|The 2018 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts At Midnight|
Having an email address that’s visible to the public is always an adventure. I never know what I’m going to find in my account. I get your typical Nigerian prince scammers and your grieving widows who desperately need access to my bank account. I also get some weird emails that are unique to book blogging. Today, we’re doing a countdown of the oddest messages I’ve discovered in my email account over the past 5 years of book blogging.
Before we start, I realize that this post sounds snarky. Please don't be afraid to email me. I'm actually pretty friendly. Usually. These emails are just too odd to keep to myself.
A Brief List Of Oddities Discovered In My Email Account
Dear Sir, I’m your biggest fan . . .
It’s amazing how many emails I’ve gotten from my “biggest fans.” Usually, the emails are addressed to “Sir” or to “Mr. Read All The Things.” You’d think my biggest fans would know my name. It’s at the bottom of every blog post. My email address is my name. The URL of this blog is my name. Also, for the record, I’m a woman. Just putting that out there for all my future biggest fans.
We won’t pay you, but please work for us . . .
I get a lot of emails from people who want me to write posts about the products they’re selling. This isn’t a bad thing, but 99% of the products have nothing to do with books. I’ve been asked to write advertisement posts about mattresses, furniture stores, email stationary (whatever that is), and student loan help websites. None of these companies offered to compensate me for writing the advertisement post.
Here’s the thing: I blog about books because I get enjoyment from it. I don’t get enjoyment from student loans. If you want me to write about those, you need to give me something. Preferably money. So I can pay off my student loans.
We regret to inform you that your Instagram account sucks . . .
I’ve gotten this email so many times. Basically, it insults my Instagram account and then says I can fix my account by hiring the company that sent the email. What’s extra hilarious is that I started getting this email before I had an Instagram account.
Friends have to buy each other’s books, right? It’s the law . . .
This seems to happen every few months. Someone emails me to ask a writing-related question or to chat about a spoiler that I didn’t put in a review. I don’t mind chatting about writing or books. Feel free to email me. Here’s the problem: I exchange a few emails with the person, and then the person says, “So, my book is for sale on Amazon. Could you buy it and review it?” When I say, “No thanks,” I never hear from the person again. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I get the feeling that I’m being used.
I don’t remember anything about this book, but I know you’ll love it . . .
Way back when I first started this blog, I posted a list of true crime books that I wanted to read. A guy emailed me and said that he’d read a “really good” book about cults. He thought I should read it. He didn’t remember the title or the author. I asked him what cult it was about. He didn’t remember. I asked him what the cover looked like. He didn’t remember. I asked him if it was a new release. He didn’t remember. I asked him if he ordered the book online. He didn’t remember. So . . . this conversation is productive. I’m glad it was a “really good” book.
I didn’t do my assigned reading, and now my grade depends on you . . .
I review a lot of award-winning children’s literature, and those books tend to be assigned reading in schools. That means that kids find my blog when they Google the books they failed to read. I get a lot of emails that look like this:
“I saw that you read ___insert book title here___, and I wondered what you thought about ____insert copy/pasted homework questions here____.”
Sorry, kids. The best part of being a grownup is not having homework. The best part of having 3 literature degrees is that I can spot an essay prompt from a hundred miles away and run quickly in the opposite direction.
I’m writing to let you know that you are racist . . .
Here’s a recent one. In a Top Ten Tuesday a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was underwhelmed by Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Black Boy by Richard Wright. An emailer informed me that it’s racist to give a book by a black author less than 4 stars. This is news to me. I've always rated books based on how impressed I am by them.
I’m disappointed that you’re not a homophobe . . .
If you’ve been following this blog for a long time, then you might remember that I love Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I read it when it first came out and squawked about it incessantly on all the social medias. I got an email from a “very disappointed” blog follower who told me that he was unfollowing because I’d given a positive review to a book that “made homosexuality seem normal.” He suggested that I take down my review before I lost all of my followers. I didn’t take down the review. I only lost one follower.
You obviously don’t know how to write an essay, so here’s some homework . . .
This email wins the top spot because it was so hostile and demanding. Seriously, this kid was mad. The email came from a girl who clearly didn’t do her assigned reading. She told me that the “book essays” on my blog are crap, and I obviously don’t know how to write a “book essay.” She demanded that I “carefully analyze” the quotes that I used in my review and email her the analysis “by tonight.”
Sorry, kid. This is my blog. I’ll write my “book essays” however I want. You're going to have to take a deep breath and do your own homework.
What’s the oddest email you’ve ever gotten?