RS: Welcome to Rite Gud, the only podcast that helps you write good. I’m R. S. Benedict. The average American consumes 100, 000 words a day. But what do we retain? What have we learned? We think that bigger is better and more is better. But what about quality over quantity? Will reading more books make you smarter? Hello, Harley. Does writing more books mean you’re a [00:01:00] better author? And what’s the difference between a binge and a feast? Here to talk about this is Lola Sebastian. Lola, thank you for coming back, but for people who might not have heard the previous episode, would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lola: Yeah, absolutely. Hi, I’m Lola. I run a YouTube channel about primarily literature, um, and textual analysis in general. And I’m also the host of the podcast, the Only Warrior Cats Podcast.
RS: I recently watched your, I think it was two hour long video essay about cannibalism in cinema, which was really, really interesting.
Lola: Thank you. I appreciate that was a lot to research and edit. Um, kind of traumatizing honestly. Uh, but I don’t, I don’t regret a second. It was so fascinating.
RS: Yeah, yeah, I appreciate it, that you sort of dug down into, okay, what does this actually signify, what are the ins and outs of it, how it’s been used [00:02:00] to stigmatize certain cultures, and so on and so forth.
Lola: I, I really appreciate that, because going into it, especially being on, uh, we’re gonna talk about Goodreads and BookTok in this episode, but, like, being on book social media, there’s a lot of people immediately just jumping on the “ew, gross” bandwagon when it comes to, like, why would you want to talk about cannibalism, that’s so disgusting, or they have the more simplistic take that cannibalism and queerness are so intrinsically connected that, like, they, every text covering cannibalism must be an allegory, and that’s problematic.
Lola: I really wanted to dispel some of that.
RS: Mmm. Yeah. Huh. Huh. I hadn’t heard the cannibalism as inherently queer thing.
Lola: Um, especially with, I talked about Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All, and especially with that book and that film. A lot of people reacted to it by being like, “well, [00:03:00] you know, every cannibalism, otherness story is obviously just about them being gay. So…”
Lola: “basically what you’re saying is gay people are immoral.”
And I’m like, no, no.
Lola: And also cannibalism has very, like a very strong history in colonialist storytelling. Like we’ve, we’ve employed cannibalism to otherize so many different groups of people. That I just figured, hey, we should, we should talk about it.
RS: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Well, uh, it’s highly, highly recommended essay. Go to, go to Lola’s channel. But, uh, speaking of, of eating, let’s talk about binging. Or more specifically, binge reading. We talk a lot about binging media in our, in our present day culture. Binge watching a show on Netflix. Binge reading books.
What is binge reading?
Lola: Binge reading is where you read a lot of books in a set amount of time, [00:04:00] usually a short amount of time. Like it’s like a series you just can’t put down, you know, you’ll read the whole thing in like two weeks or you’ll read, um, I’m actually going to amend that already. Because everyone, says, you know, Binging is when you just can’t put it down, but these rules are actually quite strictly self enforced by a
lot of these individuals on these platforms. They’ll set really high goals, um, especially on Goodreads and TikTok, like, um, I frequently see, “I’m gonna read 300, 400, 500 books a year.”
Lola: That, that groan really said it all.
RS: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, part of the reason I started doing the book club bonus episodes was to just force myself read a book a month.
Lola: That’s like, you know what, and that’s totally acceptable. I, uh, I keep track, personally. It’s a habit I got into in school. I read about 100 to 200 books a year as a general rule. Which is like a book every [00:05:00] three days, and honestly I know that’s like a lot for most people, but I think given my job, which is like read books and talk about it, it’s probably totally reasonable.
I also live like right next to a library, which is rad.
Lola: Dream come true. And, you know, the thing is, in real life, reading like a hundred books a year is considered an enormous number and definitely qualifies me as a bookworm, but I’ve actually been told on social media numerous times that it’s not enough and it’s like, what are you doing the other two days if you’re reading a book every three days?
Are you like really into reading?
Lola: Yeah, it, it, it. Stepping away from Goodreads, which I no longer use. And just not engaging with BookTok as much as I used to. It has restored some of my sanity in this regard, that quality really, it’s better than quantity when it comes to reading.
RS: Yeah, I mean I can’t just do a [00:06:00] book every day or a book every three days. Just because some books take longer than others. You know, some of them just take longer. Some are really big. There are books that are large.
Lola: And I mean my, my bias is I’m totally okay reading multiple books at once. I’ve usually got like A feast, you know, like a, like a Tolstoy, or an Infinite Jest or whatever going on, uh, alongside a smaller novel, and then nonfiction. I, I listen to, like, a lot of nonfiction audiobooks, and I also have to read a lot of nonfiction for my job, like, Cannibalism 101.
And a lot of people can’t do that, and I think that’s totally worth acknowledging. Cause if you’re like, why aren’t you reading more? But that person is reading huge books that take weeks? Months? Like, leave them alone. That’s so rude.
RS: Yeah, and I think you read certain kinds of books differently, like a, like a sort of a light thriller, you eat one of those up in like a day or two. But [00:07:00] if you’re reading, I don’t know, Moby Dick, you can’t really, you can’t get that one down fast.
Lola: Oh man, so, we’ve talked a little bit off mic about the grind set, influencers on like LinkedIn, although they’ve made their way to TikTok now as well. Who love to talk about, uh, I mean, it really feels wellness adjacent. They’re like, “you need to be reading 60 books a year, because CEOs read 60 books a year.”
Um, and then, the books in question are really slim, and, and not very…
RS: Yeah, yeah, they’re either like another biography of Elon Musk or a book with a title like “Skullfuck Your Life: The Caveman Bro’s Guide to Fucking Winning at Business and Fitness.”
RS: not really high quality literature
Lola: Not at all. I find the Business Bro attitude especially offensive when it comes to reading, because they’ll just openly say they skim everything except the titles that they [00:08:00] really respect. And then they’ll be, and then they’ll be like, “here are those titles: Influence, Pre Suasion, How to Make Friends and Influence People, or 50 Scientific Ways to Be Persuasive.”
And it’s like, well, you’ve just persuaded me that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Lola: It’s, it really is this, like, façade of intellectualism. Um.
RS: that they all list The Art of War.
Which, if you’ve actually tried to read The Art of War, you realize, oh, these aren’t metaphors.
This is, this is actually about, “no, you need to be on a hill.”
And if your battle, no, you literally, it’s not a metaphor. It’s literally you should be uphill on a battle, like, fuck.
Lola: I remember trying to read through that one for the first time, and I was like, this is what everyone who wants to be Warren Buffett is obsessed with? Because it really is so literal and not at all applicable to, like, modern business practices.
