Friday, August 24, 2012

I Can’t Find A Great Summer Read

You would think that someone in the book industry would be able to find the perfect book to escape with while on vacation, but I found a trip to Barnes & Noble the other night to be fruitless.

Sure I could have gone off of reviews or recommendations of friends and colleagues, but I wanted to just discover a book. I must have looked at a hundred books, scanning the shelves in desperation to find a book I could love. I was met with disappointment.

I am sure there is at least one good book in this store, but I just could not find it. I looked at biography, erotica, thriller, and photography books. Nothing made me feel I had to have it. I wanted to like what I put in my hands, but cover images and titles didn’t lure me in and jacket copy didn’t close the deal. Flipping through pages to randomly capture an undeniably great sentence didn’t work either.

In my sampling of books I just did not feel I was being offered something new. I can see why Fifty Shades of Grey has captured the top spots on best-seller lists for months. Not only is it a testament to the social barrier these books have broken, but it shows that nothing out there is unifying people to rally to its support. Even books that are selling well by industry standards couldn’t fill up a baseball stadium of readers. Where is the great book?

Maybe there are some exceptionally good books out there but their covers and descriptive copy fall so short that consumers cannot get past the surface to dig for the fruit. For all I know, there could be some real gems out there but when you judge a book by its cover, you get nowhere.

I might spend my upcoming vacation doing what I love more than reading or anything else – writing. I am 1900 pages deep into a book on ethics and 220 pages deep into a book on marketing, but perhaps it is time to try my hand at fiction.

I suppose my fiction would be talky and preachy, sprinkled with questions. I might be able to get some good dialogue going as well but the time the story takes place would have to be over a number of hours or days. I would find it hard to stretch out beyond that. I would like to just examine a snapshot in time about a character and intensely explore his or her self-destruction.

Maybe my characters would also read a really good book. I would just be hard pressed to name

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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