Sunday, 30 December 2012

One thing to piss me off before I die

I found myself wandering around Kingston-upon-Thames town centre yesterday afternoon. Along with a tide of humanity that seemed hell-bent on spending even more money on such necessary requirements such as DVD boxed-sets, CDs, books and shiny electrical appliances. Recession? Not here, pal...

I was there under duress, not in the best of moods, but to salve my increasingly furrowed brow I walked into Waterstone's the 'book' shop. Oh dear.

I was met by a display of book titles, all themed "One thousand things to do/see/hear before you die". I picked up the tome dedicated to telling us what music we need to consume before we are carted off to where ever we are destined to end up - I think I know a bit about music - and was singularly unimpressed with most of the choices. I scowled at the other books, suggesting what printed word we need to read, what places we need to visit and I remembered that there are at least two natural history books based around this same, lazy, vacuous premise - bird species that we should seek out otherwise die failures and natural wonders of the world that, should we shuffle off this mortal coil without visiting, would result in our lifetime being deemed a failure.

You may think that I'm over reacting here. They could be considered to be harmless books that might just encourage someone to get interested in the subject. I see them as lazy publishing. I bet they have been created by some marketing wallah who was given a 'stretch task' to come up with 10 ideas to create a new publishing stream. In those books dealing with natural history, it's just packaging these precious things as commodities to consume, burp, and then move onto the next comestible. It's so in tune with our time that it makes me want to weep.

Rant over. 2013 will be filled with positivity and light...


  1. I have an idea for a book. One hundred 'To do before you die' books to read before you die.

    It comes with a suicide pill.

  2. Ha ha! The irony is not lost on me - a rant about books of...lists ;o)

    Nice one Steve!

  3. Never seen a rant from your goodself Steve...those things are just shite anyway...

    ...along with Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity, Jordan, the latest autobiography from a pop star off the x factor, The X Factor, One Direction, Geordie Shore, TOWIE, spray tans, Benidorm, slim fit shirts, the Deadly 60, Radio 1, Hip Hop, fox hunters, shoes called 'toms'?...

    Ok now breathe.....

  4. Andrew: be very careful in what you wish for... somebody might just do it.

    Gavin: I hadn't thought about that! Just goes to show how fickle I am...

    Stewart: We should have both been naturalists back in the 1950s - Wrynecks, Red-backed Shrikes, DDT... oh, hang on...

  5. I have a great idea for a book..."100 ways to kill the twats who write 100 things to do before you die books"

    It's an effing best seller mate!

    love the rants, keep 'em coming!