#lit #literature #comics #graphic novel #art #book #comic strip #funny #lol #Better Book Titles #nancy #ernie bushmiller #drawing #humor
Where to buy books
Keeping books in your home is a relatively new practice. By that I mean it’s newer than fire, but a little older than video games. According to Greenblatt’s The Swerve, 600 years ago people were still trying to make bound paper manuscripts less unwieldy, and only a very small minority (mostly monks (who mostly hated their work of transcribing books)) read entire books. Not to sweep through too much history in a single sentence, but the idea of having “great books” in your personal library is an early 20th Century invention and scholars are still deciding what actually belongs in it (PRO TIP: if you’re making your own list of great books right now, it should probably include women).
Yet every time I have a discussion about the role books play I find myself talking to two types of people: Readers who think the world will fall apart if physical books and brick-and-mortar stores disappear, or the convenience-is-king-supposedly-liberal-but-let’s-let-the-market-decide-what-happens-to-books reader. (If you think these are straw men, and you’re a person who buys both eBooks and physical books you should know that according to the American Booksellers Association you’re in the smallest of minorities). I find myself often siding with the “END OF DAYS” folk and tell them they’re preaching to the choir because, for whatever reason, I’m biased toward the underdog. And I find myself getting into knock-down drag-outs with friends who think that whatever big companies want to do is fine if it’s legal.
They’re both wrong.
The people scared that the death of bookstores would mean the death of learning are nearsighted. You can, in fact, retain knowledge you read on a screen. Furthermore, if your argument for keeping physical books is that you “like the feel” of a real book, in two generations, I’m sorry to say, that feeling will likely be absent since children have a tablet in their hands at age 0. Also, arguing your specific taste as some sort of moral judgement is like saying “yeah, sure, Math with calculators is fun, but I just love the feel of slide rules and you’re destroying the future of Math if you think differently.” It is a point I’ve heard maybe a thousand times, and not once have I (correctly) quipped “well, good for you” because that’s all that statement deserves. The people arguing on this side are, at best, romanticizing the role of physical books.
The people (and I’m now talking directly to people my age) who think that whatever big company has the capital to make life easier is therefore right are not thinking clearly. I’ve had conversations where people compare publishing to the music industry and how it should be gutted just the same simply because someone found a way to make free music a possibility so why not do the same with books? The argument that you should do something simply because you can IS morally reprehensible. My generation refuses to buy cheap clothes made in sweatshops, they think twice about handing over money to a company that thinks gay marriage is wrong, but if someone uploads an episode of Breaking Bad, they feel they aren’t hurting anyone by stealing it. The major difference, however, between file-sharing for free and shopping at certain online retailers for books/music/clothing is that file-sharing at least started as a way to proliferate art for free, whereas online retailers just want your money so they can compete with Walmart. Their goal is to make money, and they already have lots of it. They have money to lobby for things (like not paying sales tax), they have the capital to slash prices to an amount no one can compete with, and because (for now) they don’t have physical stores, they can do all of that without employing very many people.
“The Man” used to be the guy behind the counter at the hardware store who wouldn’t pay his employees enough to make mopping the floor worthwhile. But now “The Man” is this invisible entity behind a curtain trying to make everyone believe the convenient and cheap are all that should influence your decisions. But we know better. We know that every time we spend a dollar somewhere we’re casting a small vote for that place to stay open. And every time we spend money somewhere else we’re casting a vote for someone else. Wouldn’t you rather vote for a place that employs your friends and neighbors? Wouldn’t you rather spend five extra bucks so that store that knows you can continue to thrive?
The death of physical bookstores or game stores or clothing stores doesn’t mean the death of those objects. It means the death of the community built around those things. So before you send your money to a company that’s a thousand miles away, look into shopping locally. And local businesses: attempt to meet the needs of a generation of iPad users (even if that means your store purposefully offers an escape from a life lived on a tablet). You don’t have to meet the prices of a huge retailer, but you have to give people a reason to shop there.
Anyway, here’s a Better Book Title for The Swerve:
(If I got anything wrong or you feel like talking more about this, feel free to tell me)
i want to give new title for accountancy text book
The closest thing I have to a re-title of an accountancy textbook are a few submissions for David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King. All of them had to do with boredom because the characters working at the I.R.S. are committed to such monotonous tasks they start thinking about suicide. So… don’t get a job there once you’re done with school? That’s my only advice.
Here’s another from Janet Bruesselbach:
RIP Tom Clancy.
#lit #literature #humor #funny #tom clancy #rip #novel #spies #spy #book #reading #better book titles
George R.R. Martin: A Storm of Swords
Reader Submission: Title and redesign by Todd Bubier
#lit #literature #game of thrones #funny #lol #humor #GoT #better book titles #reader submission #reading #writing #novel #storm of swords
For Banned Books Week!
Still can’t believe communitybookstore let me do this!
William Shakespeare: King Lear
Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Bethany Roberts.
#Better Book Titles #lit #literature #play #theater #education #funny #lol #shakespeare #humor #king lear #sad #reading #writing #dan wilbur #reader submission
The Death of Superman
Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Paul Boers.
#lit #literature #humor #funny #Better Book Titles #dan wilbur #reader submission #comics #lol #superman #dc comics #death #graphic novel #not quite dead yet
I know this is the opposite of "How Not to Read," but I took your recommendation for Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, and now I'm halfway through it and it's so fucking good. Do you have any other suggestions for books that are great?
I’m so glad you like it! Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite as ambitious nor as funny as Skippy Dies.
I wrote about my favorite books for the past few years here and here. A few I’ve been recommending recently are: Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?
If we’re talking all-time favorites that I yell about in bars and wish more people would read??
Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy:
#lit #literature #humor #lol #funny #Better Book Titles #david Gilbert #reading #writing #writers #novel #jd salinger #dan wilbur #books #new york city #& sons #ampersand #NYC