Should Certain Books be Read by Certain Readers?

No. It’s a simple answer to a dumb question.

Imagine if Barnes and Noble (online) or Amazon asked you prior to checkout if you’re a man or woman. Or if you went to your local bookstore and they took one look at you and said the book you’re trying to buy is only to be bought by someone who looks different. It’s crazy talk. And you probably read this as if it’s somehow funny. It isn’t.

Remember that article (even though everyone knows it was clickbait) about adults reading YA? And the big fuss that arose from it? When someone says that any book should only be read by a specific reader, they are embracing the same stupidity present in that article. Imagine if Harry Potter could only be read by young boys. No girls. No men. No women. Or if The Hunger Games could only be read by teen girls. The list could go on and on.

Most genres have a target audience, but any popular book will transcend that audience and be read by just about any reader. So if a guy wants to read YA or erotica or any genre generally perceived as female, then who’s to tell him he shouldn’t? I’d make the same case for girls reading “male” genres, but I’m not sure which genres fall into that particular group.

What do you think?


On this day in 2014 I published A Literary Tattoo? I think Yes!.

 

Marking Your Books

I remember being told to always read with a pencil during my high school and college years. Or pen. Or highlighter. And that doing so would enable me to locate and better remember important details of the story. Ask me how many times I actually did this. Go ahead.

“How many times did you read with a pen or pencil, John?”

Not once. Why? Because I’d either retain the information or I wouldn’t. If I had to go back and revisit the text, then I likely was ill-prepared for any kind of test or exam and that falls on me.

And now I know people STILL do this even once they’re long passed the years of analyzing literature. But I don’t get it. What is being accomplished by underlining that quote? Or writing in the margins? Is it really so hard to read at a pace at which you can retain what you’e reading. I read about a page a minute in most books, right? Could I read faster? Sure. But I don’t see the point of just trying to read as fast as possible. At the other end of the spectrum, I also don’t see the point of trying to analyze every single word of a given text. If you think the author has hidden some underlying theme deep within the words of the book, fine. But that doesn’t mean that you should read the rest of the book searching and searching for evidence that your suspicion is correct. Just read the damn book.

If you’re not trying to analyze the text, then what are you doing underlining and highlighting and noting? Serious question. Cause I’ll randomly come across sentences that have been underlined in the Kindle versions of books and have no earthly idea why someone would want to save them for later.

Do you mark in your books?


On this day in 2014 I published Why is it Still Acceptable to Strip Books?.

 

Reading With HoloLens

You likely have no idea what I’m talking about, which is why you should continue reading.

Microsoft was awarded a patent today that could change the entire reading experience. Books. Magazines. Newspapers. All of it. Now you’re probably wondering how they plan on doing this. Well it looks like they’re planning on doing it through what is described as a “blended reality” headset (HoloLens). The headset and the patent would work together through augmented reality tags and sensors to display characters and scenes from the book AS YOU READ. That’s pretty damn great.

Imagine reading through an intense shootout between 5-10 people and getting to experience that. Or a fight to the death between two characters. Or just about any kind of action sequence. I personally think certain genres will work better with this technology than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be embraced by most readers. I have no idea how well this will catch on, but this technology aims to greatly improve the reading experience, and I see no reason why it won’t.

You can read an article about the patent and headset here.

What do you think about changing the reading experience with the use of this blended reality technology?


On this day in 2014 I published Your Favorite Bookstore.

 

Two Years After Graduation: My Progress

Last year I wrote a post about what I’d accomplished in the year since I finished school. It’s only fitting that I do it again.

Two years ago today I walked across the stage at the University of Houston Downtown graduation ceremony. It was quite the day that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Probably helps that I have a picture from that day on my nightstand just a few feet from where I sleep. You can read a little about what I accomplished in the first year after graduating from college here.

I’ll only be talking about what I’ve done in the last year from this point on.

The end.

Seriously. During my first year I wrote my book and started this blog, but in the last 365 days I haven’t done much. It hasn’t been a lack of motivation. I haven’t written anything, which is fine by me because there’s something much more important that I need to figure out before I think about that. It’s called a job, a real one.

I’ve been actively searching for a job since at least August. All of them in CJ. And nothing has panned out. Now I’ve reached the point at which I don’t think I’ll ever be working in CJ, which is disappointing and ridiculous at the same time. First, the American criminal justice system as a whole is under a microscope right now. One would think CJ agencies all over the country would actively be seeking out applicants who have a college education and have displayed over the course of their lives a high level of moral character. I have. This isn’t me bragging, it’s simple fact. Second, I know based on my experience during these last few months that I’m much more qualified for any CJ job than a significant portion of the applicant pool for any jobs in the area. I can’t speak for other parts of the country, though it’s very likely the same, but most CJ applicants down here apply with a high school diploma and a few college hours. You know just as well as I do that there’s a big difference between someone who went to school two or three semesters and someone who finished.

