Friday Videos Have Something to Say to CNET

Last week, CNET debuted a new video that gave Kindle users some tips on how to hide those embarrassing books – you know, like romance novels – when someone wants to look at your Kindle.

I had something to say about that. Behold, my response. (HA! Best thumbnail frame ever!)

Thanks to Gyna Colewater and Jane Litte for helping me out. And Hubby who held the camera and tried not to talk while filming.

Hope everyone finds excellent things to read this weekend.

Even the folks at CNET.


Friday Videos

Comments are Closed

  1. Amy says:

    Wow, I’m actually shocked by this – the CNET video, I mean.  That is one of the most blatant displays of sexism I’ve ever seen – and from a woman!  The upsetting thing is, it is quite a handy tip to have, but why did she have to make the point that Kindle users “many of them women” like the fact they can hide embarrassing books on them?  Are women more likely to read embarrassing books?  Why are romance books embarrassing?  Many of my favourite romance authors like Elizabeth Rolls, Margaret Moore and others, write some of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read.

    You know, sometimes insultingness can be quite subtle, but that was really blatant, as I said.  I just find it so sad.  And what’s wrong with reading Twilight?  It may be generally considered YA, but Stephenie Meyer has said she wrote it for herself, her own enjoyment and for other 30 year old women as well.  Hmm.

  2. Molly Wood quite clearly said “romance novels, or Twilight, or worse” so evidently there are books even more embarrassing than “romance novels.”  And she’s “not going to judge” us either. How can you be so ungrateful given her overwhelming endorsement of the romance genre, her lack of prejudice, and the helpful tip she’s shared with us?

  3. molly_rose says:

    Stay classy, smart bitches. Someone has to!

  4. Liz_Peaches says:

    I put a romance novel on my dad’s Sony505 for the times I borrow it.  Shortly after he finished the book he was reading and started reading mine.  He totally enjoyed it! The great thing about the digital e-readers is that judging a book by its cover happens less if the cover isn’t there, but aparently we’re still subject to title scrutiny or something.  Whatever CNET, if I really cared about what people might assume my taste level is, I’d have done a better job hiding the Phil Collins songs in my itunes.

    Twilight is a romance in my mind, and it’s not being a romance that makes it embarrassing, its the screaming horde of teens that drove the Edward boy into traffic.

    That said, reading Twilight would not lower my opinion of a person (though driving actors into traffic sure does).

  5. Alyssa Day says:

    THIS is freaking wonderful.  Am off to tweet it everywhere.

  6. Penny says:

    LOVE IT!  I’m going to re-tweet it everywhere!  Thanks for the link, Alyssa!

  7. Nisha says:

    Psh, CNET is only embarrassed because they are a bunch of unsophisticated dweebs. Way to make ignorant statements, CNET!

    will tweet.


  8. Azure says:

    Oh, I’m so glad the lady from CNET isn’t going to judge me by what I read!!  I was so worried that I stayed up all night thinking about what she might be thinking if she saw all those “romance novels or worse” on my Sony!  Thank God she’s got a way to protect my reputation if someone grabs my device!  (Oh, wait, that was for the Kindle…oops.  Guess my poor little Sony better not see the light of day, or someone might find out that I like reading about…*small voice* romance.)

    *eye roll*  Puh-lease.  Spare me, CNET.  I don’t go to your website and I have one more reason not to now.

    Loved your response to it!  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Spam filter: plans84.  Hmm.  I have plans to read 84 romance novels on my Sony.  And if someone looks at it and wants to know what I’m reading, I’ll be more than happy to show them, regardless of what it is.

  9. HeatherK says:

    What’s bad is she probably spent a good amount of time working up that little speech of hers. And could she have said some of those words anymore snidely than she did? I’m a horribly shy person, but I have nothing against telling people what I read or write. They can like it or not. It’s their problem, not mine.

    And though it was an interesting “tip” she was sharing, it could have been presented in a much less insulting manner.

    My ex owns a Kindle, and he’ll read just about anything you put in front of him. When we split, he ran off with my Secrets volumes! At least now that he has a Kindle, I get to play with some new tech, provided he remembers to bring it next time he comes over. I’ll stick to my Sony, though.

    Spam word: Police18 – it’s just too easy, I ain’t even gonna go there.

  10. HeatherK says:

    BTW, Great video comeback. It was a well needed chuckle this morning. Yes, I’m slow this morning. I blame the already loud 7y/o. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Now back to my Sony and non-embarrassing reading.

  11. Bumper sticker idea-  Hide Cnet.  Flaunt your romance.

    loved the video response.

  12. katiebabs says:

    Reading romance novels are embarrassing?  Now that the Kindle is out I can retire my trench coat and sunglasses as I read.
    CNET fail!
    And yes, I love Twilight! So take that.

