Neil Patel, an author and marketer, got some attention Thursday after a Tuesday video explaining why he doesn’t read books picked up traction among agitated Twitter users.
“The only books I read are kids’ books and that’s to my daughter. People talk about reading books. You know what? I wrote a book and I was even a New York Times best-selling author, but here’s the thing: Most books that you see in a book store, they’re written a year to two years before they were actually published and they go through this really long process,” he said in the video.
Patel pointed out that any information that isn’t outdated can be found on YouTube, which delivers information faster than a book does. He suggested watching videos, reading blogs and getting information from social media rather than reading books.
Twitter users had a fit. The video got just 87 retweets by late Thursday morning, but 1,836 quoted retweets and 764 replies, meaning many more people wanted to share their opinions on Patel’s video than share the video outright. It had just 419 likes.
“This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” wrote author Molly Jong-Fast.
“Finally, I have an arch nemesis,” cheered director Alex Halpern.
Some, like Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada, were sarcastic: “Also, do you realize that when you go in a bookstore, some of the books are so old that the authors are dead? How can you learn anything from a dead person? They can’t even tweet.”
Still others pointed out that the problem might not be with books in general, but the genre in which Patel himself wrote. His book, out in 2016, was called, “Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum.”