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Get to know English Majors before it’s too late.


1. They seem preoccupied all the time.

Like a guitar player listening to a new song and saying, “I wouldn’t do it like that,” English majors always have a re-write going on in their mind.

You never know if they’re ever listening to you.

What they’re doing is going over the last book they read and noting the mistakes, typos, plot holes.

And they read a lot of books, the sort of books written to remember.

2. They give dangerous writers a free pass.

Write a book English majors like and you’re a new man.

Jack Abbott spent most of his life in prison until Norman Mailer decided he had some redeeming value.

So he helped get him released.

His book, In The Belly Of The Beast, told a real story about prison, and he partied in NYC.

The party ended when he stabbed a kid to death and went back to prison, where he wrote My Return to much less fanfare.

3. They love writer success stories even with bad endings for the writer.

John Kennedy Toole wrote A Confederacy Of Dunces in 1963.

The book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981.

Toole didn’t collect his prize. He killed himself, some say because his book was rejected unfairly, a decade earlier.

His mom pushed the book so hard it made it to the finish line even if her son didn’t.

English majors love the classical structure and references, and don’t worry about the next book from the same author being a big disappointment.

4. They love a book series more than a movie series.

Jean Auel wrote a big manuscript that turned into her Earth’s Children books.

Forty five million copies sold say it’s a huge success.

Daryl Hannah starred in one movie, The Clan of the Cave Bear, a franchise in the making.

Except the movie version didn’t light up audiences like the books.

Don’t blame English majors for that one, they bought the books like troopers.

Maybe movies aren’t their thing?

5. They love Harry Potter.

J. K. Rowling says she rebuilt her life after hitting rock bottom.

That’s English major talk for, “Now what?”

One of the books in her series sold eleven million copies on release day.

Turns out Harry Potter fans read and go to movies, too.

Now it’s a brand valued at $15 billion U.S. dollars.

English majors love readers, and Harry Potter turned kids into readers early.


Now the big question: What’s on your reading list?

About David Gillaspie
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