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Fact of the Week #3

June 3, 2011

The Guardian recently documented the lack of reading our celebrities indulge in. Victoria Beckham was alleged to have claimed to have never read a book, Davinia Taylor (no, me neither) revealed in an interview that she was selling her house, complete with the books lining the walls. Surely this would be difficult for many of us keen readers to do, given the sentimental value we attach to our books, but  this was no such problem for Taylor who hadn’t read any of them and used them for decoration.

Then we have everyone’s favourite school dinner crusader, Jamie Oliver. He is attributed with the quote:

I have never read a book in my life – ever.

Interesting, similar proclamations are ten a penny.

Nobody has ever successfully made one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals (recipes available in book form) within 30 minutes – ever.

Jamie has never toned it down in terms of seasoning – ever.

Okay, it’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. I have never shot a f-

If Jamie, Victoria or Davinia ever decide they’d like to enter the wonderful world of literature then they are more than welcome to pop along to one of our Get Into Reading groups and see what all the fuss is about.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter permalink
    June 3, 2011 3:19 pm

    Stories like this (especially the Davinia Taylor part) always remind me of the Myles na Gopaleen tale where he tells of the nouveau riche buying libraries of books to make themselves look intelligent, only to be given away by the fact that the books have obviously never been touched…

  2. Marjo permalink
    June 3, 2011 3:20 pm

    Why am I not surprised? I should think she’d be ashamed and embarrassed to admit it. All this this so-called celebrity does is stand around with her cheeks sucked in tying to look sexy. Ugghh!

    • Sue Garner-Jones permalink
      June 5, 2011 12:32 pm

      Why should she be ashamed? It’s her choice.

  3. Larry permalink
    June 3, 2011 5:19 pm

    You’re using the word “celebrities” loosely here, right?

  4. Allison permalink
    June 3, 2011 8:22 pm

    I devour every word between the covers of books. I read everything and anything I can get my hands on. The 100’s of books adorning my shelves are well read and beloved.

    Victoria Beckham looks like she’s never done anything except pose for the camera: same pose, same snotty pout. Bimbos like her have no clue what books are for; she lives in her own little legendary mind.

    Just makes you want to smack her upside her airhead with a cast iron skillet…

    • Sue Garner-Jones permalink
      June 5, 2011 12:36 pm

      If you really want to ‘smack her upside her airhead with a cast iron skillet’ just because she says she hasn’t finished a book maybe you’ve been reading the wrong books!

  5. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    June 3, 2011 10:57 pm

    Just to clarify what I consider an elitist judgement on those who for various reasons do not (unlike myself) make reading central to their lives:

    1. Victoria Beckham actually said she hadn’t ever’ finished’ a book which is refreshingly honest and I should guess quite common. Indeed, many profess to read much more than they actually do, in my experience, much as ‘they’ claim not to watch soaps and reality tv.

    2. Jamie Oliver is dyslexic and, as the following contextual quote demonstrates, is far from ‘proud’ that he cannot enjoy reading: ‘My dyslexia’s a weird one [he said], sometimes I have really good days at reading, sometimes I read like a five year old. It’s weird because my daughter, Poppy, reads a book a day and she’s eight. A book a day, I’m talking a book half an inch thick. And the terrible thing is, I’ve never read a book in my life ever.’ This is sad, not boastful as the article suggested.

    3. Davinia Taylor is an actress who suffers bipolar disorder and she bought her house with the books in place so someone prior to her was already using the books as decoration, a frequent practice at one time.

    The article in The Guardian was very poorly researched, misspelled and unforgiveably ‘snotty’, IMO, but then, The Guardian often is so.

    Personally, I find reading enhances every aspect of my life but I will defend to the death, to misquote the line attributed to Voltaire, the right of everyone to choose without assumptions being made about their intelligence.

    • Miss Roxie permalink
      June 3, 2011 11:20 pm

      I wish to thank Sue Garner-Jones for her post. If she had a blog, I would read it.

      • Sue Garner-Jones permalink
        June 6, 2011 3:40 pm

        Thanks, Miss Roxie, much appreciated! I don’t have time to write a blog but will let you know if ever I do!

  6. June 4, 2011 1:36 pm

    John Waters has a lovely quotation about people who don’t read books, but I won’t share it here because it’s not PG rated. I met a published author who has read only six books. That makes me want to puke. But the folks you mentioned, well, I don’t expect much of them anyway. I guess they read their lines in the script or on the teleprompter. Hmm.

  7. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    June 5, 2011 12:29 pm

    Thank you for removing your reference to Jamie Oliver after I pointed out that he is dyslexic and would be only too happy to ‘get into reading’ with his daughter who he says proudly reads ‘a book a day’ but finds it hard to do so.

  8. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    June 5, 2011 12:41 pm

    ps Here’s Jamie’s comment in context:

    ‘My dyslexia’s a weird one [he said], sometimes I have really good days at reading, sometimes I read like a five year old. It’s weird because my daughter, Poppy, reads a book a day and she’s eight. A book a day, I’m talking a book half an inch thick. And the terrible thing is, I’ve never read a book in my life ever.’

    Pity The Guardian didn’t check their facts, eh?

    Moral: don’t believe everything you read in the papers!

  9. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    June 5, 2011 2:26 pm

    BTW, whoever changed the story to omit your embarrassing comments re Mr Oliver no need to thank me for pointing out a major GIR/TRO gaffe – oh, that’s right, now I remember, you didn’t, did you? Anyway, you’re welcome!

  10. markinirvine permalink
    June 6, 2011 2:34 am

    Not surprised to learn this about Victoria – she seems to be about as vapid as they come.

  11. aquamarine permalink
    June 8, 2011 4:45 pm

    Reading makes my life better, but it doesnt make me a better person than someone who chooses not to read, or who chooses a different kind of creative outlet/inlet instead,

    The Evening Standard is currently running a campaign to highlight levels of illiteracy in London, perhaps it would be more interesting to discuss the people unable to even make the choice of whether they will read a book or not.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23955131-scandal-of-the-homes-with-not-a-single-book-to-read.do

  12. aquamarine permalink
    June 9, 2011 5:28 pm

    hm yeah I saw that.

  13. John permalink
    July 2, 2011 5:50 pm

    My favorite book to read when I have just a few moments is the “Dictionary”. Anyone that is handy, and I think I presently have ten. Just to learn some more about the words I use, could use or will use. It is quick, easy and fun for me. The power of a strong vocabulary, it’s evolutionary. It took me a long time to read on a regular basis. But, I am trying to make up for lost time spent in the hallways of my education. Even if you skim through the text you can pick up a lot and even enjoy. Please, try to read something everyday. Start with an article and advance from there. Rome was not built in a day. And, the Forum lies in ruin. But if you read about it, the story will unfold and attach to you with a spark that may lead to a flame, and then; a fire. Don’t lie in ruin, read, learn and evolve.

  14. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    July 16, 2011 8:39 pm

    Newsflash! The supposedly avid non-reader Victoria Beckham has just named her daughter Harper after the author of her FAVOURITE BOOK i.e. Harper Lee author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
    Hang your heads in shame all you literary snobs!

  15. Sue Garner-Jones permalink
    July 17, 2011 3:47 pm

    Newsflash! The supposedly avid non-reader Victoria Beckham has just named her daughter Harper after the author of her FAVOURITE BOOK i.e. Harper Lee author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
    Hang your heads in shame all you literary snobs think again!

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