The Grammys

The Grammys are the biggest night of the year for the music industry here in the United States. Except they’re hardly worth watching.

The Grammys are nothing more than a popularity contest. It isn’t about quality. For instance, Adele is nominated for several awards this year. The songs she’s released from her latest album are hardly impressive. And it’s the same for several superstars every year.

I won’t say this isn’t the case for other awards shows, but the Grammys are made out to be this night celebrating music. And it isn’t. It’s a night celebrating as many superstars as possible.

Have you ever thought about the same people being nominated and winning Grammys year after year?

Compiling Bestseller Lists

One would expect bestseller lists to be compiled open and honestly, right? That if a book sells enough copies to land on a bestseller list, it should be on the list. Turns out that’s not the case.

The first problem is that bestseller lists use different metrics to compile their lists. It’s not much different from radio airplay charts. Everyone knows Billboard reigns supreme, but there are other organizations that release their own lists each week. One example is a countdown of the top country songs that plays on my local country station every Sunday. The list is not from Billboard.

Book bestseller lists seem to carry a ton of weight with authors, publishers, and readers. But these lists aren’t the same. I understand why an author or publisher would speak out publicly if a book is within a list’s top 5 beselling books, but doesn’t even make the list. In the same breath I won’t say any publication has a duty to include the actual beselling books on any bestselling list, but doesn’t it seem disingenuous if they don’t?

Do you think bestseller lists should display the bestselling books of the period or should they be compiled using whatever metrics the publication chooses to use?

Listen While you Read

I’ve written about listening to music while reading. But now I’ve reevaluated my position. The first time I wrote about the topic I was 100% against it. Why? I found it to be distracting from the real point of sitting down with a book. I mean, if I wanted to just listen to music then I’d turn the radio on.

That’s until a job interview in October took me to an office that was playing a Pandora station that I couldn’t get enough of. The station is called Classical Goes Pop and it consists of instrumental versions of pop songs. If you’re only listening to the station, then you’ll almost always know the song playing. But when you’re reading sometimes you identify the song and sometimes you don’t.

But then the holidays rolled around. I’m weird in that I love Christmas music but hate the idea of Christmas. Meh. I wanted to find a station of holiday instrumentals specifically for when I read. It’s Pandora. I found one instantly.

I can’t imagine I’d enjoy listening to singing while reading, but instrumentals seem to be quite enjoyable. I imagine I could also listen to nature sounds.

What is it that you listen to while you’re reading?

PS: I got an offer from that job interview and declined it. 

An Oddity

It seems so trivial to write about books after what I’ve written about on here during the last week. But here I am.

Something I find rather odd is how books, movies, and music by or about celebrities sell extremely well immediately following their death. I don’t see why this always seems to happen. I mean, shouldn’t you already own that stuff if you’re that much of a fan?

It just makes me wonder. ┬áIt makes me wonder if people really have any interest in these people or if they’re just trying to fit in with what everyone else is doing. Prime examples from recent memory are Harper Lee, David Bowie, Prince, and now Muhammad Ali.

Obviously people can do whatever they like, but at least be genuine. Eh. Maybe everyone is genuine and I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Have you ever rushed to the store to buy a singer’s music, an actor’s movies, or an author’s books immediately after their death? I haven’t.

Pharrell’s new Book is not a Book

Remember a little while back when Pharrell signed a multi book deal? Well the first book is out. And it’s not a book.

I understand that books written for young children usually focus on pictures rather than a million words on each page. But what’s been released looks like the publisher did the least amount of work possible. The book titled Happy after his hit song is nothing we haven’t read or heard. It’s the lyrics to the song spread over maybe 20 pages. With random photos of children to accompany them.

I mean, someone could make a YouTube video and it would come out better than this. Oh well. For once I actually have a problem with a celebrity book. Because there was no effort by anyone to actually write something new.

Am I crazy? What do you think of this new “book” just being the song lyrics?

On Criticizing Libraries

I don’t use any of my local libraries. Not one. But I think they’re an important part of society. Recently I’ve seen more and more libraries adapting. What I mean is we’re not just talking books and computers with internet access. Libraries are offering movies, music, and books in many different formats besides the traditional borrowing many have grown used to.

I know some systems are offering on demand services for most things now. Movies on demand. Music on demand. Electronic books. But now I’m seeing people criticizing them for evolving with the changing times. Huh? Why? Because the libraries of today don’t look and operate like the libraries of the past? I don’t get it. They’re providing all the same items and services of the old version at an even greater convenience. They aren’t throwing out all the books. They aren’t charging cardholders a monthly fee to use the library. Heck, they’re doing everything they’ve done in the past, but now they’re doing more.

I think it’s great to see libraries adapting. And I have a hard time listening to anyone who thinks otherwise. What do you think?

PS: Sorry for the ridiculously late post. The “distraction” I spoke of recently is becoming greater by the day. And no, there’s nothing wrong. It’s actually quite nice to have. Just means I don’t get my posts written on time.

Reading With Music

I don’t see how someone would want to read while listening to music, but then I realized that my store is always playing music like any other business and people are obviously reading in there.

I mean, I guess any instrumental kind of music would be okay, but anything with words just seems like a distraction to me. You’ll be reading a sentence and then your favorite part of the song comes on and suddenly you’re book is on the floor and you’re standing on your bed singing like you’re some sort of rockstar. Oh, I’m the only one who might do that? *blushes*

Music can always be a distraction if you’re listening to something you know well and you’re trying to focus on something else. At least that’s what I think. Driving. Reading. Writing. Cooking. Anything, really.

Do you read with music playing?


On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: The start of a new season.