RS: Yeah, there were, there’s like one or two things, there was one or two, I think it [00:09:00] was basically about awarding people, awarding your warriors prizes, like, okay, you can’t give a prize to everybody because there’s just not enough spoils, so you, you sort of give it to the first guy or something. I can see how that could be useful in, as a management technique, but…
A lot of them are just literally about how to cross a river with an army carrying spears, and I’m not really sure how the fuck a person in middle management is supposed to really apply this.
Lola: Yeah, I, my dad, his, I mean, he’s in middle management, and his job literally requires him to read all of these slim self help books, with, you know, bright yellow orange covers, and the titles really are all, like, eight exclamation points type stuff, where I’m like, really? But there’s this culture that it’s like, yeah, and if you read, this book, it’s gonna make you an intellectual. And my dad, my dad can’t read, [00:10:00] like, I don’t know how to, I don’t know exactly how to explain this, but, he reads, but he always falls asleep halfway through a chapter, so it takes a long, a long time, cause he finds it very soothing.
Lola: So many nights in my life. He really inspired my love of reading, but now as, now when I’m at his place, I’ll find him, like, sleeping on the couch with a book.
Lola: And then he gives me these self help books to resell, just to make a buck or two, and they have no resell value at all.
Lola: Because the only people reading them and talking about them are the grifters or the people who’ve been given them by middle management.
So they are like, they are abundant and no one actually wants to buy them. If you go to your local bookstore where they do trade ins and you’re like, Hello, would you like to buy Skullfuck Your Life? They’re gonna be like, no, no, we, we can’t actually resell this.
RS: Yeah, yeah. Now, now I have heard that How to Win Friends and Influence People is legitimately, like, the one self help [00:11:00] book that is legitimately helpful. When I’ve heard people who’ve read a lot of self help books, they’ll say, yeah, they’re all bullshit except for that one that was written, that, that was the first one.
And you didn’t really need to write, you didn’t really read, need to write another one after that. Just read that one, I guess. I don’t know, I haven’t read it though, so maybe I should. Maybe I’d be better at winning friends and influencing people. So, I don’t know.
Lola: I mean, there are the self help books like that. And then I also find, increasingly, these wellness guru adjacent grifter, like, in order to become a CEO, you have to binge read LinkedIn guys, are really obsessed with, like, Oprah’s book club types, and they will talk about them as if they are the creme de la creme.
These are the books you have to read and reread. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a big one, which is a horrible book. Really bad.
RS: Right, I haven’t read that one, but I know If Books Could Kill did a [00:12:00] really great episode on them, and it’s just basically, it’s basically about a guy who supposedly was mentored by his friend’s rich dad, and it sounds like his friend’s rich dad was a fucking psychopath, and
Lola: And maybe
RS: imitate this man who was deranged?
Lola: Yeah, and then he was like, “Oh, he was the richest man in Hawaii,” and everyone was like, “so, this guy? Because there aren’t that many.” And then he was like, “no, no, no, no, no, no, no. It wasn’t that guy,” but like, it totally was. Or maybe he just made him up entirely.
RS: Probably did just make him up.
Lola: I don’t know.
RS: This is just a whole weird real person fic.
Lola: If Books Could Kill is a total lifesaver for me because they really have covered the majority of the books I see touted by these very,
Lola: uh, con
RS: wom Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus, is wild that the, the guy says like, “yeah, men are, men are just such that, you know, sometimes, every once in a while a [00:13:00] married father of three needs to just leave his family without explanation and just disappear for several days.”
Like, no, that’s not normal. That’s just you.
RS: just a thing he does, and he’s writing it like, “This is relatable, am I right, fellas?” Like, no! No, it isn’t! You’re a terrible father!
Lola: Books like that is like, “oh, I, um, I understand women and I have a good relationship with my wife because of these books” and I’m just like, man, I feel so bad for your wife. Like the Five Love Languages. They love the Five Love Languages and they love to also apply it to the workplace, which even if you’re just like, “Oh, I, I, you know, if you’re like, I appreciate quality time, and therefore, me and my wife like to spend quality time,” but then they’ll be, then they’ll be like, “I need to spend quality time with my employees,” or “I need to spend quality time with my manuscript, “and it’s like, that, you really,
Lola: that is not quite applicable.
These guys also worship, worship, worship Francis Fukuyama, um, and Malcolm McDowell, which is kind of baffling to me because the way they’ll present it is they’ll be like, I know that, like, it’s kind of liberal, but they have really good points. And I’m like, you have chosen the most, like, conservative and factually, um, questionable?
RS: And Fukuyama’s whole most famous thing turned out to be completely wrong?
RS: the end of history, like, why would you cite this guy who’s most famous for being extremely wrong?
For saying history’s over immediately before the World Trade Center blew up. That’s incredible.
Lola: It reveals so much. I’m sorry, I’m, I’m laughing so hard and I’m trying to get it together, but, um, you know, it happens in a cycle, it’s very Fukuyama that these guys will release a video being like, “what actually happened to the Titanic [00:15:00] submersible” and then they’ll present
RS: Oh hell yeah.
Lola: conspiracy theory. And then you go to their page and then the next video I am actually talking about a specific guy who I like I don’t actually know the name of so people are gonna be like “Um, that was you know,” but so whatever. But then you know you go to their page, but this this does happen frequently I’ve seen this with like multiple different kinds of guys on Tiktok you go to their page and then the next video is like “Hollywood doesn’t hate women.
It loves well written female characters.” Like, and then it lists a bunch of women that are written like men. Or, like, women who are, like, very, uh, exceptional in ways that are, like, “okay, yeah, we get it, she’s a badass, ooh, Ellen Ripley.” Um, you
RS: Yeah. Or it’s stuff that they, they like it ’cause they grew up with it, but if it was new, they’d probably find it offensive.
Lola: I mean, the ultimate example is Princess Leia. You can’t tell me that you guys would all still love Princess Leia if she came out today.
RS: Yeah. Or they’d probably be mad at Ellen Ripley [00:16:00] too. I mean, she survived. She’s on constantly telling the men no, and she wins. And this and our, and our cool chad Dallas or whatever his name is, gets killed. Like that’s, that’s misandry right there.
Lola: Yeah, or they, they list, um, oh my gosh, um, Laura Dern in Jurassic Park?
RS: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, and there’s, and there’s, Ellie, I think, and there is a scene where she makes fun of, you know, ” dinosaur kills man, woman inherits the earth.”
RS: Like, it is very pop feminism, very overtly.
Lola: like, I rewatched that recently, and I was like, I think you were just accustomed to this lens at the time, and you found it more forgivable, but you’ve recently learned to be outraged, and you haven’t rewatched Jurassic Park since. Um, and so, you’re like, this, now this, is a woman character. She comes from the 90s.
RS: there’s this scene where she’s flirting with Jeff Goldblum right in front of her boyfriend.[00:17:00]
Lola: She’s a
RS: blatantly flirting with him. It rocks.