That last paragraph just seems like a rant, but oh well.

My main goal for the last year has been to find me a job in CJ, and I’ve failed at that. Now I need to reevaluate what my future holds.

No question for y’all today. Last year’s post included a handful of pictures, but not today. I don’t feel like including any.

PS: my failed job search has nothing to do with the economy or the worth of college degrees in today’s society, just know that you’re wrong if that’s what you’re thinking.


On this day in 2014 (as you already know) I published A Year After Graduation: My Progress.

 

Have you Ever Done This?

Recently I read a post about the easiest way that you can support one of your favorite authors, but I won’t link to it because the blogger didn’t reply to my comment. Seriously.

Anyway, her entire post was about going into your favorite bookstore, finding the book/author you’d like to help support, and turning their book to face the aisle with its cover out rather than just its spine. She made it sound like this was a huge deal and could help out authors in a significant way. But I disagree.

Let’s say you do this and someone comes along and buys the book. Let’s even assume that they enjoy the book. And then later buy more books by this particular author. We’ll say the author has five more books currently available. So this other person buys a grand total of six books by this author. Whoop. The author makes a grand total of…not much from the sales. You could really stretch this scenario to say that this new reader is going to climb to the top of a mountain and scream that everyone should read this author, or that they’ll tweet about it, or find a way to interview them on their blog. But let’s be real. A typical person in a bookstore simply does not have the ability to drive sales without a significant platform, which most people do not have.

Sure it’s nice of you to turn that book by your favorite author out toward the aisle, but the impact is likely no greater than if you’d have just tweeted that you liked it.

Have you ever gone into your bookstore specifically to do this? I haven’t, mostly because I don’t go into bookstores.

Some Randomness About Moi

Today is Saturday and sometimes I just don’t feel like wasting what I think are great ideas for posts on weekends. Even though other times I try writing posts that I anticipate many people will at least read because of the topic. So in reality, this is me being a little lazy. Hehe.

Anyway, last year sometime I wrote some awards posts and at least once published a post of random facts. Well today I wanted to do that again because we’re all friends here, right? *crickets* I guess I’ll start listing them before you run away from me.

1. I have crazy dreams. I’m not kidding. I’ve been the writer for a dinosaur movie. I’ve met Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve played baseball in front of thousands of people in an open field in the middle of nowhere. (did I experience Field of Dreams?) Oh, and I’ve also been chased by an old lady with an ax who was definitely out for blood. And I’ve also dreamed about meeting other bloggers, but I can’t say who because I may or may not have already told them and what if they think I’m crazy and get scared? Nah. Not dealing with that.

2. I suffered two injuries last year as a result of my training. I’ll now likely forever have two bad wrists and a bad shoulder. But I wouldn’t change anything after that 365 pound bench! I also have a bad back that randomly acts up after months of being okay.

3. I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones. I know people are obsessed with the whole series, but I’ve never felt the need to join them. I highly doubt I’d be interested in the TV series, slightly more likely I’d be interested in the books. Slightly.

4. I might have a need to be famous. I think if people got a taste of the real me that I’d have more friends and people to interact with on a regular basis. My goal in life is to become Vine famous. Or on YouTube. Or WordPress? Seriously, no blogger has any idea what I’m like in person and that’s no good. Honestly, I imagine that many of you would want nothing less than to never meet me. BUT I know several of you would be great acquaintances. I’m imagining a meet up in which we meet in a sports bar (no need to be formal) and we end up having a small crowd of people around us cause we’re so damn interesting. And I’d be the only guy in there who knows anything about the sporting event taking place at the time.

5. I love Twitter. It’s the only social media site I really use besides this. I have Snapchat and occasionally use it, but the people I’ve added on there are just not interesting. I originally started using my Twitter account once I finished writing my book, but now I do not ever tweet about books. Okay, very rarely. My book stuff can stay on WordPress. I’d tell you to follow me over there, but I”m telling you now that I won’t follow you back if all you tweet is #amwriting or #amreading or something similar. I have no interest in that stuff. I mostly tweet about sports because they’re way more important to me than books. Find me here.

That’s it! One day I’ll do an Ask me Anything post and see what kinds of questions people might want to ask, but that isn’t today. So what do you think of my randomness? Maybe you’ve had some crazy dreams too? Or maybe you’re interested in my Twitter rants? Or better yet, you want to come down to Texas and buy me food?

If you comment, then I want you to tell me a random fact about yourself. I won’t reply if you don’t. Ha!


