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Friday, January 1, 2021

What If More Men Read Books?

 


After reading a gushing full-page piece in the Sunday New York Times Book Review about a book called The Silence, by Don Delillo, a National Book Award-winning author with 50 years of great sci-fi books to his credit, I committed to getting a copy.

Then I shared my offer to a group of four other guys that I daily chat with on politics, the Jets, and the oddities of life: Let’s all read it and discuss it.

I was never a part of a book group and didn’t consider this one-off as the launching of something bigger, but to my delight not only did four out of five of us agree to read it, but we all agreed to keep this going and to pick another book soon.

Unfortunately the book failed to live up to its hype, despite such a promising story idea, and the four of us unanimously bashed it for leaving us wanting much more. It didn’t help that it was a 117-page double-spaced pamphlet of a novel. Not that we weigh books to surmise value, but few novels of quality come in below 240 pages, if not 320 or more.

The setting? It is 2022 and suddenly there is a global blackout and our devices are rendered useless. Technology was now the enemy of an existence that has grown dependent on it. This could have gotten psychological and philosophical. It could have had survivalist overtones and chaos on the streets. Instead, we got very little to chew on.

But that exercise of group reading was a success, despite the book being a dud. Male book groups are in the minority. But if we can launch one, maybe others can too. Imagine how healthy the book industry would be if men bought more books and talked them up not just with each other but to friends and family the way we discuss Netflix movies or a Hulu series?

Women by far dominate book publishing. They are our editors, promoters, and literary agents. They also buy and read many more books than those with an extra X and y chromosome. If men start to buy more books, imagine the boom in the book world. And if they read more books, imagine how informed, enlightened, and inspired they would be.  Books lead the way to a civil society.

Men, start suggesting you form book clubs via zoom with friends, family, or colleagues. Don’t worry if you pick a disappointing book. As with our group, we caught the book discussion bug, and once you are infected there is no vaccine or cure other than to keep reading and discussing books. Help make books go viral and perhaps we will cause a book pandemic!

 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

 

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