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Hilary Sheinbaum

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Why I'm Boycotting 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and Other Bestsellers

Posted: 07/16/2012 2:04 pm

I need new friends... or I need new books. And because I like my friends, the latter will do.

My friends are intelligent, intellectual and funny people. They are entertaining and carry on conversations about the world, politics and history. For some reason, however, they have terrible taste in modern literature.

My realization of their delusion started a few years ago, over brunch:

"I'm team Edward," said Karen, expressing her unwavering devotion to a pasty-white character with fangs.
"Ugh -- no. It's all about Jacob!" everyone else fired back. Who?
"You are crazy," one labeled the other, dramatically rolling her eyes.
I have no idea what you are talking about." I said unenthusiastically, drawing the conversation to silence. You're all crazy.

Blank stares ensued and the second hand circling the clock clicked loudly with each passing moment. Awkward.

This much was clear -- due to my long work hours and lack of interest in teen drama/sci-fi love stories -- I was an outcast among my closest counterparts.

As I listened to the fierce debates of vampires vs. werewolves, my friends -- in a haze of obsession over two fictional men -- agreed upon one thing: Bella sucks. Again, who?

That week, I visited the library and checked out Twilight. I read every page, cover-to-cover within two days.

After spending 48 hours -- 47 hours and 59 minutes too many -- pondering Washington State's possible laws prohibiting undead 100-something year old pedophiles being romantically linked to teenagers, I had enough reason to question my friends' sanity.

It was official. Never again am I taking reading suggestions from my friends.

Enter The Hunger Games obsession in 2011. Skipped.
Snooki's Confessions of a Guidette? Pass.
50 Shades of Grey? Wham, bam, no thank you ma'am.

Should I judge my friends' reading suggestions based on one title? Probably not. I don't judge them for taking one too many shots, dating people that clearly do not deserve them, or alternatively, stalking their exes. Okay, I judge them a little for the last one.

The truth is, reading a bad book is like getting food poisoning. You could try again, but is it really worth the disappointment?

So, my dear Twihard (slash terrible-taste-in-novels) friends, I have replaced you. Sorry I'm not sorry. It's an app on Facebook called Goodreads, and we've become BFFs. It's pretty much Facebook-official.

Sure, it won't lend me its super chic accessories or treat me to a glass of CalNaturale, but it won't tell me that Dear John is a great book after having only seen the movie, either.

Next on my reading list: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. If it's good -- as the reviews and ratings imply -- perhaps I'll suggest it to my circle of friends. Or maybe they will be too busy camping outside the movie theatre for Twilight tickets months in advance. I'm kidding. I think.

Then it's settled. Friends can stay; reading suggestions go.

As the most famous Cullen once said, "I hope you enjoy disappointment." Nope, not really, Edward -- but thanks for the heads up!

 

Follow Hilary Sheinbaum on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@hilary_she

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