Lola: It is so good. I love how every character Sam Neill has ever played is just surrounded by women who want, like, nothing to do with him, then, and then at the end they declare their love for each other. It’s so good. But yeah, you know, um, they, they love to be like, “yeah, we need strong woman characters.”
And then the third video on their profile is like, “you need to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” And it’s like, understood.
Lola: all the same mindset of consume, consume, consume. And then their idea of questioning is like conspiracy.
RS: Right? Just really contrarian. I mean, no sane person can look… That is wild that there are Titan submersible alternative theories too, which… Man. I mean, that was the one instance, incident in which literally everybody who knew anything said, “Bro, you’re gonna [00:18:00] die.”
And then he died. Yeah.
Lola: I mean, I, these dude bros on TikTok love to talk about how he was taken out by the man. Yeah.
RS: The man meaning the man who assembled the third party Xbox knockoff controller that he was using to steer the submersible.
Lola: Like, a rabbit hole, um, in, like, watching TikTok in order to talk about all of this today, I found myself going down, and they were like, “well, I’ve used these controllers my whole life. And I can
tell you, they are very reliable. So obviously, this was an inspired entrepreneur who was snubbed out,” and it’s like, are you kidding?
Lola: They’re afraid of women and taxes and they’re not afraid of the ocean.
Lola: like, man, maybe, maybe Moby Dick would, would do something for you, you know? If you’d actually read it.
RS: Yeah, which, sort of sliding in as a segue, I find it very interesting, also the culture [00:19:00] around binge consuming media is what gets binged or what you put your time into. Like, I’ve noticed this with friends. I’ve recommended movies to friends, like I recommended RRR to a friend of mine, and they said, ” Oh, I don’t know, three hours is so long,” and then I’m like, well, you’ll, you’ll binge watch a Netflix show, right?
You’ll watch five episodes of a Netflix show one after the other. That’s five hours. You can watch a three hour RRR, and they’re like, ” I guess, I don’t know.” Or like, oh, I don’t want to read, no, if I want to read Moby Dick, but I’ll read, you know, twenty of these other novels instead.
Like, well, twenty of those books could add up to one Moby Dick, so. I find that so interesting, not just that we’re consuming so much, but that we’re afraid to sort of consume, for lack of a better word getting mad about lady ghostbusters in the year of our lord 2023.
Lola: I, it’s, it really, like, End of history. I feel like the world ended in [00:20:00] 2016, and we’re still just suffering the consequences. Cause I swear, like, it’s still just the same old, like, culture war nonsense arguments with these, eight hour long video essays or streams. It’s always, like, Lady Ghostbusters, The Joker, Anita Sarkeesian.
I’m like, can you just leave?
RS: wild that people are still mad at Anita Sarkeesian.
Lola: I, and like they, they always will be like, I’m still
RS: so wild.
Lola: about her on that when I go down these rabbit holes on that side of things. And I’m just like, man, Gamergate happened when I was in high school and I barely remember it. And they’re acting as if it’s this like foundational text of the internet is harassing women
And I’m like, man, I uh, I have a career now. On the internet, that’s very disconcerting.
RS: Yeah, that is wild.
Lola: I mean, [00:21:00] like with all things, I really don’t care if teenagers are binge reading the entire like A Throne of Stone and Bone series for fun and like talking about it with their friends, but I think it’s worth distinguishing, so that we don’t sound like literal bullies, that this space seems to be predominantly occupied or at very least ruled over by either like the griftery guys or like millennia millennial aged women with superiority complexes.
RS: Yeah, yeah, I guess what I’d like to stress is not that I think it’s bad to read a lot of books, like, it’s fine. I think it’s good when people read a lot of books. Even if you’re reading, like, a lot of trashy books, who fucking gives a shit?
Have fun. It’s your life.
Lola: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RS: But I think something is weird is the sense of pressure, the sense of, oh, “I need to read this many books a year.
And if I reach my goal, I’m better than you” or, or especially with grind set guys like, “well, you need to read such and such. number of books every year.” The idea that reading more books means you are [00:22:00] smarter regardless of the quality of the book or how carefully you’ve read them. And, I mean, if you’re reading that fast, chances are you’re not
gonna go into that much depth in reading a book. Like a really, really meaty book takes a long time to read. It took me well over a year to read Moby Dick. And I was reading it as I was reading other things. I would read a chapter and then put the book down for like, days or a week. And meanwhile, I was reading a different book, some shorter thing.
And that’s an okay way to read Moby Dick, because it works really well as these little vignettes. This is almost more of a prose poem. It’s not really a plot heavy book. You don’t really get lost. You put the book down for a week and come back to it. Where were we? Oh yeah, they were, they were on the ocean.
Lola: So one of my favorite books,
RS: Oh, it’s beautiful!
It’s so beautiful!
Lola: though, and people were like, really? Okay, I mean, so one thing BookTok loves to do is come up with lists where [00:23:00] they’re like, did you know that the word count of this novel, this classic novel, like you can become a literature person, you know? The word count of this novel is equivalent to, like, three, uh, three hours of reading, and therefore, you can just breeze through it and then say that you know what you’re talking about.
And I just really, I really hate that attitude. Cause, you know, they’ll, specifically, I saw a BookTok-er while I was researching this say that Memoirs of a Geisha and Moby Dick are the same length, um, so you should,
RS: Ha ha ha ha!
Lola: so you should be giving them the same amount of time.
RS: Oh my god.
Lola: And of course, they’re considering them both, like, classics, right?
And, like, I think I heard my heart audibly shattering.
RS: Yeah. If you try to, if you try to like read Mrs. Dalloway that way, I will punch you in the face. That is a book you really need to go slowly on or something. Some, some books you can zip through ’em really quick and they’re meant to be read that way and they’re written that way[00:24:00] to be really terrific page turners. And again, I, I, I hope I don’t sound condescending ’cause like
writing one of those books is a particular skill and it’s not the way I want to write, but I respect it. I respect the craft of it, and sometimes I do just want a really terrific, quick page turner, and I, like, I like Agatha Christie’s mysteries, and these aren’t great literature, but they’re, they’re fucking fun.
They’re, they’re quick. They’re, they’re great. But it, but it’s a different way to read than like Moby Dick.
Lola: I read, like, a lot of horror manga. And you can totally just speed through a lot of it. Like, you know, it’ll be like a 10 volume series, but really, there’s, there’s not a lot of text, and a lot of the images are meant to be shocking, so that you look at it, you go, you turn the page, you go, “oh my god.”
And then you move on. I just find these lists kind of deceptive, because they’re always based on word count and like, quote unquote, average reading speed, which is a concept that [00:25:00] is really silly to begin with, because it’s like… You know, as someone who cares about actually making literature accessible, it’s like, don’t tell someone how fast they should be reading and make them feel ashamed for taking their time, because, yeah, you suck.
