A New York Times bestselling author has faced criticism online after explaining why he doesn’t read books and says he gets his information from blogs, Instagram and YouTube because they’re more up-to-date.
Neil Patel, a marketer and co-author of Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum, caused a stir on Twitter this week when he video in which he explains his anti-accounting.
“The only books I read are children’s books — and that’s for my daughter,” the 36-year-old said. ‘People talk about reading books. You know what? I wrote a book, and I was even a New York Times bestselling author, but here’s the thing: Most books you see in a bookstore were written a year to two years before they were actually published, and they go through this very long process.’
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Bold claim: Marketer Neil Patel, 36, caused a stir on Twitter this week when he shared a video explaining why he doesn’t read books, saying they often contain “outdated information”
What do you say? Patel explained that most books were “written a year to two years before they were actually published,” so he gets his information from blogs, Instagram, and YouTube.
Hot take: ‘Why would you want to read 300 pages when you can figure it out in five minutes?’ he asked, encouraging people to watch YouTube videos instead of reading books
Patel claimed that people often “read outdated information” in books, adding that any relevant theories or strategies can be easily found in a YouTube video.
Author: He is the co-author of the NewYork Times bestselling book Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum
“Why would you want to read 300 pages when you can figure it out in five minutes?” he asked.
“So I don’t spend my time reading books. Instead, I spend three hours a day reading blogs, Instagram, YouTube—any other place where I can process information faster—and so should you.”
To say the message didn’t get through would be an understatement.
Patel eventually deleted the video on Twitter amid the brutal denunciation, although it is still on his Instagram page.
Author Molly Jong-Fast, daughter of novelist Erica Jong, didn’t mince words when she tweeted, “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Do you also realize that when you go into a bookstore, some books are so old that the authors are dead? How can you learn from a dead person? They can’t even tweet,” Washington Post book reviewer Carlos Lozada said sarcastically.
Response: Critics skewered Patel on Twitter and he eventually deleted the video, though it’s still on Instagram
Political scientist and author Ian Bremmer added: ‘Is there an award for the worst recording of the year? I’d like to submit Neil’s attempt here.”
Some mocked Patel mercilessly for saying he “reads YouTube,” while others pointed to the hypocrisy he wrote in his bio that he’s a NY Times bestselling author but doesn’t value books.
“Bruh, you brag in your Twitter bio that you’re an NYT bestselling author,” Steph Parker noted. “You were right though, I learned a lot more about you from this video than if I had read your book.”
Patel didn’t even mention the value of fiction novels or the concept of reading for pleasure in his video, which also annoyed many viewers.
“Have you ever heard of a novel,” writer Elaine Atwell tweeted, while someone else asked, “What’s the ROI of reading a novel?”
“Imagine a world where there were other kinds of books besides marketing strategy books that people wanted to read. What a concept,” added another.