An Unlikely Complaint

I’m crawling out of my mom-cave to bitch about something.  Because I want to complain and mom blogs are nothing if not self-indulgent.

The issue is this: I fucking hate picture books.

Few things frustrate me more than getting a new book for my kids, sitting down to read and finding that there are NO WORDS in the book.  Books are for words.  Words are for books.  What the fuck kind of lazy ass authors are running around “writing” books without a single damn in word in them?  Or maybe it’s not so much the author’s fault.  Maybe its illustrators with an unwillingness to share the spotlight.  I don’t know what the situation is.  I just know it’s a problem.

How do these books even get published?!

Author: I’d like to publish a book.  

Publisher:  Great!  Send a draft over so I can read it. 

Author: Oh, well you won’t really have to read it. See, there aren’t any words.

Publisher:  No words at all?

Author: No.  Just pictures.  They’re really charming pictures though.

Publisher:  I see.  Is this a coffee table book filled with vibrant photos of the Mediterranean?

Author: No, its…

Publisher: Fuck off.  Come back when you’ve actually written something.

I mean, surely you can see where all my confusion and frustration comes from.  These books shouldn’t exist.

Now I know someone out there is going to chime in with, “Imagination…blah blah…developmental milestones…blah blah…”  No.  NO.  If your kid wants to make up a story, the words in a real book are not going to stop him.  But you know what’s going to keep your kid from reading?  Pages with no words on them.  Which, coincidentally, also keeps me from reading.

You know what else keeps me from reading?  (Bonus Rant!) My kids asking thirty questions per page every time we read a book.  I know, they’re young.  They’re curious.  They’re learning.  They’re also annoying the crap out of me.  You know how irritating it is when someone is talking all through a movie you’re trying to watch? I feel that irritation x 10 when I have to read the same sentence nine times because I keep getting interrupted by questions about the Cat in the Hat’s motivation.  “No, I don’t know why he is standing up there on a ball but that is not all!  Oh no, that is not all!”

I know this says incredibly unflattering things about my maturity level but seriously, I just want to finish a page!  Or even a sentence!  By the time we reach the fifth page of pretty much any book I’m ready to throw myself out the window.  My lovely, long-suffering husband will typically reach out at some point during all this and rub my back in an effort to calm me down.  This is because I’m breastfeeding and still can’t drink bourbon.

I think the takeaway here is this –

DON’T: Read stupid, wordless books.

DO: Pour yourself a drink.

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2 thoughts on “An Unlikely Complaint

  1. And even if you do get a book with no words, they still expect you to read it to them and tell them what is going on in the pictures….We got one from the library once and I thought he would read it himself, but that didn’t happen.

  2. Yes. This! Although, I suspect books without words get published because they are cheaper, right? Like those stupid little einsteins alphabet books. THEY’RE JUST GODDAMN STOCK PHOTO! then, boom. Profit.

    Also, Ellis does that too while we’re reading. “How dat work?”
    Me: “I don’t know how it works for a bear to adopt a child. Clearly, someone should call the authorities.”
    Ellis: “Why?”
    Me: aiewgjhkaldjhldjhlksdjgl

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