) be a drop in the ocean? No. Not at all. But I don’t betray myself, not if I can help it.

So I’m going to review Ender’s Game here, because this is a safe place, and no one’s muzzling me on my own blog.

And as for Goodreads? I’ll continue using it, unless someone creates something comparable. There’s not another site out there that has the same functionality. But I think they need to stop fooling themselves: this is censorship, pure and simple. Not telling us what the rules are – or telling us, but not playing by them – and arbitrarily deleting our hard work because it doesn’t fit your rules, whatever they might be – this is censorship. Whether or not this was dictated by Amazon – my guess is yes, because it’s not good for a bookseller to have someone give bad reviews of books or authors, now, is it? – is irrelevant. We’re no longer welcome to share our real thoughts on things.

This scares the hell out of me, to be honest. To just do something like this, and think it’s ok? And to say no, no, this is not censorship?

Such a pleasure to burn.

I just finished Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game was a really wonderful book. I immediately got caught up in the story. I didn’t know what was going to happen; somehow, a book that’s almost thirty years old wasn’t spoiled for me, even though it’s a cult classic. There were two points at which I had actual tears.

Then what’s the problem, Amy? I can hear you asking. It was a good book! Yay! The world needs more of these!

The problem is that the author is a loathsome homophobe, and I can’t reconcile that with this book. It was bothering me the entire time I was reading.

Orson Scott Card doesn’t just disapprove of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Orson Scott Card wants to BRING DOWN ANY GOVERNMENT THAT ALLOWS SUCH AN ABOMINATION. I wish I was kidding.

He also:

    • is a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), on whose agenda are things such as fighting against marriage equality, gay adoption, safe schools for LGBT students and the gay “lifestyle” as a whole;
    • has called same-sex attraction “reproductive dysfunction”
    • stated “Normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation”
    • has equated homosexuality with pedophilia, and stated, “The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally”
    • wrote a lengthy essay titled “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality” in which he admonishes gay people as nothing more than people who are giving in to sin and states that anti-sodomy laws should remain on the books, making homosexuality illegal in the U.S.

In 1985, he wrote a beautiful book about, among other things, a child forced to grow up far too quickly, and the grownups around him who use him as a blunt weapon for their own ends. Ironically, he also loaded it with homosexual subtext. But hey, it’s much easier to be shouty about the HORROR! the HORROR! of teh EVIL GAYZ! than to deal with whatever he has going on in his own closet.

I can’t reconcile this book with this hate speech. This really is a beautiful book. It’s full of huge thoughts and themes. It’s kind of groundbreaking; I could name a ton of books that have taken the lead from what happened in this book. The characters were fully-fleshed and relatable. I loved Ender. Utterly adored him.

But the man that wrote it hates some of the people I love more than anyone in the world. And he’s loud about it. And the last thing we need in this day and age is someone who had a podium and had the nation’s ear (the movie of this book is coming out in a couple of months) shouting hate-speech.

The book was about how we ill-use our children; I’d argue that teaching them hate from a young age is ill-using them, Mr. Card.

I won’t be reading the rest of the series. This book ended perfectly. I don’t need any more of his books. I just can’t divorce the author from the work. It hurts to do so.

I’m glad I met Ender. And, for what it’s worth? He’d find his creator’s views repulsive. The character you created, sir, has more compassion and character than you do. And he’s fictional. Do you see the problem here?

(For more on the Goodreads controversy, please read sj’s take, This is Me. Getting involved., Emma Wolf’s take, Where capitalism and art intersect, and Charleen’s take, Goodbye to Goodreads?)

Sources:

Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Views Prompt ‘Ender’s Game’ Movie Protest (Huffington Post)
Ender’s Game, Superman and Anti-Gay Bigotry (Huffington Post)


An Open Letter to Amazon, on Receipt of Your Most Recent Email of Recommendations

Dear Amazon:

We need to have a talk.

Listen, I know. I use your service a lot. I’m a very loyal customer. And I’m not writing to complain. Well, not really. Not much, anyway.

I’m the first to admit I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with you lately. Ever since you wooed me with Amazon Prime. Now I don’t have to wait until I want $25 worth of your products to order! Free two-day shipping! It’s kind of the best/worst thing ever. Best in that I get almost instant gratification; worst in that I might be spending a wee bit more money on your site than I should be.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

I wanted to address this email situation.

