Dear Authors Of High-Concept Nonfiction:
People buy your books because the title tells them exactly what they need to know.
In this case, I knew before I even opened it that I was holding a collection of inadvertently hilarious text messages -- messages sent by people who innocently assumed their phones would not
change family-friendly words like "pen" to "penis," thereby drastically changing the entire drift of messages like "I needed a pen and he wouldn't let me borrow one" or "I broke my pen and it exploded all over my pants."
This was all I needed to know to make me want to buy and read this particular book; because although I am a 45-year-old woman, apparently I'm also a nine-year-old boy.
I really appreciate all the work you did picking out the best of the best from your web site. This book benefited a great deal from your sorting the material into chapters like "Awkward Texts with Mom & Dad" and "Textin' 9 to 5."
You know what this book didn't
need? A six-page
introduction. Because -- and I think I may have mentioned this already -- I sort of already knew what this book was about as soon as I read the title.
I wanted to dive right in and learn that Autocorrect is not only a total perv, but also some kind of borderline anti-Semite with a penchant for changing "keys" to "Jews." ("I can't find the jews to open the supply cabinet. Do you know where they are?" "I don't know where the Jews are, but the keys are here on my desk!" "Whoops! Autocorrect strikes again. Be there in a min." "Mazel tov!") I wanted to see mothers trying to tell their kids that Dad had just gone out for an oil change, and instead expressing the information that their father was getting a sex change. ("Wow, in an hour, that's impressive.") I wanted to laugh heartlessly at daughters who spent a shattered moment thinking their parents were going to divorce next month, when in fact said parents were going to Disney.
Instead, I had to choose between feeling guilty about skipping your way-too-long, totally unnecessary introduction (because I'm the kind of person who ALWAYS feels guilty about skipping the introduction), or plowing dutifully through it and then feeling guilty because I spent the whole time wishing I were just reading your damned book, already.
So: Please keep publishing this kind of book, and I'll keep buying it. And while you're at it, please keep your introductory material to two pages or less. Because -- did I already say this? -- we GET it, already.
Your Loving But Shallow Reader