I, like a bunch of other big dumb idiots, made a New Year’s Resolution to read more books this year. There’s something about being a few years out of college, when you are no longer required to read anything in order to achieve your goals, that you start to wonder…
Do I still know HOW to read?
Am I literate? Sure I read and write emails all day, every day but that’s just muscle memory at this point. Start with a “hi team”, add one too many exclamation points to sound like you’re excited about “launching this new initiative” and end with a “best”. It’s like you’re playing Madlibs at this point, just filling in the blanks.
So as I’ve gone on my path to become literate again I’ve been reading several different styles and genres of books just to really figure out where my groove is, and I just recently dipped my toes into the “wealthy coastal family drama” genre.
If you aren’t familiar with this style of book, ask your Mom. These books usually have waves crashing onto the shore on the cover, a glowing review from Drew Barrymore on the back, and the title is normally “The Changing Tides of Newport” or something…and if this sounds familiar it’s probably because you read the book I just read called “Malibu Rising” and guys…this book is SICK.
But I was SO self conscious reading it. Mainly because when I got back from the bookstore with it, my Mom was on the front porch reading another book FROM THE SAME AUTHOR. I thought…should I really be reading and enjoying the same content as my mom? The same women who has legitimately asked me if I’m “keeping up with Young Sheldon” before? PROBABLY NOT!
But against my initial feelings, I did have a blast reading it. And it made me wonder why more dudes don’t read stuff like this! Are we so scared that someone’s gonna tap us on the shoulder and say “Bro, are you seriously reading about a fictional man and trying to picture him in your head? PAUSE.”
I mean this book has celebrities, mansions, living on the coast, drugs, parties, relationships, FIRE…and for some reason it’s feminine to read all this stuff, yet watching hours of Entourage (which has all of that) is about the most masculine thing a man can do??
It’s all because it doesn’t fit into the 5 main book genres that are acceptable for men to read. And I think in order to break the mold, we need to address the 5 basic books for boys, acknowledge that they aren’t that great, and add the 6th genre of “fun beach reads our moms would like”. So here they are:
Top 5 Books that Dudes Read
5. Book You Should’ve Actually Read In High School
Look, the classics are classics, but don’t act like that’s the reason you’re reading “A Tale of Two Cities”. You’re reading that because you quite literally have no idea what else to read. You couldn’t spend the 5 minutes to google “best new books of the year” and find one that sounds remotely interesting so you just went into your basement and pulled out that dusty ass copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” that Sparknotes put in a body bag sophomore year of high school. Spend about 10 minutes looking around an actual bookstore or do a google search or something and you can save yourself from pretending to understand whatever the hell Mark Twain was jutting down in his notebook before slavery was even abolished.
4. Autobiography of a Man
Anyone who has been on TV for more than a combined hour can have a book deal in the snap of their fingers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Honey Boo Boo has a hardback keeping the shelves warm of Hudson News’ around the country despite literally no one having heard from her in about 10 years. But that’s because it’s easy to get a book deal if people know your name even if you’re boring as hell. Sure, the Matthew McConaughey book is awesome. The man has been in iconic movies for 20+ years, he’s traveled the world, he is an absolute character. But that guy is like a one-in-a-ten-million dude. For every charming McConaughey Memoir there’s also like “What Da Kwad: The Sean Kingston Story” where you’d just skip the first 100 pages to get to the jet ski accident part.
Half the time the celebrity knows their getting paid and it’s gonna sell regardless so they barely even write coherently. I read Seth Rogen’s book because he’s a comedy hero of mine and the man clearly wrote 250 pages while inhaling 3 blunts and passed it over to a publisher. It wasn’t bad or anything, but there is MUCH better out there.
3. Book that became a Movie or TV Show
Men will legit read 1200 pages of words this dude just made up while taking a dump just because they watched a TV show based on it.
It is very interesting to read a book and then see the movie adaptation bring it to life. But at least 90% of the dudes I know do not have the mental willpower to not watch something because they wanna read the book first. Just doesn’t happen. We read Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and any other fantasy/sci-fi book, probably just because it’s easy to follow! We’ve already seen how it plays out! We feel good about ourselves because we “read” 100 pages of The Prisoner of Azkaban in about 20 minutes, but in reality we just glanced at the words and pictured the parts of the movies when we spotted them. Just a full ego-boosting addiction we need to quit.
2. Book about War
Subconsciously I think guys believe if you’ve read enough war books, you’re pretty much a veteran. Like once you’ve read enough books about the horrors of war you’re allowed to start shopping at the Army Surplus and demanding a “thank you for your service” from strangers. They’re reading war books just to microdose PTSD from combat so you can convince yourself that you would’ve served the country if “accounting” wasn’t such a lucrative field that you were pretty much forced to choose that career path. It’s such a role reversal too because the dudes who actually serve are the ones probably reading like “Where the Crawdads Sing” just to take themselves out of their horrible situation. So if you really wanna feel like a vet, put down the book about physical weapons and pick up a book about the most dangerous weapon of all…forbidden love.
1. Financial Literacy Books
The number one dumbest dude book genre for my money is, of course, financial literacy books. You could offer me 100 bucks to crush a money management book over the course of a month and I’d turn you down, does that make me a financial fool? I WOULDN’T KNOW.
I always see dudes reading books called like “Monetary Moon Shots: How to Make Interstellar Income” on the beach and I’m like, ARE YOU GONNA START TAKING NOTES??? This is a textbook brother and you guys are just checking it out for funsies in 85 degree weather? I’d rather find out how the AC works in my 2015 Ford Escape from the instruction manual in my glovebox before I read a 200 page pamphlet from some dude who’s just gonna tell me the steps to getting rich are 1.) inherit 40 million and 2.) start a youtube channel. Get real.
So guys, for the love of God, let’s ditch these trash types of books and start devouring novels about coastal elites cheating on their murderous husbands…or at least pick up an autobiography by a woman for change. Preferably this one.