Too Much Reality

Apparently USA Today, NBC’s Today and a number of other media outlets are rushing to fill the Oprah Winfrey-shaped hole in the book club universe. Among them is the Live With Regis and Kelly show, which recently debuted a new segment entitled “Reading With Ripa.” But unlike other so-called “book clubs,” Ripa eschews the pompous and pretentious in favor of pure, unadulterated crap.

How do I know all this? Because my friend Jerry just dropped me a line to point out some great quotations in this article about Ripa’s book selection philosophy.

“I hate books that make me feel stupid, which I guess knocks off 50% of all books out there,” Ripa quipped after her show Monday. “People like escapist programming and escapist works of literature. There’s too much reality in the world today. If I want to read something with meaning, I’ll read a newspaper. But when I read a book, I want it to be fun, meaning I don’t want it to better me in some way.”

Ripa used her own method to pick [the first book featured on the segment]. “I always judge a book by its cover, and with this one, I thought, ‘This looks interesting.’ “

Honesty rules.

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