These Bookish Millennials Make Memes Worth Reading Into
This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.
A recent Pew study found that millennials are more likely to have read a book in the past year than Americans over the age of 30. The finding flies in the face of a popular critique of millennials: that all they consume is Internet frippery listicles, canada goose outlet uk parodies, memes canada goose outlet nyc and quizzes.
But the two aren’t mutually exclusive there’s a corner of the Internet where millennials are making viral content that is decidedly bookish. When Kanye West released “Bound 2” last year, the music video which has Kim Kardashian doing a lot Canada Goose Jackets of blinking and bouncing on a motorcycle became instant fodder for Canada Goose Outlet parodies by the likes of South Park and Saturday Night Live. But you might have missed canada goose uk shop “Hardcover Bound 2,” a parody by Annabelle Quezada and La Shea Delaney that replaces rhymes about Kardashian with lines about books.
Quezada and Delaney’s first spoof was of West and Jay Z’s “Ni as In Paris.” It all started when Delaney tweeted: “Read so hard librarians tryin’ to fine me.” At the canada goose black friday sale time, she lived in New York, where she got her MFA and taught English.
“We were bookifying everything,” says Quezada, a freelance filmmaker who lives in Brooklyn.
Quezada and Delaney aren’t the only ones making smart Internet content disguised as canada goose outlet store uk the more frivolous stuff that floats through our feeds. For the website The Millions, Janet Potter rewrote the titles of classic novels as click cheap canada goose bait headlines.
“So, for example,” Potter says, “you would see the cover of Moby Dick but we’ve taken canada goose jacket outlet out the headline. and canada goose outlet parka instead it says: They Told Him White Whales Were Impossible to Hunt. That’s When He Went Literally Crazy. That’s actually my favorite.”
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Potter says content like this appeals to a certain kind of audience. “I think the people who get this post have one foot in both worlds. [They] are, you know, well read, very literate, but also are very familiar with today’s Internet.”
They’re the same people who got in on the hashtag HipsterBooks (created by Grand Central Publishing) and tweeted Remembrance of Things Pabst and The Selfie of Dorian Gray. They could also decipher the first lines of novels that Slate recently spelled out in emojis.
Isaac Fitzgerald is the books editor for BuzzFeed, that grand purveyor of listicles for millennials. (Though, he’d like to state for the record that “listicles” and “millennials” are two of his least favorite words.) He says, “We don’t do reviews so much as we want to be your friend who’s, like, grabbing your sleeve and saying, ‘This is the book that you need to read.’ ”
BuzzFeed Books canada goose outlet store is canada goose outlet uk sale two parts literary pun names for your cat, one part contemporary writing. He says, “If the idea is that Internet users are becoming more educated because they’re reading listicles or some sort of Buzzfeed canada goose clearance sale click bait that is derived from literary content, I canada goose outlet think that’s a bit specious.”
I feel like there’s canada goose uk outlet no industry that’s more obsessed with its own demise than publishing. But it’s been like that since the printing press. I’m sure there were just monks that were like, ‘Well, what about our hand painted letter books? Those https://www.georg-godorr.de were the only real books. This printing press stuff is trash.’
Earlier this year, Greenfeld wrote an op ed for The New York Times called “Faking Cultural Literacy.” He says you don’t, in fact, have to be well read to get this stuff, and he worries that reading content derived from books canada goose outlet toronto factory might replace official canada goose outlet reading actual books.
“Rather than encouraging one necessarily to go investigate the primary source and actually read Jane Austen,” he says, “I wonder if that’s Canada Goose Coats On Sale actually convincing people that, ‘Well, I don’t need to read it because I can build some plausible version of thought about this subject without having to read it.’ ”
If you ask linguist Arika Okrent, who contributes articles (including listicles) to Mental Floss, the listicle itself is a literary form. She points out that the listicle has a predicable structure, like a limerick or a haiku. “It happens to be most commonly used for dumbed down distraction, but there’s nothing about the fact of a list itself that makes that necessary.”
People write poetry on Twitter, so why can’t they write fiction in the form of lists? If you’re despairing about the end of letters at this point, Isaac Fitzgerald has this to say:
“Seriously? I feel like there’s no industry that’s more obsessed with its own demise than publishing. But it’s been like that since the printing press. I’m sure there were goose outlet canada just monks that were like, ‘Well, what about our hand painted letter books? Those were the only real books. This printing press stuff is trash.’ ”
The kids might read in a different way, but we still read. If you aren’t convinced, Canada Goose online check out one of BuzzFeed canada goose outlet shop Books’ most popular listicles: 65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s.