  13. Maybe we can start a series of Kindle covers “I read romance, get over it,” kind of thing.

  14. AmyW says:

    Wow. I can’t believe CNET even called out one of Gena’s books specifically. Now *that* is rude, not the people checking out your Kindle bookshelf.

    Well played ladies, well played.

    security word is justice97—how appropriate!

  15. Larissa Ione says:

    OMG, that’s priceless!

  16. Deb Kinnard says:

    My jaw dropped. Thanks, Sarah, for setting it all to rights.

    Going off now to hide my husband’s copy of BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN.

  17. Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Hey, Bimbos of the Death Sun is a great book!  (And it has one of the most hilarious descriptions of a Star Trek-themed wedding ever.)  The sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, was even better, IIRC.

  18. An Goris says:

    you rock, Sarah!

    tweeting it.

  19. Jael says:

    Gotta say, I’m a big fan of Molly Wood and never miss her appearances on BOL or Gadgettes, and as a romance-reading Kindle owner, I wasn’t offended by her video.  She’s smart and funny, and there are people who are ashamed of their reading matter whther it’s romance or other genre.  Should they be?  Well, that’s for them to decide, but Molly presented the info in an entertaining way.

    Loved the SB response, though!


  20. Leeann Burke says:

    CNET may have had some good tips to share, but the reporter truly should have kept her opinions about what people may read on it to herself.

    Personally I don’t care who sees what I read. I read on the bus, at home and my office. I’ve never hidden a book cover (even the ones I don’t like). I’ll flash the cover to anyone who looks my way. I’m proud to say I read romance and many other genres as well.

    Good response Sarah!

  21. Lostshadows says:

    Of course, this advice only is useful if you think to hide any “embarrassing” books in advance. It doesn’t seem all that useful for anything you might be about to read.

  22. Liza says:

    Great response Sarah! I guess the CNET lady never needs to look at my Sony. I’m pretty sure about the only books on it are romances. Of course, I don’t care who knows what books I read, but I guess the “non-judging” CNET lady doesn’t realize that romance readers are proud of what we read.

  23. ghn says:

    When I saw that Cnet video, I decided that the cover for my Cybook really needed a cover – or a big sticker or something. For me, I think a babe in a brass bra, swinging a huge sword would be just dandy. (I like Fantasy)
    Or perhaps battling starships in outer space, shooting colorful (and scientifically inaccurate) lasers at each others. (I like SF, too.)
    Or perhaps a well-built couple in a clinch in unlikely tropical vegetation (or another suitably romancey environment) – clothing optional.  😉
    show53 – I am sure I have more than 53 covers on deeply loved books that the Cnet person would be deeply embarrassed to show off. Though I wouldn’t. Hah! If anybody comments negatively on the covers of whatever-it-is I am reading – screw them!!

  24. Awesome! So glad you responded like this! I love it!

  25. michy says:

    Forgetting the supposed embarrassment factor for a moment, this is such a bad idea technologically. It reminds me of the story of the computer user who ‘hid’ all of his important files in the trash can on his computer, and then was shocked to find them gone when tech support cleaned up his machine. And while I don’t own a kindle and don’t know how fast downloads are, it strikes me as very wasteful of bandwidth to have to re-download your books every time you want to read them. And with Amazon’s track record of deleting books already on your device, who knows what they would do if they thought you wanted the book archived. Lastly, one of the advantages of having a kindle is the ability to schlep tons of books in a small space to a remote location. Would downloads reach the depths of the Amazon or a secluded beach on the other side of the world? I guess then you wouldn’t be worried about someone seeing your secret, shameful, reading list.

  26. Laurie says:

    Well, two good things came from that CNet thingy.  One, the lovely response video (truly, a classic).  And two, I googled and immediately downloaded Bimbos of the Death Sun.  Whee!

    Now, I use the Kindle App, so this may be different on an actual honest-to-goodness Kindle, but I sort of have to be connected to retrieve archived books.  So what is this twit going to do when she wants to retrieve her romance novel, Twilight or worse?  She might be stuck reading (gasp) boring stuff!

    (hours45:  45 hours without reading romance – Inconceivable!)

  27. BeckyAnn says:

    My shock is the assumption that anyone would let a piece of tech they paid that much for be “grabbed” from them and then pawed through. Really!?!? I’m thinking that it would be snatched back and the grabbie would be beaten into the ground.

  28. Silver James says:

    If she was trying to be funny/snarky, she missed. Definitely like the rebuttal! FYI, MS. Wood? I READ ROMANCE AND I’M DAMN PROUD OF IT! I also write it, so there! PHBBTH!

    Spam word: some17 Yeah, I like me some 17 romance novels! (X100)

  29. Sarah,
    Your response to CNET is made of awesome.  🙂

  30. MelB says:

    Brava!! Sara your response was spot on. I’ve never hidden a book cover when I read and proudly display my own.

