What makes it a book?

Thursday’s Zits:

If it’s fiction, it almost surely doesn’t have a bibliography. If it’s a non-fiction book, it doesn’t necessarily have a bibliography, or even usable references sprinkled somewhere in the text (irritating but true, some publishers are set against references in books meant for a popular audience, collections of essayistic “thought pieces” often lack references, and some authors are lazy). But if it has a bibliography, it’s a serious piece of non-fiction: a research report or survey, if it’s short, and yes, a book if it’s longer.

Unless you and your mom share an academic interest, a bibliography in a note from her moves it from ordinary parent-child communication into some strange territory.


3 Responses to “What makes it a book?”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Chris Waigl in Facebook:

    Janosch and “Panama” are very popular in Germany and part of the standard parts of growing up. I’m pretty sure my niece had a Tigerente.

  2. Julian Lander Says:

    I would suspect that the bibliography is a reference list, citing the previous notes in which she made the same request. Teenage boys (I think more than girls) are stereotypically deaf to maternal requests. I spent years trying to evade my assigned tasks of taking the trash barrels out for the weekly pick-up and returning them later, and that of sweeping the inside stairs (we lived on the second floor of a two-family house), a job I particularly disliked.

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