Saturday, November 12, 2005

Memes, B4B info, and Book Pet Peeves (again!)

Item the First Just wanted to mention that all the people I tagged for the Tri-Meme the other day have now posted responses on their blogs. So if you want to take a look, follow the links. I found them all fascinating! Several other people on the AQ Webring have done the Tri-Meme too and I hope some other RSR readers will "steal" it. If you do, let me know ok? I want to read your answers. Item the Second If anyone is interested in trying to write something for the Blogging 4 Books (B4B) contest, Joshilyn has announced this month's topics. That's right, topicS - two this month instead of just one! Nevertheless, I'm drawing a total blank so far. So I may not be participating this time around. But the deadline is still a couple of days away (Monday, the 14th, at midnight, to be exact), so you never know. Inspiration may strike between now and then. Hope it doesn't hurt. Heh. Item the Third I'm in the mood to do a little book talk this morning. Maybe a rant of sorts. We'll see, since I'm never quite sure what's going to happen until I start typing. (Scary!) Last night I finished "The Royal Pain" by MaryJanice Davidson. It's a sequel to "The Royal Treatment", which I loved. I liked this one too, although I liked the first book better. And I think, unless I'm having a brain fart, that more are planned in this series. So everyone is probably sitting there thinking "well if you liked it, why do you want to rant?". I'm glad you asked. I want to rant because, despite liking the story, this book has inadvertently triggered a couple of my Book Pet Peeves. (You guys get that when I make these weird lists I start numbering the items at random, right? 'Cause there's no way in hell I can remember where I left off the last time. So I just pretty much pull a number out of my ass...uh...head and go from there. Anyway...) Book Pet Peeve #212 The Trade Paperback book format. I hate it. I hate it with a fiery passion usually reserved for telephone solicitation calls and slow drivers in the fast lane. I love hardcover books. Love them! I love the paper. I love the larger print. I love the solid feel of them. I love the smell of them. To me, that is what a book should be. But I only buy them for a few favored authors who write books I know I'll want to read again and again, because a) they're so expensive. I can buy 4 mass market paperbacks for the cost of one hardcover book. And b) they're bulky and heavy. They take up a lot of room on the book shelves and are too meaty to comfortably stuff in my purse and take with me. Mass market paperbacks, on the other hand, usually have smaller type, cheap paper, and flimsy covers. But they are affordable (relatively speaking) and portable. With MMPs I can fit more books into both my shelves and my budget, and I can always have a book ready to tuck into my purse in case I'm stuck someplace sitting and waiting. So I buy a lot of MMPs! That's why I totally don't get the trade paperback thing. It's like some publishing executive somewhere smoked some crack before a meeting and said "Hey guys, I have a GREAT idea! Let's take the WORST qualities of hardcover books - the larger size and higher price - and the WORST qualities of mass market paperbacks - the cheap, flimsy paper and covers - and let's COMBINE them to make a whole new way to stick it to the book-buying public! And the other executives, who were also drunk and/or stoned, said "Great idea! Let's do it!" Which now means that a format that was almost unheard of a few short years ago is now showing up more and more and MORE and sometimes there's a book I really, really want (like this one) and the only way to get it is to buy a trade paperback, thereby supporting that format and making the publishers think I like it, which I SO don't. It's just that I like MaryJanice Davidson's writing more than I dislike trade paperbacks. But it was a close thing. Because I hate this format a LOT. I've mentioned this on a book forum or two and have had the response that trade paperbacks are somehow "classier" and make other people think you're reading "literature" instead of trash. My response to that is Pppppfffffttt! Why the hell should I care what other people think about what I'm reading?? Puhleeeeeeze. And what I hate even more is that I know this rant of mine is a losing battle. The format is here to stay. I might as well suck it up. But I don't have to like it. Book Pet Peeve #213 Sneak Preview Syndrome. The other thing that bugged me about this book was how much room was taken up at the end by "sneak previews" of other books. This is akin to how out of hand movie previews have gotten, in my opinion. I LIKE watching trailers for upcoming movies before the main show. For me, it does exactly what it's intended to do - gives me ideas of future movies I may want to see. Or maybe I should say it used to do that. Because it only really works for me if they only show two or three, which is what they used to do. But has become the norm to show something like 15 - 20 minutes worth of commercials and previews before the main feature. That's not an exaggeration. I've timed it more than once. The result is so much information overload that by the time I leave the movie theater I'm doing well if I can tell you what even one of the movie previews was advertising. Kind of defeats the purpose, yes? Which brings us back to the book. It's become quite common to feature a short preview of an upcoming book by the same author at the end of a novel. And that's ok. As I get older and my memory gets worse and worse, it sometimes makes me pause in a bookstore as I struggle to remember if I've already read a book or only a preview, but usually I can figure it out. But this book had 20 pages of previews at the end, none of which were previews of MJD books. 20 pages! I was reading along, thinking I still had several pages of story left, when BOOM!...all of a sudden the story was over and I realize that all those other pages I hadn't gotten to yet were all essentially commercials for other books and authors. This happened at about 10:30 last night and this morning I can't tell you the name of even one book or author the previews advertised. Not one. That's not effective marketing, it's just annoying. So where am I going with all this? I have absolutely no idea. {grin} I just felt the need to make my pissiness known. So now I have and I suppose it's time to get off this machine and go figure out how to salvage yesterday's quilt project. Oh goody.

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