BY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!
ON THE COVER
CP: CP is on the literacy tip once more in its Book Quarterly, urging you – yes, YOU! – to pick up what publishing companies everywhere are putting down. To coin a Johnnie Cochrane-esque phrase, if it’s bound and inked, it’ll make you think! And they’re even sweetening the deal. Take a look:
A 2009 National Endowment for the Arts study put it in no uncertain terms: For the first time in a quarter-century, adults – particularly those ages 18 to 24 – are reading more literature than they used to. It’s a huge leap from the NEA’s last survey eight years ago, which found that 16.6 million fewer Americans took to cracking open those great American novels and breezy beach books. That’s a big deal.
For a paper like ours, one still writing about books on a regular basis, this is encouraging news. We’d like to see that trend grow. That’s why we’re giving away a copy of every single book reviewed – hell, even briefly mentioned – in this summer edition of City Paper‘s Book Quarterly.
I, for one, am intrigued. Loved Rob Sheffield’s previous one; glad to see he’s got another. Serious commentary on our technological times abound as well — video games = good for you, the Internet = bad — and if I’m judging by a cool title alone (and I usually am), then “The Lonely Polygamist” sounds like a must-read. Go on — judge a book by its cover, but only if it means you read it afterward.
PW: Lists, lists, lists… not much more I can say about PW this week. They say, “People fucking love lists. They’re easy to read. They’re helpful. They are the fun-size candy bar of print. What’s not to love?” Can’t argue with that, and they’ve lined up some good ones: things to do, places to avoid, spots to trip on acid… wait, what?
Top 5 LSD Walking Routes
1. Start at the Art Museum and follow the bike path along Kelly Drive all the way to East Falls. Watch out for bikes.
2. Start at 33rd and Chestnut and walk all the way down Woodland Walk. Watch out for silent judgment from Penn students.
3. Start at Franklin Square and head south, zig zagging through Old City. Watch out for old people tripping you out … or tripping people olding you out … whoa.
4. Start at Broad and Cecil B. Moore and walk all over Temple’s campus. Watch out for crossing the street and ending up not on Temple’s campus.
5. Start at Chamounix Mansion, head into the park and get lost. Watch out for never being found.
This is, without question, the strangest, most offensive suggestion since PW’s guide to getting busy in public. Still, having seen the small-world syndrome that Temple grads suffer in this city, that list gets a laugh, and the guides for skating, public art and pretzels are well-chosen. None of them, though, will dethrone the Top 10 Drug Corners list. That’s the gold standard.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: Super (Germantown) Friends. How is Beer Week like “big heaps of elephant shit”? J-Lab: Sadly, not for the production of superior joints. Those horses on the PA state flag? Replace ‘em with diamond-encrusted ponies.
PW: Another list! Fuck yeah! It’s so hard to say hello to yesterday: The ‘90’s return. Food down the shore: Like it, but what’s a shoobee? Douchebags: Scarcer than you’d think.
WINNER: When it comes down to it, I’d rather read a book than a list. As for a list of books, so much the better. CP takes it.