The Colon Cancer

In which I explain in great detail why I hate subheadings on books.

This note is for every political author out there, and in particular every single author who hangs out at National Review Online’s The Corner. Some examples:

And on the other side of the fence: 

Et cetera ad nauseum. I remember as a kid reading Winnie the Pooh, where the chapter titles always go something like, “In which Piglet disappears and Christopher Robin serves BLTs.” I remember thinking even then, "well, what’s the point of reading this chapter?" I know what happens. Same thing with book titles today. Here’s the thing: I want to see a colon in your book’s title about as much as I want to see YOUR colon, or my own for that matter.  

It’s your way of telling me that I’m too stupid to figure out to flip the book over and read the back cover or pop it open and scan a page or two. It lets me know that you have a point which can be summed up in a sentence, which doesn’t inspire me to devote a few hours and twenty bucks on what’s between the covers.  

Yes, I know the subhead is there to explain to people who don’t read the books what the book is about so that even if they’re just browsing, they get the point. But it kills my desire to read the damn thing.  

It’s just there to make sure the author preaches to the right choir, which is a shame, because there’s some really good writing out there that people will never read because they don’t belong to the political tribe it’s intended for.

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