review of people magazine

“The horror! The horror!”
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

I feel like Kurtz today, holed up behind blackout shades typing in my lair as the heat blazes outside. I have been doing a disturbingly exhaustive update of my reading lists on Goodreads. In doing so, I pulled out some old papers from library school. While working on my degree, I took a course called “Popular Materials and Programming for Adults,” taught by the wonderful and esteemed Dr. Linda Walling. Now, I love Dr. Walling and consider her a strong influence in my librarianship, but she made us read a lot of terrible things in that class. Her theory was that in order to properly serve the adult population of a public library, you needed to read outside of your comfort zone. Did I mention she made us read a lot of books? As if graduate students have time to be reading 25 extra books in a semester?! But I digress. As part of this agony, she requested that we also read a couple of “popular magazines and newspapers.” I chose People magazine as one of them. I have entered the review I wrote below. If you’re curious about the books I read in that class, you’ll have to find me on Goodreads. You need to sign up in order to see my page, though. If you don’t know about Goodreads, it’s a site for people who enjoy obsessively recording their reading habits. If you’re into that, I’d encourage you to join. Then we can be obsessive together and hopefully find out about interesting books from each other. But enough banter…here’s the review:

More celebrity voyeurism [note: I’d just reviewed National Enquirer]. This time a little less sensationalism and slightly padded with “touching” human interest stories and slightly informative biographical sketches. Lots of ads for such items as Godiva ice cream and the latest Maeve Binchy novel. Sleazy pictures of Hollywood stars are mixed in with stories of family courage. Lots of pictures and short articles target the short attention span crowd. As it turns out, I’m not a member of that crowd, and would prefer to peruse the latest batch of zines I find stuffed in my mailbox. Oh, and I found this magazine in a box on the side of the road (I couldn’t bear to spend $2.99 of my hard-earned cash on something that’s going to end up in the recycling box) [prof’s note: That’s OK with me – why support them?].

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10 Comments

  1. Signed up, and had some fun with the link. Nice page – but I expected that.

    Reply
  2. I can’t believe what people get away with in graduate school.

    Reply
  3. What is your name on Goodreads?

    Reply
  4. Need I say that he got an A for the course?

    Reply

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