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10 Weird Moments of Reading and Writing in 2012

December 30, 2012
Hildegard reading and writing

This scene might look normal, but they’re secretly writing fake positive reviews of their own ebooks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People who don’t read much think that readers and writers are kind of weird.  People who don’t read do more constructive things with their lives (from their point of view), like watch football and play video games, and can’t be bothered with something as trivial as the written word. 

As a reader and writer (who also watches football and plays video games), I’d like to think that I’m normal, but I know readers and writers often are not.  In fact, reading and writing caused some strange things to happen in 2012, a few of which I can’t even begin to explain to my illiterate friends.  

DISCLAIMER!! This is not meant to be a TOP ten list.  This is just a list of ten items. 



The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy sold way more copies than it probably should have.  Everything that can be written about this trilogy has already been written.  Even the parodies are getting old.  Yes, I wrote my own parody, but that was over six months ago, so I’m not a hypocrite

I’m not saying that Fifty Shades readers are weirdoes; I’m saying the trilogy’s popularity is kind of weird.  And I’m pretty sure the characters in Fifty Shades are weirdoes. 


Several authors got caught writing fake reviews of their own books online.  Even though that’s a strange thing to do, I was going to write a few positive reviews for my own ebook, but now everybody knows about the scam.  Hey, sock puppets…  Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us!!! 


An NFL cheerleader English teacher got caught having an affair with one of her high school students.  I used to look at NFL cheerleaders and think to myself: ‘If only I were a football player….”   Now I look at NFL cheerleaders and think: “If only I were a pimply faced 17-year -old boy again….”  It’s one of my (few) regrets in life that I never had an NFL cheerleader English teacher  as a teacher. 


Gore Vidal died.  That part’s not strange.  The weird part is that Gore Vidal was celebrated for his insults.  In this age of anti-bullying, I think it’s bizarre that we still celebrate writers who insult others.  Plus, I don’t think his insults were very good.   Maybe if his insults were any good, it wouldn’t seem so bizarre to celebrate them .


A high school kid used Twitter to get a porn actress to agree to go to prom with him.  Man, I would have loved to have done this when I was in high school, but back then, we didn’t have Twitter or accessible porn

My illiterate friends don’t think that this was weird. 


The Pulitzer Prize committee awarded nobody for fiction.    More awards should refuse to name winners .  It would make most award ceremonies more interesting.  Even though I like the idea, having an award with no winner is kind of weird. 


The Raven movie sucked.    How do you mess up a film about Edgar Allen Poe?  This is kind of off topic, but I also remember when John Cusack used to be cool.  The idea behind The Raven movie was weird, but the movie itself was not weird enough to be cool. 


The Justice Department sued Apple and some book publishers for collusion.  Here’s a legal issue that’s so complicated that I’m determined to have an opinion about it .  The Justice Department getting involved with the prices of e-books seems kind of weird. 


Encyclopedia Brittanica quit publishing new versions of its books and is going strictly online.  Students used to resort to the encyclopedia because it was the easiest way to do research.  Now Google and Wikipedia are the easiest ways to do research.  Finding the Encyclopedia Brittanica website is way more difficult than using a search engine or Wikipedia.  Since there are no new paper versions of Encyclopedia Brittanica, I’m not sure what the purpose of Encyclopedia Brittanica is… or if it even has a purpose anymore

Even though the encyclopedia doesn’t really have a purpose anymore, it seems weird that new ones aren’t going to be published anymore. 


The Mayans “predicted” the world would end in 2012.  Predicting the end of the world doesn’t do anybody any good.  If you’re wrong, everybody makes fun of you.  If you’re right, you can’t brag about it because the world just ended. 

What does this have to do with literacy?  Well, the Mayans wrote a calendar, and a bunch of people misread it.  I’ve survived five(?) ends of the worlds (that I know about) in my lifetime.  I hope I live long enough to survive several more. 

People who predict the end of the world can be a bit odd (except for the ones I’m friends with), but readers who misinterpret calendars of ancient civilizations? I’m not sure if that’s weird or not. 


People who don’t read much are always going to think that readers and writers are weird no matter what, so in 2013, I vow to embrace my literary weirdness.  I shall read Les Miserables during a football game without hiding it behind a Maxim cover.  I shall write dozens of positive sock puppet reviews of my own ebook.  I will use Encyclopedia Brittanica online for research purposes.  I will use Twitter to ask porn stars out on dates and…. 

Yeah. My wife just told me that’s not a good idea.

  1. After reading this list, I’m exceptionally glad for a new year. The old one needs to be flushed. Have a happy new one!

  2. I actually have gone out on a date with a porn star. It wasn’t all that great. And the Mayans didn’t actually predict the end of the world, they just ran out of room on the rock that they carved their calendar on, and figured they’d have time to update it later.

    • That was my whole point about the Mayans, that people misread their calendar and… WAITAMINUTE!! Did you just say you dated a porn star? I… must… have…details.

      • Heh. She and I both did work for a website run by a friend of mine, she as a model, I as a writer. We met up at a convention in Vegas and had dinner together. Mostly we talked about hockey. She’s a Canucks fan, I’m a Blues fan–it wouldn’t have worked out.

  3. Dating porn stars may be a bit awkward as they start doing the BJ immediately after saying hi, on reflex.

  4. I never noticed these oddities. Thanks for pointing them out. I didn’t know they didn’t publish encyclopedia (encyclopedae?) any more? I used to love to read the encyclopedia, that and the dictionary. Is that weird?

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