First off, NPR made me happy by reporting that THERE IS A BOOK VENDING MACHINE. Biblio-Mat, The Monkey’s Paw’s book vending machine, will dispense you a random (albeit used) book for $2. It’s almost as wonderful as The Book Cemetery from the Shadow of the Wind. And it looks so classy. I love it. Now I need a plane ticket to Toronto. Lucky Canadians.
Then NPR made me sad when I found out that they interview pretentious douchebags like Joe Queenan. I thought I would like the guy since he is a hardcore bibliophile with over six thousand books under his belt and on top of that, also written nine. But everything that comes out of his mouth in his NPR interview makes me want to send the Internet after him. Or maybe I’ll just bitch-slap him. He says things like:
Libraries kind of depress me…a lot of it is because libraries used to have some kind of way of putting the kind of Graham Greene and Charles Dickens and Jane Austen stuff in one category, and then they’d have like Daphne Du Maurier and people — but they wouldn’t have the actual trash mixed in. And now it’s all just one big maul and it’s kind of depressing because most of the books you see in the library shelves are terrible books.
Then he proceeds to hate on bookstores because he thinks they judge him. (I don’t bookstore he’s visiting.) And book clubs too, because they don’t read his favorite books. Self-publishing isn’t safe against his wrath either:
Self-published books are great. Self-published books are so, so addled. … They always have ghosts. Like the ghost of a deer goes into a composer’s head and becomes a serial killer, and there’s no editor to say, ‘You really want to tone this down.’ … They’re just insanely bad books. … I read them, but I read them real fast.
I need to seriously reconsider my belief that reading makes people open-minded.
On the other hand, I approve of Book Riot’s gif-filled response.