So they’ll say you can read 100 Years of Solitude in an afternoon, but you’ll probably need two days to read Snow Falling on Cedars. And other, like, frequent book club picks. And, like, I love Snow Falling on Sieges, genuinely no hate, but, like, 100 Years of Solitude is a really dense text, meant to mimic the feeling of spending 100 years with this family, and reading it in an afternoon, it’s like, it’s technically possible, but it feels like a waste.
Lola: And Snow Falling on Cedars is like a very typical Oprah’s Book Club pick. It’s accessible, it’s readable, it has pretty straightforward prose, and a really strong structure. Um, and, sorry Harley’s so cute.
RS: Hello, hello, buddy. Yeah. [00:26:00] Yeah, let’s play. Go get it. That’s a
RS: kitty. Hehehehe.
Lola: yeah, you know, the way that these, popular… novels and like, dense literatures are, are equivocated, it’s like, fine, but it’s also like, you’re gonna have trouble trying to get through a 100 Years of Solitude or a Moby Dick as fast as like, Snow Falling on Cedars or Memoirs of a Geisha.
Lola: And the expectation that if you’re reading them slower, or you’re savoring them, or you’re, you know, you’re feasting instead of binging, that like, you must not be as smart. It, that is pretentious.
RS: Yeah, that’s, that’s hurtful. Certain books, you need to slow down, or maybe, or you need to reread something, or you just, maybe there’s a really long, really complex sentence structure that you need [00:27:00] to take closer, or maybe, maybe you’re just kind of in awe of how beautiful a passage is, and you need to sit with it for a while.
Lola: Absolutely. You know, one of the best feelings in the world is when you’ve fallen in love with a book and you don’t want it to end.
Lola: So you just sit with it, like, and it fills your heart, and it fills your mind, and it occupies your life, and you see it everywhere you go. Books, to me, are uniquely magical in that regard.
That’s why I love them so much.
RS: Yeah. Or especially if you’re reading as a writer, just examining the way the author expresses themselves and, and there’s certain passages where it’s like, it just blows you away how well it’s written or how well this idea is expressed and you need to, Just take a breather and go back to it. There are these passages in Mrs.
Dalloway that’s that for me, where I just need to go like, Holy shit. Just, wow. Hold on. Goddamn.
Lola: I mean, I, literary modernism is just the best to me.[00:28:00] And it’s wild because, with, with poetry in particular and modernism, like, I find the sentiment that you can get through the classics quickly and no one really understands them or cares about them is like, it’s a little insulting, but it’s also funny because it’s like, yeah, I’m sure skimming Paradise Lost and The Wasteland was a really rewarding and enriching experience for you. I’m sure you had a blast. I’m sure that just zooming on through it really felt good and didn’t make you hate the classics more. You know what I mean?
RS: Yeah, it’s a great way to just skim a classic from hundreds of years ago with tons of little asides and implications and allusions that you, a present day person, would never fucking pick up on on your own because why would you? Why would Sure, I get all the references to 16th century Florentine politics, no fucking problem.
I got this. I got this. I know what that is.
Lola: Yeah, I mean, and the way you’ve, I mean, you guys [00:29:00] talk about. You guys talk about Dante’s Inferno all the time, and the misconceptions that just swim around it on the internet. You know, the idea that, like, it’s, it’s, it’s basically a fanfiction.
RS: Oh my
Lola: You know, the way people use that as an in, as an avenue to say, like, Don’t be intimidated by Dante’s Inferno, like, cause anyone who likes it is just being pretentious when it’s really just a fanfiction, is like, Why do you, why do you want people to read literature?
Like, I, I really don’t care if you only want to read Omegaverse. Honestly, go for it. And like, on that note, SmutTok, they seem perfectly nice. Like they seem like cool people. The Ice Planet Barbarians fans, in particular, are really self aware and down to earth. They, they really are, like they know that they’re reading volumes and volumes and volumes of sexy Star Wars fanfiction, and they’re really…
Nice and funny about it.
Lola: Cool, they’re great. But then you have the types who lord over them. And they’re like, [00:30:00] you know, I, well, I read 500 books this year.
So, step, time to step it up. And if you think that these literature people can tell you that they’re smarter than you, you can just give them their favorite books and say you’ve read them.
RS: Yeah, exactly.
Lola: And I’m like, I don’t, like, you know that we enjoy reading these books, right? Like,
Lola: like, I, I spent a whole semester on The Wasteland, even though it’s, it’s like, only, quote unquote, only 20 pages. Like, I, I’ve done a lot of work on it, like, academically.
RS: Oh yeah.
Lola: Cause there’s, there’s so much you can do with it academically, but it is really just 20 pages, you know?
RS: Let’s get down to it. What is a binge versus what is a feast? What does it mean to binge versus what it means to feast? I don’t know if you’ve ever binged.
I will not ask you to describe [00:31:00] your past or relationship with food, but if you’ve ever been on a binge, it usually doesn’t not feel great. You don’t feel good about yourself before or after, and the food that you generally binge on, if you’ve ever been on one, is not generally good quality food.
Lola: Oh yeah,
RS: usually like, packet of Oreos or something, and then you hate yourself.
It’s not… It’s not great, versus a feast. I mean, a feast implies a lot of things. It implies really, really savoring food. It usually implies company, because you’re usually feasting with other people, and there’s usually a higher quality of food. You have a feast on Thanksgiving, but you have a binge of potato chips alone in your apartment because you’ve lost control of your life.
It’s such a different experience, and I think, uh, It might be worth comparing how we approach media that way, how we approach reading or watching movies or watching [00:32:00] TV that way. The idea of a binge versus a feast. And what I’d like to see is an understanding of the difference between feasting and binging a book.
And a little bit more feasting, maybe. it as… I don’t know, maybe think of how a chef might approach food. If you’re going to be a professional chef, you need to approach food differently than like, you know, you’ll want to feast something at a great restaurant versus eating several packages of Oreos while crying. One of them will help you be a good chef, and the other one will, will not, and that might be a good way to approach books, too.
So, something I noticed with a lot of aspiring fantasy writers, sci fi writers, there’s this more is more attitude toward books, and it’s the idea that bigger books are better. I feel like maybe it’s a similar symptom to how superhero movies are getting up to, like, four hours long these days, or… Which, I, that’s, that’s too long.
I don’t like that.
Lola: Like, don’t even get me started, you know. Everyone’s like, what, you don’t like to have fun? You don’t like [00:33:00] blockbusters? And then you watch them and it’s just drudgery,
RS: I’m so tired.
