books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

A pretty brief roundup for you of things that I read that got me thinking this week.

Why Isn’t Just Reading Enough Anymore? (Book Riot)

This really smart, kind of funny (but also sad) piece over at Book Riot takes on the publishing industry, book bloggers, readers, and what it all means in an age where the industry is scrambling to sell, sell, sell.  We’re no longer at a point where people can just read.  This bit stood out to me:

According to The Publishing Industry, it’s not enough for readers to just read books anymore. The point of it all is to take readers, convert them to fans, then push them to become evangelists for a book or author. Real readers have to become evangelicals for books because evangelism is, apparently, the only way to drive sales. Like the prophet John Green, readers have been tasked with saving The Publishing Industry… And I call shenanigans on that.

The Real Story Behind the War Over YA Novels (Daily Dot)

There are a ton of response pieces to the troll-article-masquerading-as-think-piece posted last week on Slate, and this is one of them.  It’s also one that’s accessible, interesting, and takes a look at the larger picture of what’s happening with YA and the inevitable backlash that occurs when something reaches critical mass.  This one does a nice job of not only linking to many of the offending pieces (and make no mistake: they are offensive, poorly-researched, and completely tone-deaf) but summarizing the underlying issues present in so many of these pieces: sexism, ageism, hand-wringing about the younger generation, etc.

The article also tackles the issue that the Millennial generation faces a different set of problems than its predecessors:

Her simultaneous put-down of YA and confidence in what “adulthood” means is a generational tell, reflecting a sociocultural divide that has significant implications in the changing American landscape…The Millennial generation, unlike others that have gone before it, is facing an unprecedented legacy of broken promises.The Millennial generation, unlike others that have gone before it, is facing an unprecedented legacy of broken promises…In a way, Millennials are trapped in a form of enforced childhood.

At any rate, it’s an interesting, fresh perspective on some of this.  I’m sure you’re tired of reading response pieces to that troll Ruth Graham’s partial-birth-abortion of a think piece, but this one is really well worth a few minutes of your time.

Places I’ve Lived: A Dormitory for the Arts, Urban Hilltops, and a Former Department Store (The Billfold)

I’m not sure what it was about this essay that I loved so much, but I did.  It’s exactly what it sounds like: a list of places the author has lived in California, many of them in San Francisco (my favorite city, probably ever).  But it’s really well done and really interesting.  If I had ever lived anywhere remotely interesting, I’d be inspired to do one myself.




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