Affecting Readers

Sometimes your day just gets made by a simple thing.

Not long ago, David Mitchell (“Things Said and Done”) forwarded an e-mail he had received earlier to Nicki Leone and me as well as the publisher of Darkest Hour: The True Story of Lark Force at Rabaul Australia’s Worst Military Disaster of World War II , a book he had reviewed, writing:

Thought you might appreciate and enjoy the following note I received from a veteran of WWII who served on the battle cruiser Saratoga for more than three years before redploying with the Marines to Peleliu.  He discovered Fortress Rabaul thanks to BiblioBuffet and has now read it and is looking for another work by the same author. 

It may be a small thing but I find it extraordinarily satisfying to know that because John [the publisher] sent me a book, and I decided to write about it, and Nicki chose to edit my writing, and Lauren chose to publish my column, a man who risked his life 65+ years ago has been able to enjoy some of the few remaining days he has left on this earth by reading a good book!  Thanks to you all!

—– Forwarded Message —-

Just finish reading Fortress, sent to me by daughter Leslie who lives in Pensacola Fl.

I could not put it down, I was in the South Pacific aboard the USS Saratoga from Aug. 1940 to Dec. 1943. As I read the book I could recall many of things as they happened. I sent back overseas with the 5th. Marine div. and ended up on Peleliu. Now I have to find the book Darkest Hour.

Oh yes, that feels good. To know that you were able to guide an appreciative reader, especially one who has a personal interest in the subject, to a great book is an extraordinary feeling. I love e-mails like this!

And the Universe must have been listening too because this week we published Lauren Baratz-Logsted ‘s piece, The Book Pyramid and the response has been stunning. From well-known reviewers to blog commentators, everyone who has written to Lauren or publicly posted has loved it. Among the comments:

I couldn’t help but wonder, as I read your very funny post on the Literary Pyramid, where you would place Historical Fiction (Patrick O’Brian, etc.) and the male equivalent of Romance: Adventure stories?

Surely, these genres are sufficiently vague and varied, but clearly understood by a (predominantly male) reading public, to join your list! ~ Matthew


And, in further links of awesomeness, Lauren Baratz-Logsted wrote up what she considers her Book Pyramid, which parallels the AMA Food Pyramid only instead of nutrition, it ranks books by the respect they receive.

Yeah. This can’t end well for romance. I have to say, I grinned at her comment:

On behalf of every sensible-minded person in publishing, Romance, I’d like to offer my apologies. You make countless people happy and you make more money than any other category. In fact, it’s thanks to you and all the money you bring in that many other books are even published. You, in effect, pick up the tab. So you deserve better than being next to last. That said, you’re sensible, Romance, far more sensible than many give you credit for. So I know you’ll understand it’s not me putting you so close to rock bottom, but rather, I am only the messenger who has designed the Book Pyramid which merely depicts the reality you already know all too well: that what you do does not receive the respect it deserves. Now, please. Go do something about the worst of those covers. You’re practically as bad as Horror.~  Smart Bitches, Trashy Books


If the book pyramid is modeled after the “old” food pyramid, then chick lit is the “grain” that should be read frequently. Moreover, literary fiaction is the “fat” that shuld be read infrequently. Hey, I like that reading diet!

Even the “new” pyramid (with the line running vertically) emphasizes that a healthy eating (readgin) diet contains all food (book) groups.

Or we could compare books to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where chicklit satisfies our basic needs, romance satisfies our comfort needs, thrillers/suspense/horror satisfies our psychological needs, literary fiction satisfies our self actualization, and blogs satisfies our peak experiences ~ Kim in Hawaii


Brilliant and funny insights . . . ~ Jodi Picoult

Thank you from all of us at BiblioBuffett to all of you who like us (or at least read us). It is the readers’ comments and notes and e-mails that not only make our day brighter but that keep us reading and writing with you in mind.


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