crass snobbism (was starting Abhorsen discussion)

Margaret Ball margaret at
Sat Apr 26 09:22:17 EDT 2003

Melissa wrote:

>I was thinking of things like:
>--Very long series (i.e. Magic Tree House, Bailey School Kids, etc.)
>--Marketable spinoffs, like with the American Girls catalog--anyone else get
>these?  I'm on the Mailing List from Hell
>--Low-quality prose with lots of the things you're not supposed to do, like
>adverbials and whatever it's called when you use any verb but "said"..."said
>bookisms"?  It's nearly three in the morning and my brain's reverted to
>swiss cheese
>--Lots of similarities in subject to other successful series (a million
>_Goosebumps_ clones, etc.) (and this is how you can tell that Junie B. Jones
>is NOT a mass market product)
>--Stupid cheesy premise--if you ever find any kids' books called "Jewel
>Kingdom," cover your eyes and run, RUN, in the opposite direction screaming
>"Unclean! Unclean!"  And for heaven's sake DON'T watch the video unless you
>need to shed some of those pesky IQ points.
Oh. Gotcha. I don't call those things "mass-market" because I'm used to 
the term "mass-market paperback" as meaning "small paperback that will 
fit on the drugstore racks, as opposed to trade paperback". Which is 
really a dumb name for it, now that I think of it, and why don't they 
call them "small/big paperbacks" or "Paperback Classic vs Paperback 
Supersized"....oh well, who expects the publishing industry to make sense?

Anyway, my circle calls such things BSO's, short for Book-Shaped 
Objects. See, our snobbery is right out in front.

Margaret Ball

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