  31. Karen says:

    The weird thing to me about the Cnet video was how a lot of the books apparently “embarrassing” to the reporter were the In Death titles, which I think of as far more mystery/police procedurals than straight romance. Not that crime dramas are in any way better than romance or any other genre, but they don’t have the stigma that romance does, so…what is she ashamed of, exactly? Just seems an odd choice to use for an example.

    Loved the SBTB video response! Very clever and an excellent rebuttal.

  32. Miri says:

    So awesome Sarah!

  33. I’m waiting for the Kindle Brown Paperbag Edition before I buy—that way all those folks in the doctor’s waiting room won’t have to speculate whether or not I’m hiding some shameful reading. Instead, they can drive themselves crazy wondering if I’m reading romance, Twilight, or Rush Limbaugh.

  34. Madd says:

    When I was a teenager some people nicknamed me Jellyfish because I rarely ever took a side in arguments. It’s very rare for me not to be able to understand both sides of an issue and sometimes agree with both. I agree with a lot of the responses here, including Jael’s.

    People should not feel embarrassed about reading romance, but it doesn’t change the fact that many are. I also think that if they want to hide their reading materials on their own reader, it’s their right and they should be able to do so. I read some erotica and erotic romance and keep the device lock on my eReader in case I leave it lying around and my kids get in to it. Sure, it might open up on one of my sci-fi books, or classics, but do I want to chance it with my 10 yr old son? Not really. Especially since he’s autistic, remembers the oddest things and often walks around repeating stuff.

    I think they could have easily given their tech tip without singling romance books out. They could have said that sometimes we read books that we don’t necessarily want everyone knowing we read instead of mentioning a genre in specific or they could have listed multiple genres. Some people are just as embarrassed for people to know they read sci-fi, mystery, true crime, etc. I certainly think they could have done it without using a current author as an example. CNET bungled it and they deserve to take some flak over it.

    I think michy’ analogy about the files in the trash can was spot on. As soon as I saw that their tip was to toss the books into the “Recycle Bin” I thought to myself that it just could not be the best idea. Also fully agree that it’s a waste of bandwidth an that you could be sol if you’re in an area where the wireless to Amazon won’t work where you are. You know there are going to be some people tossing stuff in the archive before every time they turn their reader off and re-downloading it every time they want to keep reading it.

    Personally I think it would be awesome if e-readers had the option to code-lock specific bookshelves. That way I could put all of my non-kid-safe books in one bookshelf and not have to keep the device lock on, which I have to turn off to plug my eReader into my pc, otherwise it won’t connect.

  35. megalith says:

    If I understand this “tip” correctly, you are being advised to delete the books off your Kindle and then re-download them. Sounds pretty kludge to me. Big FAIL.

    On the other hand, one of the minor reasons I haven’t bought an e-reader is because they don’t have a password function. Not that I’m going to carry around sooper-sekrit documents or something, but I do think e-readers should have much better GUIs, including a password function like most laptops. And a security function to set permissions on certain documents would be ideal.

  36. Mos Stef says:

    Ha! Go Smart Bitches! I actually scoffed when she said “The Darkest Pleasure” with her eyebrow raised- that book f-in’ rocks- so when I actually saw Gena Showalter (!) in the video I kind of squealed. Then my BF asked what was going on, and I yelled at him “I’M READING SMART BITCHES AND THERE’S NO REASON TO BE ASHAMED!” and thew a paperweight at this head.

    I think I need happy medium.

  37. rebyj says:

    That’s an issue that’s been addressed here before.  Cnet’s a tool for specifically calling romances out but it IS an issue for people in certain circumstances.  Still, ROCKIN response! LOL Kudos to Jane and Gena for participating and to dh for holding camera.

    But let’s be honest: privacy while reading is a total benefit to eBooks. Being seen with some erotica covers is embarrassing in the context I defined above: disconcerting, difficult, potentially hampering my financial status. Cover art decisions are often so salacious that while they work as a point-of-sale attractant to potential readers, they do NOT work as something I can read at work on my lunch break without having a call from Human Resources within 5 minutes.

  38. megalith says:

    Well, not only did MADD say it much better, but apparently there is some kind of “device lock” I wasn’t aware of. That is a feature they ought to advertise more, IMO. Unless it’s some kind of hardware feature, which would be useless for me.

  39. SB Sarah says:

    Cnet’s a tool for specifically calling romances out but it IS an issue for people in certain circumstances.

    Absolutely – erotica and the cover art, which is, 9 times out of 10, 150% more naked than everything else on the shelf, is definitely a wonderful thing to read digitally in public.

    But to be told I should be ashamed of what I read? Nope. Not ashamed. Just aware that in certain context, when the curtains match the carpet and the cover depicts what’s inside (literally), problems can arise.  HR would be a bit miffed if there was open muff on my book cover.

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