Well, it has currently come to my attention that rapper and icon Kanye West is telling people how much he hates books. Let me post his exact quote below.
“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books.”--Kanye West
I am a fan of books (obviously), and the above statement disgusts me for many reasons. I do NOT know a single novelist who writes to sound "wordy" nor are any of them "self-absorbed". Take people like Stephen King, who has made billions of dollars over the past nearly forty years. He never writes to sound "wordy", he writes because it is what he loves, as he has said numerous times over the years.
Look at budding authors who self-publish or publish with nascent companies instead of big conglomerates like Carol J. Hansen or Lisa Kessler. They want their stories read an enjoyed by people who love books, not to boast or seem self-absorbed in the least. I know both of them and they are kind, humble women who have one thing that sets them apart from most humans (including West): they have TALENT! (If a Kanye fan is reading this, please note it is my personal OPINION that Mr. West has less talent in his whole body than any author has in their pinky finger.)
Books are amazing things that are not unlike magic carpets: you open them up and they take you on the ride of your life. I have been reading on my own since I taught myself when I was three, and before that I was read to by my mother and grandmother. All my life I was taught to love books and to know the power of the written word. To hear that a man that kids idolize is telling them that books are bad and authors are no good makes me sick inside. I learned more from FICTIONAL books than I did in school, and I went to a very good school. You can say that I was self-taught rather than taught by teachers, or you could also say that Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King and the Bronte sisters were my teachers.
Here is another reason Kanye West's statement upsets me: did anyone read how grammatically incorrect it was? Really, look at it! "They just be"? Does that make any sense whatsoever? How can a dropout who hates books and speaks so atrociously be an "idol" to anyone? He is having a baby with a known skank, uses the "n-word" more than Tony Soprano says the "f-word" in all the Soprano seasons combined, objectifies women and now states publicly that he thinks books are bad. Tell me, is that a man whom you would want YOUR children idolizing?
He speaks so poorly, yet criticizes authors for being too "wordy". Let me tell you I'd rather spend my hard-earned money on a "wordy" person than a man who discourages people to read and expand their minds. Perhaps I am wrong in thinking as I do, but the last time I checked, books were considered a good thing!
Anyway, I shall end my rant here by saying that I love fellow lovers of words and (try) to respect those who see differently. I'd also like to thank Bert McCracken, vocalist for the rock band The Used, for encouraging his fans to read more and get off the Internet/away from drama. He is someone kids should look up to: self-educated, smart, talented and kind.
Remember, books are good, books are fun and books are a gateway to everywhere we ever wanted to go in our lives.
Love words and their writers.