Try to Explain It…

On Monday, we wrap up our discussion on John’s book.  I enjoyed writing about his book and reading what other people thought.  Even more than that, though, I liked being able to read carefully and think about what was written.  When I first got the book, I read it very, very quickly in something like 12 hours with a few breaks within those hours.  I couldn’t put it down.  The book discussion allowed me to take the time to savor every word, every page.  Now, I realize that I’m not all that typical in that I enjoy diving deep into a topic, that I like to analyze.  I can blame my family for that and my college education.  That said, I have been surprised to read that there are many fans, including many John Taylor fans, who haven’t read it.  In many cases, they own the book, but haven’t read it.  In some cases, they even went to signings and still haven’t read it.  I am not sure why they haven’t.  I could make some guesses but I’m hoping that people will explain it to me. 

Do I own books that I have not read?  Of course.  I have a long list of books I want to get through.  Why don’t I?  Well, like many of you, time isn’t always available to read.  For me, I often have to stop reading things I want to read and read for work.  That said, when I squeeze in time after reading things that I have to read, I read things I want to read first.  Logical, huh?  Obviously, when John’s book came out, everything else got pushed behind.  His book was most important.  Not only was it important because Rhonda and I planned to discuss it but because I wanted to read about his life.  I wanted a better sense of who he is and what he thinks and feels.  To me, that is my fan side coming out.  I long to know as much as I can.  I was never satisfied with just looking at the pictures in magazines–not even as a kid.  I wanted to know who John Taylor was as a person, not a pin-up.  As I have grown older, getting a glimpse into John’s personality has been even more of the focus.  When I buy a magazine with him in it, it isn’t for the pictures anymore.  It is for the article.  If I get excited for new interview, you can imagine that I could barely contain myself when the book was released.  Heck, Rhonda and I were so impatient that we downloaded copies from Amazon UK as it was released earlier in the UK than it was here.  All of this said, I definitely realize that not everyone expressing their fandom in the same way.  Maybe there are people who don’t want to know as much about John as a person or worried about reading the book.

John’s life, as we all know, wasn’t always pretty.  He, like the rest of us, made some mistakes.  Unlike the rest of us, he experienced tremendous fame and fortune, which allowed different kinds of mistakes than what some of us might make in our lives.  Perhaps, some fans didn’t want to read about his less than positive choices.  We all know that John had to deal with addiction.  Maybe drug use bothers some fans.  Likewise, he didn’t exactly stick to one woman in the 1980s.  He had a lot of attention from a lot of people.  Maybe, that part would bother people.  In fairness, though, I have to say that John dealt with both topics of sex and drugs, tastefully.  He was honest and forthcoming but didn’t overdo it or go into unnecessary detail.  He said enough for us to understand.  Nonetheless, while those topics do not bother me, I understand that they do others.  Maybe, some fans were worried that reading the book would show John in a way in which they would lose respect for him or think less of him.  Everyone wants to keep their idol as their idol.  I get that.  Again, though, I have to reassure people who haven’t read it yet.  Everyone I know who has read it feels MORE respect and admiration for John, not less. 

Obviously, though, the people going to one of John’s book talks and signings had to know that they couldn’t avoid some of those tougher topics.  They knew that he might read about them or might be asked questions about them.  For those fans, then, it couldn’t be that they didn’t want to know the darker side to John or his life.  Maybe it was that they were willing to listen to them in order to do what…meet him, be in the same room with him?  I don’t know.  Help me out here.  Maybe they didn’t want to read the book until after hearing the book talk.  Maybe they didn’t want to be spoiled?  Yet, from what I have seen, a number of people who went to signings still haven’t read it. 

My point in this post isn’t to judge.  I honestly want to understand why some people have chosen not to read it.  After all, my big focus is fandom and understanding it.  In particular, I want to understand our fandom.  Some of us read the book immediately and have read it a few times now.  Others haven’t.  I know why I read it immediately and I’m just guessing as to why others haven’t.  At the same time, I also want to encourage those who haven’t read it to do so.  If you are a John Taylor fan, the book will make you more of a fan.  Trust me. 

-A

2 thoughts on “Try to Explain It…”

  1. I must be really unusual – I have a very full bookshelf and boxes of books in our attic, and I really have read them all. I don't buy a book unless I'm going to read it right then. Yep, I'm unusual. 😀

    Sure, you might think I have more time than most, and you would be wrong about that, but I do force myself to make time to read.

    Amanda and I have talked privately about the book and about the fact that a lot of people we know – not just a specific few but a LOT – have bought the book but haven't read it. I won't lie, I am judging. Not judging the loyalty to the band – I don't think there's a trophy to be had in that respect, but in asking why people haven't read it – I guess I'm judging. I'm human, it happens. It blows my mind, to be honest because if you can't even pick up a book to read about someone in the the band you've idolized since youth, then I really just don't know – maybe you're not a book reader! *gasp*

    What's really funny to me, in an ironic sort of way is that in the very same way that I couldn't make time to travel to a book signing or go to LA to see John when he came here – but yet I made SURE to read the book the very weekend it was released; there are people who were insistent upon taking time out of their lives (many cases they went to more than one book signing!) to go and see John talk and get their book signed and yet never read the book. I don't know, I think that's ironic in some ways!

    I've got to say, I have a huge amount of respect for John Taylor. I don't know him, but I think he put a big part of himself out there in a way he never did before. I still don't think I know what makes him tick per se, but I have a lot of appreciation for him that I didn't before. It's truly worth the read. Make the time and do it! -R

  2. I would much rather read John's book than go to a book signing. Mainly because the latter was not an option as he didn't promote it outside North America and Europe. However, that didn't matter to me. This is someone who I have admired and been fascinated by and it was an honour and priviledge to read his story. That was more than enough. I don't expect a book signing on top of everything else.

    I do find it odd that some 'fans' won't read the book. To me, that's living in fantasy-land…not wanting an illusion shattered perhaps? The book made me realize John is a person – very complex and intropsective. I have no right to expect he be a certain way in his interviews etc, but just accept that it is his journey and we never know the full picture or context. It simply is as it is.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!