The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

[12] One for the Books

on January 6, 2013

People who prefer e-books…think that books merely take up space. This is true, but so do your children and Prague and the Sistine Chapel.

Oh, Joe. Whaddaya know? Apparently, this Joe knows all about books – which ones to read, which ones to NOT read, and of course how to read and not read them. I loved this book, but I’m left at a loss as to what to say about it. It was a great, quick non-fiction read, and was a book about books. Thus, it was and is basically gold. I’d give you the Goodreads synopsis, but this time I like mine better:

Books are awesome. We should all read books, but not books that other people recommend (unless you have great friends with rare and amazing tastes) and not ebooks, which of course are not nearly as good as real books. Books are special and life is short, so read good ones and surround yourself with good ones. Read widely but personally, but not ebooks. Also, fuck ebooks.

And there you have it folks. Joe Queenan in a nutshell. I think that Joe most likely has his right to have such a crotchety opinion (“Joe Queenan is a humorist, critic and author from Philadelphia who graduated from Saint Joseph’s University. He has written for numerous publications, such as Spy Magazine, TV Guide, Movieline, The Guardian and the New York Times Book Review. He has written eight books, including Balsamic Dreams, a scathing critique of the Baby Boomers, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, a tour of low-brow American pop culture and Imperial Caddy, a fairly scathing view of Dan Quayle and the American Vice-Presidency. Queenan’s work is noted for his caustic wit.” – and yes, that I legit picked that shit up straight from Goodreads) and this whole experience was kind of like sitting near your really well read and literate grandpa while he talks about how good things were in the ‘good ole’ days’ and how everything now is headed to hell in a hand basket. Sure, some of the time I felt like what Ole’ Joe was saying seemed a little harsh for my way of reading – I for one love giving and receiving book recommendations, as I believe it’s my job to take those recommendations and narrow down to the ones that fit for me – but he’s not exactly trying to say that his way is the only way. Maybe the best way, but not the only way. I don’t necessarily agree, as I have an e-reader (a couple, actually, with perhaps another one coming soon – ah, the technological rat race), I think this about sums up what its like to sit down and have a 250 page adventure with Grandpa Joe:

Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on.

Rating: Hell yeah!

EDIT:: Amanda from Dead White Guys and Book Riot didn’t come away with the same feelings I did, but she makes some really valid and HOLY SHIT HILARIOUS points in her GIF reply to One for the Books!

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