The Shallow Reader

Okay. Something I never dreamed of, happened. I've been turned off by the 'feel' of a book. Call me shallow.

A couple of years ago, I tripped upon Elmore Leanord's blog. I admire tha man and his writing. I was thrilled to find a top ten list of Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. Many of his rules resonated with me. I blogged about it.

Then last year, I tripped upon the news that a book would be published based on those rules: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. Glory be! I revisted his blog and couldn't find the original post. Understood. The material was now a basis for a book.

Life and deadlines got in the way and it wasn't until today that I could check Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing out of the library. I opened the book anticipating, craving his wisdom. But alas. It was hard to turn the pages. Hard, stiff, cardboard like pages. Each with only a paragraph of copy or an illustration. The pages were hard to turn, the book hard to maipulate. I disliked the look, the feel. Ten rules that had been so important to me were lost in a gimmacky sales ploy. Not blaming Mr. Leonard. But man, I have never been so let down by the feel and look of a book.

Am I crazy? Has something similar ever happened to you? Have you ever been turned off by the look or feel of a book? Font too small? Too light? Misleading cover?

Talk to me! (Lest I think I'm a whack-a-doodle)


Jen said…
Not a book, but my dh subscribes to a magazine that STINKS. It's a collector's magazine so it isn't filled with perfume samples or anything, it's the magazine itself. Not sure if it's the paper or the ink that smells so bad, but when I open my mailbox I know right away it's arrived. Sometimes he'll try to show me something in it, and I'll complain about the smell.
Beth Ciotta said…
That's funny, Jen. Well, not for you. You have to smell it. LOL My first thought was 'the ink'. But I guess it could be the paper.

Sometimes people donate books to the library that stink. But that's because they're ANCIENT, dusty, sometimes moldy, water-stained... No we do not put those into circulation. :)
Jen said…
I actually LIKE the smell of musty old books -- must trigger a pleasant childhood association or something (but I understand why you can't put them on the shelves).
Bob said…
There is a certain smell of musty pages, probably a byproduct of trees or dioxin or something, that triggers memories for me, smell being the strongest of the remembered senses. Like new car smell, it will probably be bottled and inserted in Kindles and the like long before I get around to it, so I'm just going to give it away, eh. But, like that new car smell turns out not to be so great on the old nervous system (or is that plywood glue in mobile homes, or both?), fake old book smell may wind up not so great.

What was the question? Oh, the book you describe sounds like the books my son used to use in the bathtub: giant pages and not much on them.
flchen1 said…
Hmm... yes, I'm probably shallow, but it kind of depends on the content, too. If I'm really caught up in the content, I can likely overlook the too-light print or the weird font, but if the writing's just meh, then any of those things will tip the scale, so to speak.

Oh, this isn't a book, but I did visit one website where they used some overly scripty font I found impossible to read--I think I would have enjoyed the content, but I couldn't make myself spend the time and energy figuring out what stuff said. Haven't stopped by that site again.

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