Thursday, June 14, 2018

Discussion: A Brief List Of Oddities Discovered In My Email Account

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?








57 comments:

  1. You definitely get more nteresting stuff in your email! Especially all the kids who want you to do their homework lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a surprising number of desperate kids in the world.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. Omg, this is my favorite post EVER. I don't get this many weird emails (thank god) but I also 'adore' when we (my co-bloggers and I) are asked to write a post about a totally unrelated to books product. My latest favorite has to be a FURNITURE SHOP AND THEIR PRODUCTS. We've also received instagram ones, as well. But wow, my favorite you shared is definitely #1, people like that are really out there. *cries*

    Fantastic post!! :D

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get so many emails from people wanting me to sell furniture! They seem to think that books are just home décor objects that are used to make rooms pretty. They’re badly mistaken. My rooms are decorated _around_ the books. The books are everything.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. All the kids! Lol. I guess they're pretty desperate to reach out to a blogger on the internet, someone they don't even know, to ask for help. That grade must really be important! I don't get any interesting emails like this. I have a contact form on my website and I'm strict about it and what I allow. I still get at least two emails a month with people writing to me to ask if I'll link to them. How about no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I get a lot of “please link to my product/article/blog post” emails. I’ve never understood why I should do that. If I use a website for research, I’ll link to it, but otherwise . . . nope.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. Not in email but my oldest wanted me to "help" him with homework that basically required me to read the book and answer the questions for him. And it was due the next day. Yeah, not happening. Maybe I should have sent him your way? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, if you sent him my way, he’d get a polite email that told him to do his own homework. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. I'm definitely going to just hand out your email to all my middle schoolers next year. "Here, email this lady if you don't want to do your own homework. She'd be glad to. Also, your teachers will totally not be able to tell the difference between a middle schooler's writing and that of an adult with 3 lit degrees."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. What’s really bad is that the majority of the questions I get are reading comprehension questions. They’re not critical thinking questions. If the kids read the book, they’d probably know the characters’ names and the basic plot points.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  6. Oh my God! Your #1 is all kinds of crazy. Between #1 and #4 you could potentially set up quite the business bilking lazy middle schoolers out of whatever money lazy middle schoolers have. I've gotten the usual wrong name review request emails as well as the fun "hey my book that is in no way any of the genres you read is for sale on amazon. Buy it, read it, and review by release week." Yeah big no on that. I did the email stationary thing and it's actually pretty fun. I'm not going to lie though. One of the primary reasons I agreed to do it was because the email was headed Dear Agatha Christie. I just couldn't resist! This is such a great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wondered if anyone did the email stationary thing. I was confused by it, but I know that a lot of bloggers got that email.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. 9. You're definitely a woman. Your name, however, could go either way.
    6. If they want you to review it, they should send you a free copy.
    4. You do need to update your bio, Dr. Sterkel.
    2. I guess I haven't been following your blog for a long time. Now I'm wondering what other controversies I missed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not doctor, "just" a Masters degree unless our mom missed telling me some important news. LOL! Still dang impressive, though! Not sure how things work on the arts side of things but I have two, Associates and Bachelors. So if I'd gone on to get my Masters that would be 3. Guessing something similar for her.

