“Every reader knows the feeling. You’re walking through a bookstore, completely overwhelmed. There’s so much to read. Covers and titles taunt you from the shelves, all clamoring for your attention — and your wallet. Some books you’ve heard of. Others leap out at you for the first time. That’s when the daydream kicks in: what if I could just take anything I wanted?”—
It’s easy to think of boyfriends in literature I want to cuddle up with in real life (call me, Mr. Darcy!). But sadly, I’ve also encountered a number of less-than-scintillating romantic prospects as well—boyfriends so dull or exasperating that I want to put my arm around their hapless …
“You know, I think some people fear that if they like the wrong kind of book, it will reflect poorly on them. It can go with genre, too. Somebody will say, “I won’t read science fiction, or I won’t read young adult novels”—all of those genres can become prisons. I always find it funny when the serious literary world will make a little crack in its wall and allow in one pet genre writer and crown them and say, “Well Elmore Leonard is actually a real writer.” Or “Stephen King is actually a really good writer.” Generally speaking, you know you’re being patronized when somebody uses the word “actually.”—
- Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, Margo Rabb interviewing
And great interview altogether. (From back in October, but I just saw it today.)
“To banish the notion forever that children’s and young adult books, because they are created for young people, are somehow a lesser form of literature.”—Ginee Seo, Children’s Publishing director at Chronicle Books on what she’s an evangelist for
“There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story… don’t be like the book-snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words—the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers who won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.”—Stephen King (via bookporn)
You can keep your celluloid heartthrobs and TV hotties—give us book nerds a crush object written in black-and-white. Because all the great one-sided romances come with paper cuts, and some of the best dates happen at the bookstore, here are the characters we’ve most wanted on our arms, in our …
The lack of Darcy on this list is astounding! I thought he was everyone’s one true love.
Agreed. Kind of an unexpected list, but different strokes I suppose.
“All great writers hold mirrors to their readers. In Proust’s case, he holds a magnifying glass, not to showcase the blighted peculiarities of his characters but to introduce us to one character we might recognize but are not always eager to know better: ourselves.”—Andre Aciman, "Why All the Fuss About Proust?"