Lola: I’m like, you guys are making fun of me for being like a really big fan of like, you know, like Italian Impressionism, but then everything you watch is like the closest cinematic equivalent to like a Dostoevsky I’ve ever experienced.
It’s freaking depressing, man.
RS: Yeah, I mean, RRR, I would let it be three hours because the pacing’s solid, the movie’s like 12 genres at the same time somehow, and there are multiple song and dance numbers, like, you can pull it off, but the Batman movie made me just, I was so tired. I watched a matinee of it with my brother, and when we got out, it was like 7pm, and I just went home and went to sleep immediately afterward.
I was, I felt so depressed and tired. I’m like, I, this isn’t fun. I want Adam West again, come home. Do a little dance, make some puns.
Lola: I agree. Like, what happened to Boom Pow? I mean, I grew up reading comics. I love
comics. And I [00:34:00] don’t feel that they’re actually even being represented on screen. But, like, whatever, you know? I guess it’s… It’s just like… My, my personal theory, like, okay, so regrettably, I’m a YouTuber, which is like the hardest sentence to say, um,
I’m not proud of it, but,
RS: I’m a podcaster, so I, that’s probably worse. That’s just a YouTuber, only less photogenic.
Lola: Oh my God,
Lola: should be nicer to yourself.
Lola: 500 books in a year. Is like, a book and a half in a day, so it’s not impossible, but like, let’s just be honest with ourselves here, the more, the majority of those books are going to be fluff. Because even if you can read The Old Man and the Sea in two hours, it does not mean you should. And [00:35:00] so people promoting classics like The Alchemist or Leaves of Grass or Slaughterhouse Vibe, Slaughterhouse Vibes, Slaughterhouse Five as books you can read to quickly expand your literary knowledge, it’s like, Man, you’re, now you’re just life hacking literature, and especially if you’re a writer.
Like, if you’re a writer, I, I should presume, you love books, or you love reading, you know? But it’s shocking, because it’s like, you can’t tell me what to do, I’m a writer and not a reader, life hack, skim Hemingway. It’s like, delusional, because if you’re a writer who doesn’t, who doesn’t love to read, who doesn’t love to feast, you just love to binge?
Lola: It’s like, why are you, why are you doing this? It’s gotta be some sort of ego gratification,
Lola: know? I’ve always found it weird how people who love classics are seen as the pretentious ones.
Lola: Because, you know, then you have these writers who don’t read putting on airs about how, like, it really, the quantity of books is what matters.
And [00:36:00] if you read classics, that’s pretentiousness, but also, just to sho just to shove it in their faces, you can read The Old Man and the Sea for two hours.
RS: I mean, I guess you can.
Lola: You could.
RS: You could. Yeah
Lola: you could, but people read the classics because they because they get a lot out of them. Oh gosh, in particular, so I did this whole, I did a series actually on James Franco’s Faulkner adaptations, um, cause he did, um, The Sound and the Fury, and As I Lay Dying on film.
They were mistakes and also the behind the scenes sounded like a disaster from the people I spoke to and, he’s since been, uh, accused of a lot of really egregious behavior, like creating a school so that he could have a pool of young women to prey upon, which is not cool, to say the least, um, and, you know, in particular, I often see booktalkers mention that you can read The Sound and the Fury in five hours.
And I probably encounter that so often, because I did a video on The [00:37:00] Sound and the Fury, so like, it was all I was getting for a while, but I strongly feel like the majority of people are not going to get through that first chapter easy breezy and comprehensive. And that, like, that’s totally fine, but you’ll have a more rewarding reading experience if you just take your time and get to know Benjy and understand how he sees the world.
Like, it’s a very common experience where people are like, you know, “the first chapter of that book took me a month. And then the rest took me, like, a week,”
Lola: you know? Because it, it, you really have to… The goal of it was to essentially write a character who has no sense of past, future, and present tense.
It’s all present tense. Even though he’s describing things that happened decades ago. He’s talking about how they’re happening right now because that’s how he’s recollecting them. And I just cannot imagine anyone reading that book in five hours and being, like, done.
Lola: I’m like, you probably would walk away from it and be like, wow, that was the worst book I’ve ever read.
RS: Oh god.
Lola: And [00:38:00] ironically, I find it easier to binge, like, your Tolstoy’s and Tolkien’s. Because the idea that book length equals book difficulty is tired. I read Anna Karenina for the first time at 15, and it was one of the most exhilarating reading experiences of my life.
RS: Oh wow.
Lola: I read it in like a week, because I couldn’t put it down, really, really couldn’t put it down.
I was, I became just like obsessed with it, and I just spent all my time reading Anna Karenina with my notebook. And, you know, that’s the thing, Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, this is popular literature. He was writing for the popular imagination, you know? They were just also really prolific. And yet, these are not the books…
They tend to recommend? I don’t know, I find it interesting, because it’s like, I think you would have so much more fun if you’re a binge reading, high fantasy type of person. Reading Charles Dickens would probably be totally way more up your alley than, like, The Sound and the Fury. But no, it’s, if you’ve made your philosophy of reading about owning the literature majors, it’s like, You just don’t seem to be [00:39:00] having a lot of fun, man.
RS: Right. Right. There are the old literary stories that were just as much like page turners and trashy novels back then too.
RS: of The Monk. They never really cite The Monk even though it’s like trashy as hell. It’s really fun.
Lola: hmm. Oh my gosh, so true.
Lola: And also, you know, there’s popular, like, again, they talk about the Oprah’s book club list, like, it’s this, like, high elite snobbery. But I’m like, you know, you can, You can just have fun.
You can just read these books for fun with your friends.
It’s, that’s, like, kind of the point of Oprah’s Book Club. On that note, when she tried to incorporate more classics, Anna Karenina was, like, the first one that she reached for.
RS: Huh. Huh.
Lola: And I, and it makes total sense, because someone was, like, yeah, if you love… Binge reading, high emotion, scandalous romance type stuff with a really established world and just enough philosophical ideas to make you reflect [00:40:00] on your life in interesting ways, bada bing, bada boom, you’ll love Leo Tolstoy. And then, you know, then I go on, then I go on TikTok, and uh, it’s 400 books they read this year, and they’re all, um, Omegaverse. It’s
RS: That rocks.
Lola: oh man. And again, you know, I really, I really don’t care. The smut people, SmutTok, they seem cool. I’m actually kind of, like, low key on SmutTok in just my regular… daily TikTok browsing because they are really funny and down to earth and cool and they’re not pretentious. The pretentious ones are the people who stick their noses up at the idea of reading fan fiction but then everything they read is just published Bridgerton fan fiction with the name swapped. And it’s like, man, at least the Ice Planet Barbarians fans will be like, we’re on not Hoth right now, you know? They’re very open about the fact that they’re just reading Star Wars smut. But then you have these binge readers who are like, “this year [00:41:00] I read 400 books, that’s right. The Duchess Deal, The Demon Lover, Living with the Alpha, and You Can Too.” It’s like, I, listen, these are real book titles also, that I saw binge readers bragging about. I wrote them down.
