Michael Wolff: Books Are Pablum. “Smart People Read Less. Stupid People Read More”
And this from a guy who just wrote a book.
The reading public, rather than being the media exception, is in fact, more and more, the lower order. Smart people read less. Stupid people read more-people who are looking for predictable formulas and predictable outcomes, for conventional wisdom, for loveable characters, and for happy endings. That’s why Oprah fell in love with books, as perfect lower-middle-market media products. And if that’s what Oprah and the Oprah-minded audience wanted, that’s what book editors-once hopeful intellectuals-would try to provide, however awkwardly.
If there weren’t this push to put out continual pablum, reasons Wolff, the made-up, Oprah-supported Angels at the Fence would have had less of a chance of happening.
The tsk-tsking is once again about gullible publishers and lazy fact-checking, profoundly missing the point. What readers want, what they apparently crave, what they ardently demand, is phoniness.
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