When I got my Kindle at the beginning of the year, I signed up for your daily Kindle deal email. I like this email because sometimes there are books on there that I really want for .99. NINETY-NINE CENTS! This is very exciting. Good books, too. Books that I want to own on my Kindle. I’ve gotten very picky about what I purchase in paper (not because I’m snobby, but because space in my tiny home is at a premium, and my books are reaching critical mass and leaning here and there all willy-nilly and sometimes I come home and the stacks have tipped over and I just know that Dumbcat narrowly escaped literature-related doom while I was gone and NO, I don’t have room in here for any more bookcases, believe me, if that was an option, I’d have done it by now. THERE IS NO ROOM, DAMMIT!) so owning them on my space-saving little Kindle is really just the best thing.

I'm a little obsessed with the Kindle. Just a wee bit.

I’m a little obsessed with the Kindle. Just a wee bit.

However, recently, you’ve been sending me a lot more email. And it’s…well, it’s not geared toward my interests. I have to wonder what’s going on.

Especially after the one today.

“Customers who purchased popular titles might be interested in our picks for the 20 Big Fall Books, part of our Big Fall Books Preview.”

Well, I guess you can ASSUME that MOST people would be interested in “big fall books.” I mean, they’re BIG for a reason. Right? And the authors on this list are fancy, I guess. Lee Child. Sue Grafton. John Grisham.

Thing is? I don’t read “popular titles.” Well, not often, anyway.

Looking over this email, there’s not a single book that’s a must-read for me. There’s Margaret Atwood’s new book, but I didn’t love the Oryx and Crake series, so I’m not desperate for it and probably won’t read it. Other than that? There’s a Malcolm Gladwell that doesn’t look terrible, and the rest?

Nope.

And Amazon, what I’m perplexed by is that I don’t BUY popular titles. I thought at first it was because I pre-ordered the new King book, but I did that after I received this email. And I haven’t purchased any other popular titles from you. I’ve purchased some older books, some reference books, some poetry, and a lot of e-books, but none of them “popular.”

John Grisham? Come on, Amazon. I thought we had a thing. I thought we KNEW each other. I’ve never read a John Grisham in my life; I don’t like courtroom drama. Asking me to read a John Grisham is like asking me to read a (shudder) Dan Brown.

What do you MEAN, Amy? Don't you want my latest book? DON'T YOU? Everyone does!

What do you MEAN, Amy? Don’t you want my latest book? DON’T YOU? Everyone does!

I get it. Most people like these things. I’m not judging them. That’s their thing. If it makes ‘em happy, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, well, more power to them, you know? Live and let live, Amazon. Live and let live. So you thought you’d send me this because MOST people would like this.

Oh, Amazon. Look over my purchase history. I’m not most people. No one wants to think they’re “most people,” you know? I THOUGHT YOU THOUGHT I WAS SPECIAL. My heart, she is broken.

Send me an email about the best small-press books of the fall. Send me an email about the most talked-about poetry collections. Send me an email about new graphic novels people are talking about, or young adult novels, or fantasy novels.

But inundating my inbox (not a euphemism, Amazon) with emails that do not pertain to me, and mostly just make me wrinkle my nose at how you not only don’t know me at all, but didn’t even take five minutes to look at my purchase history…

Yeah. That’s a huge marketing fail, Amazon. And you’re a big company. You’re savvy. You can do better than this.

If you want the pretty girl to like you, pay attention to what she likes and then bring that up in conversation, Amazon. Sheesh, it’s like you never did this before! I shouldn’t have to give you advice on how to woo a lay-dee.

You’re on double-secret probation with me. Watch your step, or I’m going to unsubscribe from your emails.  I don’t think you want that. You certainly do send enough of them. It would put SUCH a kink in your day.

Most sincerely yours,

Lucy’s Football.


They kept them away. Never let them come near. And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Last week, Stephen King released his most recent book: Joyland. It’s one of his Hard Case Crime books – the first he released under the Hard Case Crime label was The Colorado Kid in 2005 (which has since been turned into the television show Haven on Syfy, and that has branched out in its own direction and is actually surprisingly quite enjoyable.)

A couple of months ago, I went online to pre-order my copy of Joyland. I’ve been doing that lately with books I really want; it reminds me to read them (I’ve got a lot on my plate, what can I say) and I like knowing the book will be waiting for me on the day it drops. I don’t do this with many authors or for many books – Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Stephen King, John Irving, Owen Hill earlier in the year because I wanted to have the book read before I met him for him to sign it. Most things can wait for a bit. I’m patient, and I have a lot of things to read.