RS: with the Alph– Really?
Lola: with the Alpha. Mmhmm.
RS: blatantly like Omegaverse shit.
Lola: And they’re like, yeah, just me casually reading 500 books, Living with the Alpha. And I’m like, it’s kind of like saying I like, I watch 500 movies a year, but then you look
RS: But it’s all porn.
Lola: yeah, it’s like,
RS: That’s incredible.
Lola: yeah, a little known actress called, like, ” yeah, I’ve just been, I’ve been watching through Mia Khalifa’s discography.”
I’m like, okay, okay, listen. That’s fine. That’s totally, whatever. I don’t want to get into the politics of that. Then, and then they use the whole, I read 400 books a year thing as a gotcha, and it’s like, look how smart and well read I am.
Lola: And it’s like, It’s, it’s fine to read porn on your phone.
I guess. [00:42:00] Y’know? I personally don’t, but it’s fine. It’s cool. I think trashy books are cool and fun. But then they love to be like, oh, I’m swapping my screen time for book time. And they pull out a 50 page self published paperback called Enslaved by the Werewolf Dom. Another, another real book title that I wrote down.
RS: Yeah, I don’t think that makes you smarter than watching TV. That is exactly as intellectually enriching as watching an old episode of Super Nanny.
Lola: Right, and then they have this superiority complex over people who like Star Trek fan fiction, and I’m like, but why? You people, like, Star Trek fan fiction is historically relevant, at least. I, like, respect the hell out of people who go back into the hithers of, like, Sp Sperk, you know, and are like, yeah, this is the origins of queer fandom on the internet.
Great. Yeah, there’s just really no need to be, to be pretentious about reading 400 books a year.[00:43:00]
Lola: The worst is that, there is a socioeconomic implication no one wants to talk about. I, I like presenting reading as fun and unintimidating on my channel and on my podcast and I think it’s totally possible to treat works for young adults seriously. A lot of them spark our love of reading because they’re, they’re designed to be well constructed, and that’s a beautiful thing, like, rereading Warriors has been so fun and silly and we’re really enjoying ourselves, but a lot of these people will proudly declare, like, “well, how do I read 500 books a year?
Well, I don’t have a job or a life.”
Lola: “My husband works so that I can stay home and read Submitting to the Billionaire.” And, again, real book titles I saw on these lists. You know, and then hop on TikTok and be like, “yeah, I guess you could say I’m just a really fast reader. Don’t mind me. Just your average intellectual bookworm at work, and if you’re reading fanfiction, you’re a loser.”
RS: That’s so funny, I didn’t know there was this divide between, like, self pubbed [00:44:00] Amazon smut versus fanfic.
Lola: I always assumed that these groups were probably intertwined.
RS: Yeah, I thought it was pretty much, you know, the Venn diagram as a circle.
Lola: It’s just that. It’s the binge reading crowd. The binge reading crowd that’s intent on, like, let’s read 500 books a year is like, um,
Lola: reading fan fiction? That’s sad.
RS: Yeah, because those books are 100 percent fanfiction with the serial numbers filed off.
Lola: Yeah, and they love to talk about how, like, you could be doing so much more with your life, and you should be getting off your phone. They’ll show their screen time statistics and how they’ve reduced, but I’m like, I don’t know. Maybe it’s… Maybe you’re the sucker for purchasing fanfiction with, with the serial numbers filed off, like, for money.
The, and you only have the ability to do that because you don’t… work.
Lola: again, they say this like it’s a point of pride. Who, me? Oh, all I do is, is read, is read smut. Why? Because I don’t have a job. [00:45:00] And that makes me really intellectual. And I’m
RS: I am the foremost Chuck Tingle scholar on the world.
Lola: Chuck, I love Chuck Tingle. But ironically, like, I, like, I’ve, I’ve found myself reading so much Chuck Tingle because it’s some of the most fun you’ll ever have reading a book.
RS: It’s incredibly funny. I’ve read excerpts and it’s like, okay, he, this is great actually.
Lola: no, seriously, and he’s, , he seems like a really lovely person. The interactions I’ve had with him from, through, like, friends of friends, he seems like one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Like I said, I really don’t think the majority of SmutTok or, like, sci fi or fantasy is, like, really the problem here.
It’s the superiority complex of reading self published Amazon Omegaverse is way cooler and more fun than reading fanfiction. And I’m just kinda like, if you’re really promoting this idea of, like, intellectual superiority, please.
Lola: Stop saying that it’s totally fun and [00:46:00] cool to skim Leaves of Grass,
RS: Yeah, that’s insulting.
And, you know, it’s worth mentioning CEOs read 60 books a year, and it’s like, yeah, because they have the time to do so.
RS: Yeah, and they’re probably skimming, or having an assistant read it for them and just write down some notes about it. Just summarize this book for me, assistant. Okay.
Lola: On this note, I actually, I just, I was, I was watching all these TikToks and I decided to ask, like, the academics in my life how many books they read a year. Just, like, I was just curious, because, professors of literature, right, are probably the people who are going to advocate for, like, get off your phone, delete Facebook, you know?
And they all read about, like, the ones who keep track, most don’t, but the ones who keep track, they all read about, like, a hundred a year.
RS: Well, yeah.
Lola: One every three days, which, again, is still a lot in reality. But on, I think on BookTok and especially on Goodreads, might be considered kind of laughable.
RS: [00:47:00] Hmm.
Lola: Because it’s like, oh what, you don’t take a book to bed every night and just one more chapter until it’s 5 a. m. And it’s like, no, I have to sleep because I have a job.
RS: Oh, I gotta get up tomorrow. I’m tired.
Lola: And, you know, it’s, my gut instinct on this one was to be like, whatever people do to get really into reading, whatever people read, I generally don’t care. But then I spent some time in these communities these past few weeks, and, yeah, to say the least, it was a disappointing experience, because, you know.
The other thing, and I think we were going to talk about this, is bingeable books are written in a very breezy, skimmable style.
RS: Lincoln Michael, who’s a, who’s a sci fi writer who has a very good sub stack where he writes about, he writes about writing and publishing. Uh, he has this terrific post, I’ll link it in the, in the episode notes, but he says that a lot of genre fans ask for what they call invisible prose, that they say gets out of the way of the story, [00:48:00] gets out of the way of the plot, that all important plot. What they’re actually asking for is not invisible prose, but skimmable prose. It’s prose that you can skim past quickly while still getting the gist of the passage. So, for example, if you actually slow down and read, like, a Brandon Sanderson book, you start noticing how poorly it’s actually kind of written.
