Books Magazine

It’s Literary Trick Or Treat!

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

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.


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.


Your mom is overrated.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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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