I was surprised when I got online to see there was no Kindle edition of Joyland offered. I’ve run out of room for paper books; there are very few books lately that I’m not getting electronically or from the library. It’s a common-sense thing at this point. If I had more room, maybe Belle’s library from Beauty and the Beast? I’d buy more paper books. But I don’t have that, so I don’t. I also love reading on my Kindle. It’s easy, it’s eminently portable, the text is crisp and clear, it’s better for bed-reading…I could go on. I won’t, but I could.

I bought the paperback (less than $10, could be worse) and it was delivered on Tuesday. I read it. I reviewed it at Insatiable Booksluts if you’re interested in that sort of thing. I liked it very much. It was a good summer read, a quick one. I was done in a few days.

But there was a lot more going on with this paper book vs. ebook controversy than I was aware of.

sj pointed it out to me, originally. See, sj has problems with her hands, so reading paper books is an issue. Therefore, all that reading she does (and you guys, seriously, I don’t know if I know too many people that read more than sj, she’s amazing) is mainly on her Nook.  She’s a huge King fan. We talk King all the time. She therefore can’t read Joyland. “But Amy!” you’re saying. “Don’t worry! She could listen to it! There’s an audiobook option!” Yes. Yes, there is. But should she have to? In 2013, should she really only have the option of either listening to the book or not reading it at all, a book from one of the most popular authors of all time?

But here’s the thing. Apparently, you can’t SAY King should have released an e-book as well. Why? Why can’t you say that?

Because of the treebook snobs.

The treebook snobs, in case you haven’t met them in the wild (and you’re a lucky person, if you haven’t, I wish you luck in never meeting them at all) say the following things:

  • E-reading is killing paper books.
  • E-reading isn’t REAL reading. The only real reading can be done with paper books.
  • I would never buy an e-reader. Buying an e-reader is the modern equivalent of burning a library.
  • No one is buying paper books anymore. Do you really want to be the death of paper books? DO YOU?

Oh, they say other things, too. But my head is getting explodey.

When people started complaining about Joyland not being available as an e-book, the treebook snobs came out of the woodwork. “Ugh, SUCK IT UP,” said the treebook snobs. “You’re meant to experience this novel in PAPER. If you can’t read a simple PAPERBACK, what is WRONG with you.” And on and on and “we are so haughty” and “blah blah WE KNOW BEST” and the sort of things that snobby people say that make you want to tenderize their cerebellums with a mallet.

Then Hard Case Crime got in on the action. They apparently felt the need to justify why they hadn’t offered an e-reader version of the book. Click for the full article, but here are the things that stood out to me:

…But one thing our books are is a shrine to a particular way of consuming stories and the particular object that for decades delivered that experience to millions of people. An object that has dimensions and heft and feels a certain way when you handle it, that looks a certain way when you thumb its pages back, creases a certain way when you jam it in a jacket pocket or a lunch bucket. Shape and form and texture matter. The past matters. Preserving things we love matters. And insofar as we want people to remember something we love, putting an example of it in their hands is a powerful way to do so.

So: Joyland. A book. A paperback book, by and large, and one I cherish and that I hope other readers will cherish as well. Not those who angrily proclaim on Internet message boards, “I’ll never read a paper book again!” – there isn’t any hope for those, their souls are too tattered for repair – but those who see our little bit of yesterday and feel their hearts beat faster, scent a bit of their own younger days on the backward-blowing breeze.

…For just one day, unkindle your Kindle and nook your Nook, lie back in the bath or on your sofa or beach chair or with your head on the grass, and read the way we used to.

Tomorrow will still be there when you’re done.

Does this strike anyone else as condescending?

You’re telling me how best to enjoy your work. How I need to enjoy this book. As if I have never read a book before. As if I am new to your planet. “This is a BOOK! Here on THIS planet, the best way to experience literature is in PAPER books! Not (ugh) e-books!”

I am a grownup. I can decide for myself how to “experience” literature. And let me tell you how I want to experience it: with my eyes, you supercilious bag of dicks.

Some people might like to experience it with their ears. I am not an auditory person; I miss things in audiobooks. I like to read. With my eyes.

And here, let me tell you something that you apparently have missed: all reading is reading.

