When his students say, “This book sucks,” my-only-friend-in-the-entire-world-Jeff-Hess says, “This book isn’t bad, you’re just a bad reader.”
Harsh. To the point. Accurate.
High school kids – for the most part -don’t give reading a chance now. But can you blame them? Their parents don’t read. No one they know reads. And reading isn’t nearly as entertaining as Facebook, movies on Netflix, misspelling words while texting…
Prolly. K. Whatevs.
And how can a writer of prose compete with a reality show? Does a writer have Kim Kardashian’s body? Does he date Reggie Bush? Or mediocre NBA short-term husbands?
Try explaining to the average person why cliche phrases are unacceptable. You might as well say that Mandarin should be the national language of Mexico or Spam is the greatest meat of all time.
What about the overuse of adverbs? Like totally, literally, phenomenally, you’ll fail.
Reading isn’t cool. Even good stories don’t compare to explosions, Myth Busters, and chefs who cuss every other word. You know what’s great? Getting called a FUCKING LOSER because your fillet minon is 10-degrees too cold. I love that show. Like, it’s so good.
But books. Paper books. Real books. Stories that take more than three minutes to read, more than five minutes, more than seven minutes…..
I asked my students to read a nine-page story the other night for homework and they couldn’t do it. I said, “At an average reading speed, this will take you nine minutes.”
They stared at me, glazed as doughnuts. And only half of them read half of the story. I would figure out how many pages that is but it’s a math problem and I just got two texts in the last half minute. And I’m important.
What did you say?
What is this about?
Damn, look at this pic.
Is there a hyperlink I can click? Oh wait. Why’s my internet connection slow?