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It’s Literary Trick Or Treat!

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Let’s get this out of the way. Today’s post is horribly clichéd.

What I’ve done here today is adapt the easy-to-write, easy-to-read, seasonally relevant Buzz Feedish approach to content. I might as well have posted a photo of 10 famous authors with the question “Hot or not?” [makes reference in notebook for future post]

Now, that’s out of the way, so let’s embrace the clichéd post.

Here are 10 book-related opinions. Below each opinion, I’ve asked the question, “Trick or treat?” then answered whether or not I think the opinion is a “trick” (bad) or a “treat” (good)?

Get it? It’s Halloween! And, look at me, I’m making a funny “trick or treat?” clever post! On Halloween! I kill myself!

On with it:

1)   Amazon is killing the independent bookstore.

Trick!

Amazon might be killing the corporate bookstore, but I don’t think it will ever kill the independent bookstore. They might dwindle, but they’ll always be around. As long as people have the desire to buy local and independent, some budding entrepeneurs will be willing to oblige.

2)   The Great Gatsby is overrated.

Trick!

Your mom is overrated.

3)   Self-publishing is a viable option for first-time authors.

Treat!

I agree, with a caveat. Self-publishing makes sense for a first-time author only if the author is willing to pay for a good editor and a good designer to design the book’s cover. The goal is to look and read professional. But realize, if you don’t already have a huge platform, it will be much more difficult to make the marketing waves you could by getting traditionally published. And, please, don’t ever allow your self-published book to be this terrible.

4)   Dangling prepositions are an offense to grammar.

Trick!

As Churchill said, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” Almost every time you try and fix a dangling preposition, you end up sounding like you’re a British footman in a 19th century aristocratic home. In other words, it sounds stuffy. Dangle your prepositions all you want, I say. And guess what? Grammar Girl agrees with me.

5)    People who read books are sexy.

Treat!

Absolutely. My wife only dated me because I prominently displayed the entire works of Shakespeare on my coffee table. Not really.

6)    Twilight/Fifty Shades of Gray/[Insert any pop culture novel] are terrible books and should never be read.

Trick!

Look, I can’t vouch for the quality of these books. I haven’t read them. I will say from reading a little of Stephanie Meyer, she’s no Fitzgerald. But even though I don’t care about reading these books, more power to the people who are reading them. As long as people are reading, I think that’s a good thing. I would say you’re more intellectually stimulated from reading Twilight than watching Honey Boo Boo or Duck Dynasty.

7)   There’s nothing wrong with dog-earing pages or writing in books.

Treat!

Unless you have a fancy, first-edition copy of a book, why not write in it? A book with a dog-ear or two, and a book with notes in the margins, looks like a well-loved book. The way I see it, I’ll always remember which books I really liked by opening them and seeing how much I wrote inside each one.

8)   Beach reading is the best kind of reading.

Treat!

Absofreakinglutely. To me, it doesn’t get much better than reclining in a beach chair, under an umbrella, sipping on an adult beverage, and reading a good book. It’s one of the few things I like about summer, which, if you’re keeping score at home, is about 200 days away. Related, here’s my guide to beach reading.

9)   Books are better when read in bed.

Trick!

I go to bed much later than my wife, so reading in bed isn’t an option for me, lest I choose to get pushed off the bed when I turn on the bedside lamp. I prefer a comfortable chair or the couch in my dimly lit “man cave.” That’s just me, though. I honestly don’t like to read a lot while lying down. I tend to fall asleep, and it’s uncomfortable.

10) It’s okay for grown women to crush/obsess over fictionalized young adult characters (e.g., Edward from Twilight or Peeta from The Hunger Games).

Trick!

No. No it’s not. I’m sorry, if you’re a 40-year-old woman and you’re obsessed with a fictional 16-year-old boy, that’s just weird and borderline perverted. Despite what this writer at Book Riot says, it’s not okay. For perspective, let’s flip the question: Would it be okay for me, a 37-year-old man, to obsess over a female teenage character? Um, no. The creep factor is off the charts here, whether you’re male or female.

If you want to play along and tell me how wonderfully right or terribly wrong I am, feel free to get involved in the comments section.

I promise to never do the “Trick or Treat?” game again. Or at least until next Halloween.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. No need to apologize. What a great post. May Halloween bring you only treats,

    October 31, 2013
  2. “Your mom is overrated.” classic!

    October 31, 2013
  3. I agree with all of these, but I will say, as an addition to number 6, I don’t care if people read those books, but I definitely care when they become a major part of our culture, mostly because I find some of the themes in the book troubling. This may be an overblown worry, but I’m concerned that the attention these books have gotten is making the relationships in them seem like the “ideal” and that is just wrong.

    October 31, 2013
  4. Completely agree with #3 and #5. Currently reading a self-published novel that could have used a good editor…good story, poorly put together. Nonetheless, it is good for authors to have more control over their work. Great post, as usual!

    October 31, 2013
    • Agreed on both counts. More control means more responsibility. Writers should realize they MUST have an editor!

      October 31, 2013
  5. # 3. Not just for new writers but long-time writers as well.

    October 31, 2013
    • Definitely true. The good thing about it is, hopefully, more experienced authors will have a decent platform so the marketing push a traditional pub will give them won’t be as big of an issue.

      October 31, 2013
      • The problem for even experienced writers is that the traditional publishers don’t do much for you in the way of marketing. Unless you’re a Stephen King or Anne Rice. If you’re a midlist writer, good luck.

        October 31, 2013
        • I agree. I still think it’s more than you can do on your own, though.

          November 1, 2013
  6. I know you said this post is cliched, but I think it’s pretty interesting! And I especially agree with #4 and #7.

    October 31, 2013
    • Thanks! I think the post idea itself is a little cliched, but of course my answers and execution is unbelievably original! :)

      November 1, 2013
  7. I have a college English professor’s voice in my head telling me that dangling prepositions ARE an offense to grammar! I congratulate you and Grammar Girl for your freedom from this obsession of which I have found no cure. Do you have a good referral for a grammar psychologist?

    November 1, 2013
  8. #2 made me laugh, #10 made me shamefully crawl into a corner (in my defense I was 28 back then. Ummm..)

    November 5, 2013

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