Dismissing Literary Works Belittles All Writers

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Tuesday’s post generated 237 views that day, which is the most ever for mallisonwhat.com. Partly this is because I shared that post on the ALA Think Tank (ALATT) group on facebook. This group has over 9,000 librarians with varying degrees of alcohol problems who post like maniacs. Everyday ALATT gets hundreds of posts. But I’m taking some credit with the high view count in that I wrote a good post. So I’m going to follow up that post and mention one important thing I forgot about this demented article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexis-kleinman/stop-lying-about-your-fav_b_5772168.html

No revising may be a problem with blogging. For a few days thinking up my rebuttal to that article I wanted to include writers in addition to readers, but when I wrote it I forgot. Now after the post being popular, I can’t simply go back and change that one.

To summarize Tuesday’s blog post, https://mallisonwhat.com/2014/09/17/the-difference-between-intelligence-and-pretentiousness/ , I felt that the Huffington Post article belittled the love for literature. To say that people only post literary works on facebook as there top ten books for bragging rights is short sighted. The writer is confusing pretentiousness and intelligence. Promoting literature is a great thing, and much larger than the few annoying elitists out there.

Now I will go into my new point. The Huffington Post article toward the end states there is nothing wrong with reading fun or light books. That is absolutely true. I’m in the camp of thinking reading anything is better than reading nothing, especially for young reluctant readers. I got interested in reading from the Robert B. Parker paperbacks sprawled around my house growing up, and then found literature in college. There is nothing wrong with personal reading choices.

I recently read On Writing by Stephen King. Stephen King is one of the more rich authors out there, but no one classifies his work as literary. Towards the end of the book he tells his current routine, and he reads eighty or more books a year. In the paperback edition of On Writing he gives a reading list of his favorites from the past five to ten years. The books have variety including literary works.

My point, that I’m willing to gamble on, is that the majority of published authors are well read. Authors like J.K. Rowling studied writing, and being a writer includes reading a ton. Even though this tongue and cheek Huffington Post article tries to promote reading for fun it belittles all writers past and present. Published work is the collective body of literature, and part of the civilized world. We need the literary work and we need the fluff. But all writers have studied the craft.

Not everyone can write a bestseller and not everyone can write a literary work. But all books should be celebrated for how they improve every individual reader. And all writers should be respected.

Lastly, here’s a simple update. I’m stoked that I got so many views. I can’t post every freaking one on ALA Think Tank because not all of my posts are about librarianship. What I can do is try to write good posts two or three times a week to keep up the momentum. I decided I’m not revising my novel until January so until then I can definitely beef up my blog efforts and shamelessly promote it.

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