Popular Vegas books

A reporter for that well-known bastion of literary tradition, the LV Sun, has weighed in on the reading habits of Las Vegas library-goers:

Las Vegas, the old truism and sometime political talking point says, is at the bottom of every good list and at the top of every bad one. But what about the lists we keep for ourselves?

To take one instance, what about a list of the most popular 15 fiction books checked out from the Clark County Library District last month? What does that say?

A third of the time, it says, “By Patterson, James.”

Oh, sweet Xenu, what does that say about us?

“Yes, there sure is a lot by James Patterson,” said Robb Morss, the library’s deputy director of public services. “But, you know, good for him.”

Maybe, although Patterson, a former advertising executive, would probably prefer to sell them.

Patterson dapples The New York Times best-seller list with novels like a starling decorating the side of a building. To say his books are bad is to, like Patterson, ignore the descriptive possibilities of the English language. The books are bad the way the sun is yellow: They are massive radioactive balls of flaming badness. They are literally, no exaggeration, honest-to-goodness, worse than “The Da Vinci Code.”

A reading of Las Vegas’ intellect – Las Vegas Sun

I’m not so sure that this is news. After all, it’s been more than fifty years since Theodore Sturgeon said that ninety percent of everything published is crap. I haven’t seen much evidence against his proposition. So out of a list of 15 books, you’d expect all but one or two to be awful.

Perhaps Las Vegans are just being smart consumers: if the Patterson books really are so crappy, they’re being quite savvy by not buying them.

And who is sweet Xenu? Is that like “Sweet Caroline?” A good piece about a Neil Diamond impersonator ran yesterday, so maybe there’s a connection.

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