      Delete
    2. Yep, arts degrees are similar. My highest degree is a MFA. It’s a terminal degree, so I can do everything that a PhD can do, but I don’t have the fancy title.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. Yesss I have been waiting for this post! I'm so sad that I didn't hold onto more emails instead of deleting them. Your top five are cracking me up and HOLY CRAP I can't believe you've had people ask/demand you to do homework for them! That's unreal! Yours are definitely better than mine XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know why I get so many homework questions! Maybe because some of my reviews are more academic than the reviews on other sites? Or my blog just attracts petulant children for some reason? I don’t know!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. Wow! I cannot get over some of those. The early ones seemed like the typical spam, but they really got scary towards the end there. However, I love #4. It reminds me of emails I received when I was teaching. Kids from other schools were using my class website to study and started emailing me questions about chemistry. (I did help them, by the way)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, that’s sweet of you to help them. Now I feel bad. I usually just delete the emails. Though, most of the questions are so basic that the kids could probably find the answer by skimming the book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  10. Very entertaining. Thanks for sharing. #5 is my favorite. As a librarian, I get challenges like that all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was so frustrating! I wanted to know what book he read, but he gave me nothing to work with.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  11. This is hilarious, I never receive emails like this! I love that kids ask you for help with their homework! And LOL at that guy who recommended a book but couldn't remember the title, the author, or anything about the book. Must have really made an impression on him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He insisted that it was a really good book. You’d think he’d remember _something_ about it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  12. Lmao wow, you really have gotten some strange emails! It's racist to give a book by a Black author less than 4 stars? That's news to me too. And the person who was disappointed you liked an LGBT+ book, wow! I'm cracking up at that person who emailed you demanding an analysis though lol. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I got that demanding email, I stared at it in horror for a few seconds, and then I started laughing really hard. Poor kid. She should try reading the book instead of being angry that cheating on her assignment is hard.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  13. I need to know both why and how you get these extra special emails, because I am DYING laughing! I mean, I don't think I have EVER had anyone email me in any capacity about my blog (though I HAVE been told that my Instagram is both amazing AND awful by what seems like the same "company? Shrugs), and wow do these take the cake. I really hope you told the guy in #2 off, wow. These homework ones are the best because like... nice job shooting your shot, kids? Points for innovation? Hahah I love these, please always, ALWAYS share the out of hand emails you get forever and ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to attract weirdos online AND in real life. I don’t know how I do it! It’s like the world’s worst superpower. Most of the emails I get are pretty normal. I could only think of 9 weird ones I’ve gotten in the past five years.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  14. I get those African emails all the time and I get love letters from lusty African women who think I'm a man. I do get authors wanting to send me chapters of their book to edit and I never hear back when I tell them I'm not an unpaid editor. I constantly get people friending me hoping I'll buy their book which is always a genre I never read then they get pissed off and unfriend me as if it's my fault! FFS people can be dumb-referring to #2 and #3. Hah, that #1 is a cracker!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most annoying thing on bookish social media is when someone friends you and then immediately tries to sell you a book. It happens all the time. I also get people asking me to edit their books. When I tell them they have to pay me, they disappear.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  15. Wow..you get some weird stuff. That whole racist thing..just wow. I have more of an issue with friends on Goodreads. Someone will friend me, then pitch a book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi AJ - it's horrifying what goes on ...and what wastes our time ... I just delete asap - my time is precious ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. When I get a weird email, I laugh, delete, and move on.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  17. Although I don't just write reviews, I write a lot of them and I have had several "kids" question me about books, obviously in an attempt to avoid reading them. Gee, if they spent as much time in reading as they do in trying to get someone else to do their work, they'd be ahead of the game! Interesting list, glad I didn't find any of my emails here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I imagine that it’s time-consuming to send a bunch of emails to bloggers. The kids probably could have read a big chunk of the book in that time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  18. Wow. Such gems. "Dear Sir..." These emails have to be pretty obnoxious, but at least they make a grand blog post. #3 is something I see all over the place and I don't get it because shouldn't we rate books on how good they are, not by what race the authors and/or characters are? Isn't that the very thing we are trying to combat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know. I fully support the effort to publish more marginalized authors, but some people in the diverse books community on Twitter are extremely hateful and negative. If you don’t do things according to their rules, they’ll harass you. Luckily, most people in the community are wonderful and I love them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  19. Oh wow, these are fantastic (in a horrible sort of way, of course). It is crazy that things that people think to send other people! And kids sending you homework questions? That's a new one to me!
    I've gotten some of the generic 'I'm a big fan of your reviews' and they just crack me up, especially since 99% of the time they are addressed to 'sir' or 'mr.' and are for books I've explicitly stated I don't read or have never been shown on the blog. Those racist and homophobic ones are something else, also. You've gotten some crazy stuff--I'm sorry you have to deal with it, but they were pretty entertaining to read about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The homophobic email made me sad, but the others didn’t bother me. I just deleted them and moved on.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  20. These are definitely some of the weirdest emails I've seen. I've had people wanting me to write about a non-bookish related product, but I've never had kids wanting me to do their homework, that's insane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems to be common for book bloggers to get emails requesting that we advertise non-bookish things.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  21. I received an email requesting I allow them to use my content. I found it funky because they weren't a book place or chronic illness thing? Literally the two things my blog is about. But I have a request form that's noticeable on the right sidebar so.. I avoid the interesting content.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! I’ve never had anyone ask permission to use my content. Because of the number of homework questions I get, I assume that my content has been plagiarized by lazy children, but I’ve never had one ask permission to use it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  22. Wow, these are pretty odd. I don't get a lot of emails like this into my blog's email account, so I don't have much to share. I have gotten a couple where the author's request that I buy and review the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get a few of those emails every month. It always amuses me that some authors expect me to give them money AND do work for them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  23. See, there are reasons I make myself carefully aloof by not making my e-mail public! Although, I don't get as many amusing pieces of spam, I suppose.

    But then, I think if I got homophobia e-mailed to me directly I'd actually cry, so I'm probs doing the right thing! That and I find talking to people awkward generally! (I'm so awkward IRL. Like, even more awkward than online.)

    3 literature degrees?! How is that a thing?! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took me 11 years and 4 universities, but I managed to make 3 literature degrees a thing. I’m awkward in real life, too. Luckily, I don’t get too many weird emails from my public address. Most of them are pretty easy to deal with or delete.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  24. These are so funny! I've never had anyone demanding I write an essay for them before! I had a weird one from a pushy woman who wanted to 'collaborate' as she apparently loved my blog so much. She wanted me to post an article about mattresses and all of the titles she suggested didn't make any sense. I kept telling her I wasn't interested because I'm a book blogger but she kept replying with more suggested titles like 'Reasons why we reading books at night' or 'top ten reasons reading in bed is the best'. She did offer me monetary compensation but I really didn't want to inflict that on my readers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pushy emailers are annoying. No means no. I don’t have time to keep telling people “no” in different ways.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  25. Wow... Interesting inbox doesn't even cut it here. Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hilarious! Luckily, most of my odd ones end up in spam, but when I'm clearing my spam folder, I notice a few...and yes, I've had the ones addressed to Dearie, asking for money. Then there are some that tell me that my blog does not load properly. Yeah, right. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  27. I can't believe you've gotten emails from kids hoping they can trick you into doing their homework! It's like Yahoo Answers, but even funnier!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I must be doing something wrong because my email isn't nearly that entertaining. That last kid is really something else!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lawd, you sure do get some winners. This was hilarious but also really disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Omgg I RELATE to these so much. Wow. I actually have had people email me that I'm racist because I had Carve the Mark on my TBR...I hadn't read it or even said anything about it. Just owned it. 😳And I weekly get the "heyyyy work for me! for nothing!" emails and I'm so tired lmao. Like start talking about paying me, maybe. Or the "hey you should recommend my product to your followers." BUT WHY SIR. JUST WHY.😂 We bloggers put up with such a lot of weird things from weird humans...makes life interesting, I guess?!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow! I don't get most of these types of emails (except the people who want me to write posts about their mattresses). I can't believe how many students email you!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete