Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ho Hum

Sherman Young's book The Book is Dead, suffers from the common academic disease of head-up-own-arse-itis. Young claims the title is postmodern, but really shows the problem with his idea. And this is a one idea book, despite Young trying to argue otherwise.
Young thinks books have been dead for years because it is easier to get information from other sources, and ideas are discussed in other formats. Yet Young has chosen to put ideas forward in a book, despite his argument that no one reads books for ideas anymore. This sounds like a financial decision, he will get paid for writing a book, but no one will pay to read a blog on the subject.

The major flaw and problem I have had with this book is that Young totally disregards books as entertainment. He dismisses the Harry Potter series because it contains no ideas, now I haven't read the series so I can't debate this point, but what about the book as entertainment. Millions of people have read the series because they enjoy it. Young seems to think that the book should be condemned for this. No wonder no one is reading if they can't enjoy themselves.

How much impact will this book have, probably not much and Young can use this as proof of his argument. I think that most readers couldn't care less about the point he raises, they're too busy reading.

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