Oh, did you miss that? I’ll say it again.

ALL READING IS READING.

Whether I’m reading from a screen, a paper book, a cereal box, a newspaper, a magazine, a billboard, a pamphlet, ot the back of a DVD box, I AM STILL INPUTTING INFORMATION VIA WORDS INTO MY BRAIN. What is confusing about this to people? Reading is reading.

There’s no “best way” to experience a book. Well, I mean, I’d like to experience a book on a beach in like 70 degree weather while someone refills my fruity drink. That seems to be a very good way to experience a book. But I don’t notice that being on the table, Hard Case Crime.

And as for the “ebooks will end paper books” people – well, listen. I don’t know if we’ll ever see the end of paper books. We might. We might not. I don’t know; I can’t see the future. I’m not a fortuneteller. But I do know that I used to be a paper-only proponent, until I got a Kindle. And now that I have the Kindle, I see why everyone loves them so much. And I don’t even have any handicaps that make reading paper books uncomfortable for me. I’m pissed enough at the holier-than-thou tone of voice these people are taking; if I had an infirmity and someone started telling me I wasn’t a “real” reader because I used an e-reader to get my word fix? I WOULD KICK ASS SO HARD. Isn’t that like telling someone in a wheelchair they’re not really experiencing a walk in the park because they’re using their wheelchair? Or like telling someone with a hearing aid they’re not really experiencing a concert the way it’s supposed to be heard? Would you treebook snobs do that, too? No. Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t be ridiculous.

Listen. I’m kind of infuriated about this. No one is taking away your books. No one is coming to your house to burn them, all Fahrenheit 451-style. If paper books are your thing, great. If e-books are your thing, great. WE DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT ABOUT THIS. There is no reason to fight. And you know what? It doesn’t go both ways, usually. I don’t see a lot of e-reader users attacking paper-book readers as Luddites. We don’t care. I read just as many paper books as e-books. I think I single-handedly keep my library alive. I have more library books currently checked out than will fit on my library shelf.

It is ALL READING. It is not the death of paper books. It is TECHNOLOGY. Life goes ON. It is what life DOES. Move with it, don’t, I don’t care, but STOP JUDGING OTHERS WHO ARE.

sneetchesListen, you all know the story of the Star-Belly Sneetches, right? I believe we’ve talked about this before. How the Star-Belly Sneetches thought they were SO MUCH BETTER than the Plain-Belly Sneetches, and went around with “their snoots in the air” until Sylvester McMonkey McBean showed up with a machine to put stars on the Plain-Belly Sneetches’ bellies. Well, that didn’t sit well with the Star-Belly Sneetches! So he charged THEM money to take the stars OFF their bellies! And back and forth it went until, laughing, he left town – and half of the Sneetches had stars, and half didn’t, and no one knew which Sneetches were the original snooty Sneetches. Old Sylvester McMonkey McBean says “you can’t teach a Sneetch!” but he’s wrong, because “The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches/And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches./That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars/And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.”

Listen, treebook snobs. We’re all Sneetches. Every last one of us is a Sneetch. Whether we’re a Paper-Book Sneetch or we’re an E-Book Sneetch. (Some 0f us can actually be BOTH SNEETCHES AT ONCE! Yes, it’s totally true.) You need to look up from your words on paper and realize we’re each and every one of us Sneetches, with a common goal: putting beautiful words in our eyeholes (or earholes, not to discriminate against vision-impaired people…or maybe their finger-spaces, for those readers of Braille.) Stop attacking your fellow Sneetches and just be happy your fellow Sneetches are reading. Because do you know what’s more terrifying to me than a world without paper books? Any ideas?fahrenheit

A world where no one reads at all. A world where we’re not having this fight because there’s no need for it; a world where no one cares about e-readers or paper books because books and words and authors and thoughts themselves are obsolete. The world that Fahrenheit 451 predicts, where people live in houses surrounded by inane entertainment and books are not only something people find uninteresting, but something they find dangerous enough to burn.

Books are books and words are words and Sneetches are Sneetches.

And if you tell me (or my beloved friends) one more time how I have to enjoy literature, I’m going to smash you over the head with my very pretty orange-cased Kindle. I don’t deal well with bullies. I’m one ornery Sneetch.

(For further reading on this topic, please read Heather’s post, Dear Haters. She is most truly the best kind of Sneetch.)


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