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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Friday, January 14, 2011 10:31 am
Today Show: Snooki Trumps Newbery, Caldecott
Posted by: Courtney Jones

snookis-shore-thingIn case you need more proof that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is a monster and must be stopped, she’s written a book. She wanted to surprise everyone by writing fiction.  Don’t get too excited, A Shore Thing is basically a novelization of her life, with plenty of GTL* for everyone. To add insult to injury, the Today Show bumped Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead, the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott medals, to interview Ms. Polizzi. It’s epic. Matt Lauer asks her to define “badonk”** and looks like he hates himself.

This discovery has caused some weary protest and wringing of hands in the wider world of books. However,  Mark Gould, director of ALA’s Public Information Office, handled it with grace:

“The ALA Youth Media Awards have had a spot on the Today Show for more than a decade, and while not being on this year was a disappointment for ALA members and book lovers across the country, we hope the Today Show can find room for us in the future.”

So what do Snooki’s fans and other Jersey Shore enthusiasts think? For that insight, we turn to our resident reluctant Jersey Shore devotee, reference blogger, and librarian-in-training, Annie McCormick:

“I think if Snooki has the power to get the masses to read, to read anything at all, it’s a step in the right direction. But…people aren’t even reading the dang book.”

Yep, fans are purchasing the book, but they don’t intend to read it. You can see the hilarious (read: soul-crushing) video from Snooki’s book signing here, where someone says their favorite author, aside from Snooki, is Justin Bieber.

 

* That’s “gym, tan, laundry” for those of you not up on your Jersey Shore parlance.
** Butt, booty, tuchus

3 Responses to “Today Show: Snooki Trumps Newbery, Caldecott”
  1. henderhouse Says:

    Thanks for posting this, Mr. Graff. I appreciate reading the comments from Mark Grace. I must express my surprise at your characterization of Monica Edinger’s and Amy Graff’s blog postings as “weary protest” and “wringing of hands.” They seem as reasonable as Mr. Grace’s statement, certainly. The most dramatic term used seemd to be “sad.” What this incident most clearly demonstrates to me is the movement of the news media more into the realm of entertainment. I certainly expect interviews with Snooki on Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. But to have Snooki instead of — not in addition to other celebrated (actual) authors does seem (to use your words) a bit “soul-crushing.”

  2. Keir Graff Says:

    Thanks for the comment. Just to clarify, Courtney Jones was the author of this post, Mark Gould offered PIO’s response (not the former Cubs first baseman, Mark Grace–but how great would that have been?), and Keir Graff and Amy Graff are not related. I know you didn’t suggest that last one, but I suddenly felt it needed a disclaimer.

    Snooki delivers ratings, but it’s too bad that so many media outlets insist on chasing our knee-jerk interests instead of helping to start a worthwhile conversation.

  3. libtex Says:

    What is sad is that ALA assumed they would be “given” the spot they seem to think is theirs just because it has been for “a decade”. Today is going to use the spots that they believe will do the most to boost their ratings. That is their job. So, let’s see–TV promotes one of their own with a book spot or they promote ALA’s choice (a group that while not totally hostile to TV is not one of its biggest supporters). Who will win this contest 99 out of a hundred times?


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