Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2008 Tournament of Books (Groan)

I pay no attention to sports. (Surprise, surprise.) Usually it's not hard to ignore them. But what really annoys me is when sports-obsessed people force themselves into a previously sports-free zone and try to get me to play along. This explains my total irritation with The Morning News’s 2008 Tournament of Books. I can’t even bear to read the description closely enough to tell you how it works: something about brackets, and March madness, yada, yada. The list of competing books (which I perused with one squinting eye, so painful was it for me to look) was interesting, as was the list of judges.

Just so you know, I absolutely refuse to participate in this. But you might want to. And a tiny voice in my head says “well maybe if it results in more publicity for these authors and their books, that could be a good thing” but the more strident part of my brain says “oh shut up.”

Thanks to Dean Rader, at The Weekly Rader, for calling my attention to this travesty. He’s all in favor of it, so if you want to find out more, go on over to his page and have a ball.


D.R. said...

Hi Becky,

It's fun having this e-versation about the Tournament of Books. You are certainly not the only person to communicate annoyance to me over the ToB. Others have shared your groan at what they see as ushering competition into the theater of reading.

What I would say is that TMN is run by book folks who love books and reading. To me, this is different than if ESPN had hosted a tournament of books with sports casters talking about crime novels.

As I say in my post, I like it because it is a happy, self-mocking marriage of my two great loves. And, usually, these loves are competing for my time. So, when they get to make out a little, I'm doubly happy.

As for the competition, I think it's all farce. The winner is supposed to get a live rooster! It's fake competition that starts comparative conversations about books, writers, and what appeals to us about literature.

Happy Reading!

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