Kinsley on Books and Awards

Here is a shocker: I actually enjoyed a Michael Kinsley column. Curse You, Robert Caro! By Michael Kinsley, in which the author details the travails of judging the National Book Awards, is actually rather entertaining and even interesting in parts.

I particularly found this paragraph fascinating:

Many years ago, I conducted an experiment of placing a note in copies of several briskly selling books in a local Washington bookstore. The notes had my phone number and offered $5 to anyone who saw them and called me up. No one called. Though hardly scientific, this tended to confirm my suspicion that people like buying books more than they like reading them.

I would like to say this is not true but my bookcase mocks me at every turn. I love reading of course but not quite as much as searching for and buying them.

Why don’t you review books for a living? You ask. Well reading a book for pleasure is a different thing altogether than readin it in order to review it. If it was so simple to write book reviews after having casually read a book I would have published volumes of reviews. In fact I am three books behind in posting at Blog Critics – which doesn’t require an editors approval or have the pressure of pay. If I can’t post a review on a blog what makes you think I can write a published review?

Oh well, the reading versus buying battle will always be with us the point is to fight the good fight.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season – oh, and watching golf too).

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