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Why I Bought "Dear Committee Members"
August 19, 2014 - 9:00pm

"Could be a good novel. But there are lots of good novels about academe. How come this page-long advertisement in IHE?

OldProf, commenting on Serena Golden’s 8/19/14 Inside Higher Ed story on Dear Committee Members: A Novel, by Julie Schumacher.

As of 3 minutes ago I am poorer by $9.99. That is the sum that Amazon will charge to my credit card in return for access to (we never really own, I gather) the Kindle version of Schumacher’s novel.

What series of events caused me to trade my digital currency for the digital book?

Step 1:  This morning my colleagues at our Center for the Advancement of Learning were buzzing about the book. Serena’s article was being (digitally) passed around.  You can draw your own conclusions about any group that gets more excited about a new academic farce than anything having to do with celebrities or professional athletes, but I for one am happy to spend my days amongst book people.

Step 2:  I finally had the chance to read Serena’s article, after work, as I caught up on the day’s IHE. To OldProf I say, Why not a pagelong advertisement on IHE? What possible better use of the talents of IHE writers, and the real estate of the daily IHE edition, than connecting our community with a book? I hope that everyone in our IHE network borrows or buys Dear Committee Members, and that we find some opportunity to book-club. 

Step 3:  I downloaded the book from Amazon.

We have a paucity of academically oriented book discovery and review platforms.  A scarcity of reviews, commentaries, and discussions about the books that higher ed nerds would like.  A dearth of sites that combine professional book reviews and community discussions around the academic oeuvre.

IHE’s coverage of Dear Committee Members, and the buzz that this coverage created on my campus, sent me running to buy the book.  

How do you choose what higher-ed-themed books that you will borrow or buy?

Are you, like me, predisposed to check out or purchase any book that features humor, a campus setting, and an academic cast of characters?

What are you reading?

 

 

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