Apparently everyone is reading this. All women apparently. So make that, “apparently all women are reading this”.
But the punters are not usually reading it in book format. It is being mass consumed digitally – e.g. on Kindles – so that no-one can tell you are reading it. No one can see the ‘give away’ book cover. With your Kindle you can be reading anything from the Kama Sutra to Bicycle Maintenance for Boys. So says, for example, the BBC here.
A lot of my Facebook friends – all women – have announced they are reading it . But they make sure they announce that they are reading it ‘to find out what the fuss is about’. Fair enough, don’t blame them. One of my friends has apparently used the search and replace facility to substitute the ‘rude words’ for funny words and she reads it to her husband. So you CAN be seen to be reading it – but explanations are at the ready in case you think they are just consuming for enjoyment ‘ without thinking’. It is an intellectual and analytical pursuit, of course.
You can even get e postcards related to the book:
Irony rules. It often saves the day as it cannot be achieved without a wry criticality; by being ironic you are saying you are clever.
I wondered whether we would be so ironically amused if all the men were suddenly reading a particular porno on their Kindles. I suspect not.
I presume this is because we are used to men reading porn and we have despaired of it. And we might also see it as being related to violence against women. Or simply the denigration of women ‘in their minds’. Now we women (they) are reading it and we have to celebrate this liberation or at least, giggle. I notice there are hundreds (so far) reviews on Amazon, and the star system is used at either end of the extremity (awarding just one star or five) and not much between. Depends if you like irony or not I suppose.
- Do I disapprove? No I don’t think so.
- Am I amazed at how quickly it has sold so many copies? Yes.
- What do I deduce?
That this is something interesting and it is about digital text affecting literacy consumption in an interesting way.