Ah, haters. Who doesn’t love ’em? Trolling Goodreads recently, I saw a lot of ego-boosting comments about my book. There were also these corkers (in order from mildly humorous to super awesome):
“He gushes so much he practically soaks the pages.”
“Overall, it’s a good book, but not amazing.”
“This book feels like a blog entry, padded out extensively.”
“Go read Love Is a Mix Tape instead.”
“The rest sort of slowly winds down and peters out in a mildly interesting way.”
“I really only have one comment: ‘meh.'”
“At times painful to read because of the footnotes.”
“Not so much about music as it is about the author’s quest to be cool.”
“All he does is annoy half of his readers with opinions that have very little to do with anything.”
“Frankly, it is remarkable a publisher agreed to devote 75,000 words to it.”
“A perfectly horrible book, in every way.”
“Would give it zero stars if that was possible.”
“Not quite as funny as it thinks it is.”
“Smug, glib, trying so hard to be clever.”
“It’s mainly just this dipshit talking about growing up.”
“Boring, boring, boring Klosterman wanna-be.”
“i. hate. footnotes.”
“It angries up the blood.”
“Wow…this book sucked a million ways to Sunday.”
One thing I’ve come to understand about memoir-writing is that most reviewers aren’t so much judging the book as they are its author. (Coincidentally, Jonathan Franzen and Gawker totally agree.) And when you choose to write a polarizing memoir where you toss around emphatic opinions about things your readers care deeply about, you are bound to get attacked in very personal ways by the people who don’t get it. So, in order to breathe and eat correctly, you have to tell yourself that you’re not going to let comments like the above faze you, in almost the same way that you have to accept those very public beat-downs and pantsings by the playground bully. You’d be best off, in fact, embracing the negative comments in the same way you do the positive ones. Which is why I would consider any one of the following statements for my gravestone:
HERE LIES JOHN SELLERS, SMUG, GLIB, TRIED SO HARD TO BE CLEVER.
R.I.P. JOHN SELLERS, A DIPSHIT WHO TALKED MAINLY ABOUT GROWING UP.
SHED NOT A TEAR FOR JOHN SELLERS, BORING, BORING, BORING KLOSTERMAN WANNA-BE.
WOULD GIVE JOHN SELLERS ZERO STARS IF THAT WAS POSSIBLE.
JOHN SELLERS: HE ANGRIED UP THE BLOOD.
Still, none of these Goodreads commenters have managed to trump the infamous anonymous New York magazine reviewer who called me an asshole or the infamous anonymous Publishers Weekly reviewer who erroneously suggested that I endorsed non-consensual sex. Those truly sucked a million ways to Sunday.
WHY I’M ANGRY TODAY
I have that Subway jingle stuck in my head: “Five dollar… Five dollar… Five dollar foot looooongs.”