I just stumbled on this link on reddit and saw the heading titled,
High School Student Asks Yahoo! Answers for Help with Book Report, Gets Chewed Out by Book’s Author
And I immediately rolled my eyes and went, oh no…here we go again. BUT then I read the story and basically this high school kid is assigned the author’s book for summer reading and he doesn’t want to finish it. The author responds by saying that he’s honored to have his book assigned for summer reading but bummed that kid doesn’t want to finish it. Then he goes on to suggest ideas to encourage the kid to finish the book…he even adds a touch of humor, saying maybe if he reads it out loud to a girl she’d be impressed and he’d get a hook up out of it. I was cheering silently at that point because he’s encouraging the kid to finish a required book and he’s attempting to speak teen. I found it endearing and kind.
But right away, the first comment of course is snarky:
“I’m not sure who should be more embarrassed here, the lazy student or the self absorbed author who both combed the internet for chatter on his book and then responded to it in a douchey way.”
First off, the author wasn’t combing the internet just to read about himself, he got a google alert because authors are told by agents/editors to set these up very early in their publishing career. And I don’t think his response was “douchey.” I get it. It’s cool to have your book assigned as summer reading but on the other hand, you’re not going to love the idea of a bunch teens thinking it’s work to read it, you want people to want to read it. It’s almost like he’s saying, I kind of wish we could have met under different circumstances.
If it were me, I would never be able to encourage a teen to not finish a book or find the answers somewhere without reading the book. Authors for the most part, want to encourage young people to read. I personally, do not think this was a case of an author behaving badly.
What do you think?