Vincenzo has gotten addicted to a series of books called Fablehaven. The more I read them, the more I have begun to really, really hate the author. Take the first paragraph of the fourth book, for example. You know—the paragraph that’s there to kick off the book with a bang and grab the reader’s interest:
Kendra Sorenson briskly scraped the head of a wooden match against the rough strip on the side of a rectangular matchbox. Cupping her hand to shield the new flame, she held the burning match against the blackened wick of a candle stub. Once the flame spread to the wick, she shook out the match, thin strands of smoke winding upward.
I’m just saying that if I were writing the book (and I’m not, because I could never write books with such slow plots and such long-winded descriptions and such unlikeable, one-sided characters), I would have written that paragraph somewhat differently. Mine would go something like this:
Kendra lit a candle.
But I didn’t write the book. So go back to the original, long-winded paragraph. Stretch it out to the length of a page, then multiply by 525 for the number of pages in this particular book, then multiply that by 5 for the number of books in the series. What you end up with is one mother who begins wondering what it would feel like to stick toothpicks underneath all her fingernails.
Because surely it couldn’t be as bad as hearing the question, “Mom, will you read some Fablehaven?”