September 10, 2009

Bringing Sexy Back... To Reading

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Joanne Rendell from The Huffington Post wrote an interesting article this past week urging publishers to "sell reading." What did she mean by this? According to her reading needs a makeover. Publishers need to "shake off old stereotypes about reading and readers ("lonely women with cats," "geeky professors," "bespectacled librarians')." Glad I didn't say that! Yeesh!

Does reading have such an image? I'm not so sure. Okay, so reading's image isn't as sexy as say a hottie in a leather jacket straddling a Harley, but I don't think of tweed wearing, pipe smoking old men when I think of reading. I don't think that's necessarily the image portrayed in the media either. Let's take a look at some recent examples.

In the movie Sex in the City, Carrie reads to Mr Big from a book of love letters while lounging in bed. A little sexy.

Then we had these guys reading while you drink your coffee. *gulp* Sexxxxy.

Hello?! Sawyer reading on the beach! Come on!



It's a good start. What else can we do to boost reading's sexy image? Ask Mr Hefner to devote an issue with buxom lasses posing in libraries with copies of East of Eden? Ask Justin Timberlake to sing a song about it? (Maybe an SNL digital short?) Perhaps we should start at the grass roots level and start wearing "Reading is Sexy" t-shirts everyday.

So, my friends, do you have any suggestions to make reading sexier? Or do you think reading is fine just the way it is?

17 comments :

  1. Me personally, I like it the way it is. :-)

    Lezlie

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  2. I think reading is fine the way it is. I went to a book signing yesterday and there was a great variety of people there.

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  3. Anyone who thinks reading has that kind of reputation clearly doesn't spend much time in bookstores or with people who are well-read.

    Reading is sexy. And I like my nerdy librarian glasses, thankyouverymuch.

    But how to make it even sexier? I suppose we could all start reading naked...

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  4. Sawyer is always looking sexy in Lost - the reading is just an added bonus. Actually the stereotypes in the article surprise me. Do publishers really feel that way? I don't fit any of them.

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  5. I think movie characters sometimes make reading sound sexy (quoting poetry effusively and being waifish and such) but there's a disconnect between that and real life reading. I still think reading is sexier, but then one of my biggest fantasies is a man quoting exciting bits from his book as seduction (and there'd be whisky involved as well).

    Also certain kinds of books in certain kinds of situations get a better rap than others (experimental fiction for example is touted as sexier by the literati than say mystery, which still has that very stong association with Miss Marple, cats and tweed).

    Maybe what we need are some reading cheerleaders (male and female of course).

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  6. Lezlie- Nothing wrong with it.

    Kathy- Who was it? I'd love to go to signings.

    Rebecca- lol! That would work but might get you arrested if done in public.

    Lori- Yes he does. I'm not sure if it's publishers or just this particular writer.

    Jodie- Miss Marple, hehe. I don't think mystery has quite gotten over Murder She Wrote. She was like a bad penny. Always there when someone was snuffed out. Though there are quite a few sexy mystery characters. They need their own TV shows.

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  7. It's funny you mention "reading is sexy" t-shirts because I have one. I also have a shirt that says "so many books so little time" with a hot girl on it and two "reading is sexy" buttons. I would love it if we could change the stereotype of readers. As a lit professor, I want people to become passionate about reading, and let's face it - sex sells.

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  8. Oh for heaven's sake. Does everything have to be "sexy" to be worthwhile? I srsly wonder about this culture sometimes.

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  9. I think that reading does have this stereotypical image and is just now coming into being something other than what people do in coffee houses and libraries and universities.

    My boyfriend even told me I was quote "the sexiest book nerd" he'd ever known. I wasn't even sure how to take that, lol!

    So I think Sawyer reading on the beach is definitely making reading sexier and more interesting. I think more movies being made about books brings books into a better light. (I have a friend who won't read the book until she sees the movie, as backwards as that may seem to some.)

    I sometimes watch Golden Girls when I can't sleep at night and I have noticed they frequently are shown reading, even Blanche, the token "sexy" one. You do not really see that in television and movies much anymore, other than Sawyer and movies like Becoming Jane and The Jane Austen Book Club.

    I think it is up to book lovers to make reading sexy!

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  10. Trisha- I need to get me some of those.

    Carrie K- Apparently yes. :)

    Rebecca- Sexy nerd! lol That's a compliment. Reading must be sexy, I do it hahaha.

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  11. Sawyer is very hot reading on the beach. thanks for the picture.

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  12. I think there's still a bit of the stereotype that if you read you're a nerd.

    So yeah...sexiness is good.

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  13. If I weren't a reader, Sawyer would have turned me into one!

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  14. Lots more Sawyer reading pictures would probably do the trick.

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  15. Rob- I'm a little scared to click on that link!

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  16. Maybe they could have something along the lines of beer commercials, but instead of the guy/s having beers while cheerleaders throw themselves at them, they could pick up some books and have librarians throw themselves at the men.

    Or would that be weird?

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