Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Weeps and Beeps": Word and Book Sheep

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James has become today's hottest book fad. It's become a statement, a label of pride. No longer do people feel the need to buy their erotica wearing "Spy v Spy" get-up and carrying it out with a locked suitcase for fear of discovery.
No, now people set up shining brilliant light displays that rival Vegas, and scream: "Look! I am SO awesome because I'm buying this!"

I haven't read the book and won't judge it. Nope. I have heard good and bad about it, but it, like anything else, deserves judgment based on its own qualities.

The purpose of this post isn't to flame a book; a book is a book and I don't do "burnings", "flamings" or "fire" anywhere near books. Not my bag, baby.

Today's post is about the people who read these books because it makes them feel worthy, somehow.

Take the Kardashians. I honestly don't know much about them and I tend to stay away from magazines, etc., that would carry such information. Not because I don't like them, but because the "genre" simply isn't my thing.

What I've gathered, however, is that the Kardashians are famous because

They're famous.

That's it. The whole kit-and-caboodle. They are famous simply for being famous.

And it's come up quite a bit, lately. There's nothing wrong with enjoying something that is famous. There's something annoyingly tedious and self-destructive, however, about enjoying something that's famous simply because it's famous. As though somehow by interacting, however distinctly, you can now claim part of that fame for yourself.

That's not what reading is about.

As I've said before, I certainly do see myself as a million fantastically wonderful things while I read and I can be whomever I choose to be. I don't, however, read something because it makes me part of a larger group. Rather, I make myself part of a larger group by reading something I enjoy. That's the reality and how things are supposed to work.

Please do note that I'm certainly not stating that everyone who likes this book likes it solely for its fame. I'm not saying that at all and if you think I've said that, then you're entirely missing my point.
Reading is a personal journey. Book clubs and things like that are meant to share the enjoyment that you received from the book, not to brag that you read the book or to read it so that you can be part of the book club. That's backwards thinking that causes massive intra- and interpersonal issues.

Don't be a "Weep" or a "Beep": Be a reader. Enjoy a book because you enjoy it. Dislike a book because you dislike it. Don't follow the crowd because the crowd says " go left". Go left and let the crowd do its own thing. It'll follow you or it won't. Either way, though, you'll be much happier at the journey's end following the path that works for you.

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I would love to hear what you have to think! Please remember your manners and I'll try to do the same. ;)