crass snobbism (was starting Abhorsen discussion)

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at charter.net
Sat Apr 26 11:09:30 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.
>

And not alway's Book-Shaped, actually. You try to get the 
aforementioned "Jewel Kindgom" books (which had some of their covers 
"enhanced" with plastic jewels) or the series with the lockets on a 
shelf with other books and have them look like they're at all 
well-tended!

Ian
(who was constantly steering kids away from these books and toward 
Junie B. Jones or Cam Jansen or the Great Brain or Encyclopedia Brown 
at least!)
-- 
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It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it 
was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to 
grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
Ian McEwan Atonement
 
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Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at charter.net
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