There’s a lot of mixed metaphors. There’s, it’s like there’s a little crumb of story and a whole lot of packing peanuts. It’s very diluted. So, so a lot of these more bingeable books, uh, bingeable books, they’re either very, very short or even if they’re long and a heck of a whole lot of trashy sci fi fantasy novels these days, like 300, pages.
Brando Sando’s writing like thousand page novels and he’s churning out like maybe five of them every month. The reason they can be written and then read so quickly is that they’re written in a very breezy and a very skimmable style. It’s [00:49:00] a style that you can… Just half assedly skim without reading in any depth and still figure out what’s going on.
It’s kind of like how a lot of, I think, streaming content, especially on Netflix, is designed to be watched in the background while you play on your phone, while you fold laundry, while you cook, whatever. So you don’t have to sit down and really pay attention to it. It’s just sort of… on, and that’s how you binge it, because it’s just background while you’re doing something else.
And I guess it’s okay to have that, but if that’s your idea of what literature is supposed to be, that’s not great.
Lola: I make YouTube videos and I go to the comments and people are like– you know, which is a mistake. Just first and foremost, if you’re, if you do YouTube, just don’t look at the comments. But if you do look at the comments because you have, like, bad self control or whatever, like me, It’s always like, thanks, I loved [00:50:00] listening to this while I was doing my laundry, right next to why didn’t you mention mad cow disease, and that was a section in the video and you
RS: Yeah, that’s a huge section in the video.
Lola: Yeah, I’m like, oh I absolutely did talk about mad cow disease, where, where were you, were you, you just really focused on doing something else in that time, I don’t know. They, they really have the gall to, to listen to you in the background and then hop on and be like, “I can’t believe you haven’t mentioned Kuru,” and it’s like, I absolutely did.
I really did a whole section on it. And, oh gosh, fantasy novels in particular, Brando Sando. Like, they’re huge. They’re huge now. They’re giant.
RS: Yeah, Tolkien was known for writing these big, thick long books, but Fellowship of the Ring was, I looked this up, 177, 227 words, while Brendan Sanderson’s Rhythm of War is 455, 891 words. Like, if you look at the list of new debut fantasy novels, they tend to be well over 300 pages, [00:51:00] over 400 pages, and maybe I’m, like, a snob or whatever, but I kind of think that if your book is over 300 pages, you, you really need to fucking earn that.
I kind of doubt the pulp fantasy novel has 500 pages worth of quality in there, it just, to me, shows a writer who didn’t bother to edit, and a publisher that didn’t bother to cut any of the, any of the packing peanuts. Part of the reason that fantasy novels are fucking huge now compared to back in the day, if you look at older fantasy sci fi novels, they tend to be, they from, like, the The 50s, 60s, 70s, old paperbacks, they tend to be slim, and there’s a, there’s a physical reason for that.
Our frequent guest, Stephen Mazur, who was an assistant editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction,
Lola: he’s amazing.
RS: He rules. He’s incredible. He told me this, that back in the 50s and 60s, paperback books were printed in such a way that they would physically fall apart if they got to be really long, like 300 pages or more, I forget exactly the page number.[00:52:00]
So… Pulp sci fi fantasy writers had to keep their books kind of slim because literally they would fall apart in your hands. But since then we have these new printing techniques new kind of new way of printing paperback novels, so we can make books that are physically larger. So fantasy novels got fucking huge and bloated. These 800 page door stoppers Which back in the day you just simply could not print a book like that and what I think we’ve got now is um, We have a lot of very long books But they’re not so much fat books as they are bloated. I think there’s a difference between, like, a fat book and a bloated book, and I and I like a fat book.
A fat book is, like, big, but it’s dense. It’ll have, like, a sprawling scope, ri rich descriptions, y’know, lots of themes, style, characters inner lives. Like, these are books that you’d feast on, like Moby Dick, or The Secret History, or Cloud Atlas, or Infinite Jest, or or Dune. Like, these are big [00:53:00] fat boy books, and I love them. Versus Bloated books, which are long but insubstantial, the prose isn’t carefully crafted, if you slow down and you try to savor a sentence you realize, wait, the sentence is pretty sloppy actually. They’re story centered but it’s kind of formulaic plot beats, there’s a lot of padding, so, I don’t want to like name names because people get mad when I do that but I’ll say like, Brando Sando.
I can make fun of him because he’s a multi millionaire who can buy and sell my ass if he wants to, so I’m punching up, whatever. Those are bloated books. Those are books you can skim. That is not a thousand pages worth of actual book, that’s like a hundred and fifty pages worth of book.
And then eight hundred and fifty pages worth of just, noise.
Lola: I also won’t name names, um, because I also get in trouble for doing that. But to the credit of… Gosh, I didn’t think I would say this in this episode, but to the credit of some of the binge reader types who stick their noses up at, uh, at literary fiction, this is actually, like, a [00:54:00] problem right now in literary fiction, is there’s, like, just a shocking amount of books that I read that are, like, Considered the new classics, and it’s like, oh my gosh, this needed an editor.
It goes on for like, 600, 700 pages, um, yeah, I’ll, I’ll, uh, I mean, I really, I’ll be honest, I really don’t care for Hanya Yanagihara, I feel like I’ve been kind of, like, open about that. And every time I read her books, which I don’t know why I just keep doing it, but everyone just keeps telling me, “oh no, you have to read this one, this is a good one,” um, they go on. Forever. And, and, and they don’t, there’s just not, there’s, I just, I, I just don’t feel like it all needed to be there. And I, and I wonder if maybe the industry is competing with, you know, the Brando Sandos.
RS: Maybe, or there’s just this more is more, we want more content for our money, so, We want this video game to be [00:55:00] 60 hours long, and, and like 30 of those 60 hours are running in a field
somewhere, you know?
Lola: Or, in order to get kids into reading again, you know, in order to, who wants to read, you know, just like a, a gay, tragic love story? Well, me. You know? But, but they’ll be like, who wants to, to read all that when they could just instead read, you know, essentially the same thing for free online fanfiction in order to give someone the impression that they’ve really purchased something with like heft and gravitas.
You have these like, 700 page, repetitive, thematically incohesive.
Lola: fiction books, I understand the frustration if you read that and you’re like, This is what literature is? That’s really obnoxious. But, like, really, genuinely, the majority of literary fiction books that are that long have been heavily edited down.
You look at the manuscripts for some of these and they are really, they’ve gone from being, like, 1, 200 to 500 pages.[00:56:00]
Lola: It’s just, it’s the truth, you know? A lot of books that were meant to be, giant doorstops, they just get cut up, and left on the editing room floor if they’re good. I don’t know, um, I love a fat book, though. I mean, my girlfriend and I are, our anniversary, Han iversity, I’m so tired. Our anniversary is June 16th, because we’re nerds. And we spent, we just spent the, this last June in Dublin doing, like, James Joyce stuff.