On this day in 2014 I published Are Bookmarks Dead?. The most popular post in the history of this blog. By far. And chances are you’ve already read it. It still usually gets a Like or a comment each day and I remember writing it just to get the idea out of the way because I thought it was stupid. I guess the only stupid one around here is me. So take a look if you haven’t already!

 

Summer Reading List

No, I’m not going to tell y’all which books I’ll be reading over the summer months because I honestly have no idea. And no, I’m not going to link to some article that tells you what you should be reading. BUT I am making a little change here. I want to know about your summer reading habits! Y’all are well aware by now that I don’t care what any other person reads because another person’s reading has absolutely nothing to do with me. But I am curious to know if your reading habits change during the summer months.

I’m seeing article after article (not blog posts) about summer reading and books perfect for reading in the summer, and I just don’t get it. Are we allowed to read certain books during certain months of the year now? Are there books that are currently “in season”? This all sounds ridiculous to me, but I’m thinking I’m just out of the loop here. Are the summer months more conducive to specific stories? I’ve never tailored my reading to the seasons, but I also never said I have any idea about anything.

Anyway, do your reading habits change at all during the summer months? How so?


On this day in 2014 I published Introduction of my TBR Piggy!.

 

Are you a Book Snob?

We’re all honest here. There’s no need to lie. So, are you? Wait, let me first tell you a little about what it means to be book snob in the first place.

Before I start defining things, this is definitely a term that is defined differently by different people. But I’ve come to my definition based on what I’ve seen and read from many different sources and individuals. In the simplest of terms (to me), a book snob is someone who views their reading and the books they read as superior to the reading habits and books read by others.

Here’s a little scenario to give you a little more insight into some book snobby behavior. Let’s say you have two readers. One is working on reading as many classics as he can. The other just finished a five book erotica series. The first reader posts outrageous negative comments on the second reader’s blog because “those books aren’t worthy of reading”.

Everyone can tell who the book snob is in that particular situation. But it may not always be that obvious, and it may be you. One of the things that people have tried to say is that it’s really just people having different reading preferences. But there’s a big difference between different preferences and book snobbery.

Preferences: “I read crime novels and you read YA. We’re interested in different things.”

Book snobbery: “I read crime novels and you should too because it’s better than that crap you’ve been reading.”

Super obvious again, I know. But how many times have you interacted with someone either on here or Twitter or maybe even Goodreads and they seem to be against anything you’re reading? That person is most likely a book snob. Hopefully it isn’t you.

Are you a book snob or not?


On this day in 2014 I published Authors, Tell the Titles of Your Books!.

 

Amazon Publishing set to Expand in 2016

Remember when Amazon first launched its publishing business and it was touted as a terrible move by industry analysts because of how difficult it would be to get retailers to sell the books? Well I’m imagining everyone at Amazon laughing right about now.

As you know, the books Amazon publishes are sold on Amazon and basically nowhere else. You can’t walk into your neighborhood Barnes and Noble store and find them. You typically can’t walk into your favorite indie bookstore and find them. Why? Because they refuse to carry Amazon titles. Which comes as no surprise to anyone. But that hasn’t stopped the company from making its mark on the publishing industry in just a few short years. This year Amazon Publishing will release 1,200 new titles. Next year that number will climb to 2,000. And I imagine it won’t stop there. 2,000 books is a small drop in the publishing bucket, but I bet many within the industry fully expected Amazon’s leap into publishing to fail, for whatever reason. It hasn’t. And is likely here to stay a little while.

Have you read a book released by one of Amazon’s many publishing imprints? You may not even know it.


On this day in 2014 I published And the Edgar Award Goes to….

 

Picasso’s Women of Algiers Sells for Record $179 Million at Auction

You read that right. I’m not sure what I would do with nearly $200 million if I had it, but I definitely wouldn’t spend it on a single painting. But that’s just me. I kind of wish I had to face that dilemma. What to do with all that money. Eh. Anyway, this isn’t about the painting.

I’m not all that familiar famous authors, poets, or major literary works I haven’t studied in school, which is why I’m writing this. I’m wondering if any of you are aware of books or manuscripts or something similar that’s been sold at auction for a ridiculous amount of money. I’m not. I don’t even know if those kinds of things are sold at auction. But I’m pretty sure there’s a market for just about everything. How much would I pay for a first draft of a story that has been read by millions of people all over the world over the course of centuries? I wouldn’t pay anything because I wouldn’t be interested in that kind of thing. Or the letters written from an author to his partner in another country. Or the outline of a story. I still wouldn’t be interested. I might like to see them in a museum or something.

So, have you ever heard of a book or manuscript or anything from an author’s estate selling for this kind of money?


On this day in 2014 I published Writing Dialogue = Death.