“Good Read. Great Read! Must Read!” No Thanks.

Lately, it seems there’s been a meteoric rise in use of the terms good read, great read and must-read. Tweets everywhere are proclaiming that I just must stop what I’m doing and read all these “good reads” and “must-reads”, lest I miss out!

Here’s the problem.

You wouldn’t tell me that a picture is a must-look, a song is a “good listen” or a video is a “great watch”. You’d tell me the song is beautiful, the video is funny, and the picture is scary, or gross. You’d tell me something meaningful about the contents of a picture, song or video, not about the process of consuming the piece of media.

Am I being pedantic? Perhaps, but I’m saying this because articles took time to make, and—if they’re really so worthy of attention—deserve to be promoted for what they tell us. Calling an article a good read commoditizes it as just another thing competing for my time and attention, and makes me think more about the time I’ll spend on it (and not on other important things) instead of piquing my interest in what it contains and what I might learn from it.