Lola: and it was, it was magical and very romantic, and I couldn’t get over the fact that Ulysses is huge.
You know, depending on your copy, it’s anywhere from, like, 600 to 800 pages. And it’s, it’s, it, there’s a lot of words, and it’ll take you, if you try to, people try to binge read it all in one day for Bloomsday, and it’s virtually impossible. You know? Like, it’s, it’s really difficult. I, I understand if you’re just listening to the audiobook [00:57:00] all day, but again, it’s, it’s not my style.
But, we were walking around Dublin, and… All of the pubs that are still there from that time period had signs in the window that were, like, Joyce fans, welcome! Stop in for a pint! You know?
Lola: And I was amazed, because then if you crack open Ulysses, it’s not, like, there’s a giant introductory paragraph about the Dark Horse pub or whatever.
It is literally just mentioned once, but people have enjoyed this book so much for so long that they’ve really, like, they’ve poured over it. They know where all the locations are, and you can just go and you can live in that world, even though the book only takes place over the course of one day.
We, we enjoyed it so, so much. I think we’re, we’re gonna try to make it a yearly thing. It was one of the best days of my life, just walking around Dublin and seeing people’s love for a big fat book that they’ve been feasting on forever now, you know?
Lola: And I mean, there’s this interconnectedness that’s kind of magical too, because it’s, it was a quote unquote modern retelling of Hamlet and the Odyssey.
And so then you have like, Shakespearean groups who came in from London, who were doing like, readings from Hamlet in the street. And this was just, what you do, you know, the local art museums start, they often have like, well let’s do um, a collaboratory Greek mythology.
Lola: I think Dublin is the, UNESCO, like, World Heritage, City of Literature, so I get it that there’s, like, a lot of this intercollaboration. But, we really, we never ran out of things to do.
We could have stayed for days, and some people do. They stay all week just to live in a book that, hypothetically, you could binge read in, like, 23 hours.
Lola: It’s pretty magical, you know? When you really fall in love with a big fat book, and, and you just engage with it deeply, and…
[00:59:00] Wholeheartedly, and I guess, if I can do one thing, it’s just to encourage people to do that.
RS: Yeah. Yeah.
Lola: And also, stop equivocating two hour long video essays with like, eight hour long summaries of Nickelodeon TV shows, please. As a personal note, because it’s like… Not to brag, but I read, like, 30 books for the cannibalism essay, and…
RS: It was exhaustively researched.
Lola: I mean, again, like, God bless the local library. People are like, “Oh, but I go to the local library, and it really doesn’t–” I’m like, just have them bring in the books from all over the district. If you go onto a catalog in a local library, it’ll be like, “oh, we don’t have it here, but we have it downtown or eight cities over,” and they’ll bring it in for you, for free.
RS: Interlibrary loan rocks. It’s so good.
Lola: stuff. Like, and you can literally also just go to the librarians and be like, I can’t find [01:00:00] this one in your system. Do you think you could? And then they’ll put out a request, and then, literally I had a book shipped in from Chicago.
Lola: Again, for free, because the interlibrary systems are solid and strong and amazing, and like, one of the last big strongholds of public knowledge and learning and community, and yeah, go support your local library, it’s a very cool place to be.
RS: Yeah, libraries, they’re fuckin awesome. They’re good. They’re a good way to get a lot of books, and actual books, and not… I mean, you can get a lot of trash books too, but not Amazon self pubbed, what is effectively fanfiction, but pretending not to be fanfiction.
Lola: I was just gonna say. You know, um, the Omegaverse.
RS: It probably
Lola: you’re into. I actually went to the library yesterday and I saw that they do have a whole shelf of Ice Planet Barbarians and I was like, sick.
RS: Oh, what is it? One of our Discord members, Mattie, who’s a librarian, showed us this book display, which was a, [01:01:00] what is it, Hot Reads for Cold Weather, and one of the librarians had taken, put up a display of shirtless hunk romance novels and knit and crocheted mini sweaters and hats and scarves for all the hunks.
Lola: Librarians are
RS: It was incredible.
Lola: planet Earth, um, gosh. Yeah, um, totally, wholeheartedly, I encourage you listeners to go support Rite Gud on Patreon, join the Discord server, I’m there.
Lola: It’s a lot of fun. I don’t even like Discord servers. But I spend time on that Discord server because it’s just lots of good takes.
Every time I see, like, a really garbage take on TikTok, I, I often just go to the right good Discord server and someone already is like, “ugh, can you, can we talk about this nonsense that’s circulating on the internet today?” And I’m like, hell yeah! Hell yeah. I feel so, I feel much less alone now.
RS: Oh, well thank you, I appreciate that.
Lola: It’s the best.
RS: Alright, so it’s been about an hour, so why don’t we wind [01:02:00] down? Before we go, what are some things that you would like to promote?
Lola: So I have a YouTube channel under my name, at Lola Sebastian. I also run the podcast, uh, The Only Warrior Cats Podcast, where we, three people with literature degrees, me, Jose, and Zoe B, also YouTube literary people, we talk about The Warrior Cats series, as adults with degrees.
It’s really fun and chill, and you can read along with us. And we also have a Patreon, blah, blah, blah. I’m also, launching a new original podcast with Nebula relatively soon. I can’t, I don’t know if I’m allowed to, like, say the name of it or whatever.
RS: Oh, I don’t know the rules.
Lola: yeah, I, I, I don’t know, I don’t know the rules because they, I, you know, I signed contracts and stuff.
But it’s a really, it’s a really big one. It’s got a, it’s got a budget. It’s gonna have news, news coverage. We’re working on a strategy for promotion. [01:03:00] And it’s about a very serious topic close to my heart. So if you like what I do and you want to support me…
You can support me on Patreon, and that will, that, that will go a long way towards, covering serious topics I love. My next video is either going to be on a children’s book adaptation of Jaws, Uh, which is also a clu a Funko Pop collaboration, so you can only imagine how excited I am about that. Um, God. Uh, or a textual analysis of Lady Gaga’s Art Pop, should be coming out later this month.
RS: Oh, nice. Well, thank you so much for coming on and taking the time to talk.
Lola: It’s an absolute delight to be here. I was, I’m honored, honestly.
RS: gosh. Gosh. Wow.
Lola: Unironically, like, a big Rite Gud listener, and when you, like, when you’re like, Hey, Lola, you wanna come on as our Gen Zed correspondent and talk about the horrible, like, things you have witnessed on your phone? I am like, Yes! Let’s [01:04:00] go!
RS: That’s great. Uh, well, we’ll always thank you for coming back, and thank you all for listening. If you like what you heard, please head to patreon. com slash ritegud and subscribe. Until next time, keep writing good.