Monday, October 17, 2011

Best in show...

I do not understand this at all. I cannot begin to imagine how Lauren Myracle is feeling, but I also now wonder whether the remaining finalists wish they too were on another planet. What a mess.

What is it with awards at the moment?  Have all the changes in the publishing world made people's brains melt. Or is it a case of too many egos spoil the broth. It loses sight of the fact that the best books – the books that last – are born of necessity, not just of the need to fill a gap in the market and give us an easeful few hours. Book prizes should be about writers, not readers. I agree. Book awards should be about writers, not readers. Book awards should be about ego. There should be prizes for what writers consider the best of their breed (smart tail, balanced stance, ideal muzzle, glossy coat, best in show). Readers already get to elect their favourites everyday and the winners are those authors who sell the most copies and reap the most royalties. While some readers will check out finalists and winners of book awards, they aren't standing by not purchasing anything in the meantime. Sometimes the two (best written, best read) coincide, but this should not be the expectation. Debate and disagreement is healthy. Of course some years it will be harder to select a clear winner than others as the book experience is the result of the unique relationship between author and reader. We should not have it any other way. Sometimes a book is so breathtaking every reader is touched and concensus is easy and the writers can't help but agree but that too is a miracle. Debate and disagreement raises the profile of all those titles discussed. As Oscar Wilde said "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

Thank (optional deity ) for this post which had me laughing til I cried. I would like this tattooed on my body as a permanent reminder of the sanity that lurks out there on the internet.

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