It was really only a matter of time. First the MP3 was introduced, and people started whining about how vinyl was better. Then hipsters started insisting that VHS was better than watching movies in their intended aspect ratio. And now we’ve got Jonathan Franzen insisting that capitalists hate paper books and people who don’t buy paper books aren’t serious readers.
“I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology. And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It’s a bad business model,” Franzen told the Telegraph.
The criticism didn’t end there. Franzen went on to imply that people who read e-books are not serious readers.
“I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change,” Franzen said.
If that sounds like the ranting of an intolerable literary snob, why, funny you should bring that up!
Franzen, the author of award-winning books annoying yuppie stereotypes pretend to read, threw a hissy fit when Oprah picked his novel “The Corrections” to be in her book club because it just wasn’t cool to be that mainstream. Although considering he wrote “Peyton Place” in indie film drag (twice: “Freedom,” his most recent novel, is the exact same book), he probably wasn’t going to snag a big chunk of the male audience anyway.
Hey, J-Fran, if you really hate digital books so much, why don’t you donate your royalties from the Kindle and Nook sales to some deserving charity? After all, if you don’t think people reading your book on a digital platform are “serious readers,” we’re sure you won’t mind giving their non-serious money to, say, starving children?
(Image via bittermelon on Flickr)