Sometime last week I was chatting with Chris from Culture Bully about blogging and the writers who make our respective sites (I was talking about MN Reads) so good. We talked a little bit about his desire to pay writers and that made my heart happy.
I like it when people want to pay writers. Writers should be paid for what they do. In my dream world where I ride to work on a rainbow-maned unicorn and come home to Ethan Canin cooking me dinner, I would pay the contributors to MN Reads scads of dollars. In the real world where I drive Ruby to work and come home to cats begging for dinner, I can’t.
Anyway, I said that I was lucky because oftentimes booknerds are happy to get free books. Hell, for me a free book is like money in my pocket (because instead of spending that money on the book I just got I keep it in my pocket). He said free CDs don’t often cut it.
Of course free CDs don’t cut it, because music doesn’t have the same sort of value that books do. Music has become something that is perceived to be worth very little actual money. Books, even with libraries around for 1000s of years, still seem to be worth something. You can’t download the latest book on the Internet. (Shut it with the Kindle, okay, it’s different and you know it).
Plus, being a booknerd is so much easier than being a musicgeek.
Musicgeeks, particularly the ones who cover the Twin Cities, are badass. They’re like the post office — neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night will keep them from covering their assigned show. Being a musicgeek involves wearing pants a lot and leaving the house. You have to deal with people and hipsters. I shudder to think.
Plus, the sheer volume of music and concerts is in and of itself daunting. As a musicgeek you have to know your stuff and always be at the top of your game. There are tons of other musicgeeks and musicgeek wannabes who want to show you up. To be a true musicgeek you have to know crap about producers and well a bunch of other stuff that I don’t know but hear about when someone geeks out.
Being a booknerd involves pajamas and oftentimes a blanket. If we don’t count the people in our head, we don’t have to deal with the annoying, unwashed, under-read masses too often. While the sheer number of books that we haven’t yet read can sometimes keep us up at night, we realize that there is just not enough time to read all the books. We accept that. Plus, our favorite writers put out a new book like every three or so years. It’s not hard to keep up.
And being shown up? Riiiighhtt. First of all, people are super impressed if you even remember the names of more than four books, and if you’ve read a book in the past month people think you’re brilliant. Plus, Booknerds are usually so excited to meet another of their species that we’ll even listen to a Sci-Fi geek yammer on and on.
See? Totally easier to be booknerd.