15 January 2004
Erica is irked by the ubiquitous term "bestseller":
Is it just me, or is every book a "bestseller" for at least five minutes? Hearing that a book is a bestseller doesn't really make it that much more interesting for me. "Bestseller" tells me "it's a really good seller like all those other books."
And possibly "We shipped so many of these books that it's got to be a hit, and by the time they're remaindered, nobody will remember what we said anyway."
Besides, book quality and book sales have a tangential relationship at best.
Posted at 8:41 AM to Almost Yogurt
-- Besides, book quality and book sales have a tangential relationship at best. --
Say it loud, Charles. The mandarins of the publishing world appear to have slipped their cams. We have a choice between techno-thrillers written by illiterates, fantasies with no original ideas in them whatsoever, romance novels composed entirely by the use of Word keyboard macros, and "literature" by "authors" who plainly despise readers.
(What's that? Have I been trying to get a book published, without success? What a strange question! Why do you ask?)
But somebody must be buying up all those books.
And to be honest, I sort of find those bestseller racks gaudy and embarassing.
I'm an odd duck when it comes to buying books. On the one hand, the only fiction I buy is genre fiction (at least since I stopped buying newsmagazines, but those might be just another genre). On the other hand, it's getting almost impossible for me to find titles in the genres -- uh, genrae ... genri? -- that I would find worth the four or five hours it usually takes me to get through them.
Either I need to read slower, or lower my standards.
"We've upped our standards, up yours, too." -- Pat Paulsen (I think)