Leopold Broom Investigates: Why I Hate Textbooks

by Lee Cross

So, I’m currently in the middle of sitting a load of professional qualifications [don’t worry I’m not going to blog about that; trust me when I say, that the only person who cares less about them, than you do; is me], which is thrilling – well as thrilling as Oliver Stone’s DVD commentary on Natural Born Killers (which was not thrilling, please take my word for it – I know some people take statements like these as a challenge but really, it’s that boring; especially when you consider again the title of the movie: Natural Born Killers)

Sorry, I drifted off there… what I was saying was; I’m taking these exams that I don’t give a Fwell, strike that, let’s say – a Sandwich – about, and in the course of this process I have been required to read a few textbooks.

The general consensus among my peers being that; because I am a prolific reader, it should be a boon to my ability to absorb the required literature on the subject.

Now, I’d love to say that they are (or were, now the exams are in the past) completely wrong but, insofar as it goes, I do have a significant advantage, in that two-hundred page book (well a few of them) doesn’t daunt me in any way – whereas if you don’t read much beyond a telly guide, then it would certainly be a more challenging prospect.

However, this plus is more than offset by the fact that reading a textbook is the very antithesis of why I like to read… I am a bookworm at my root, alas, and not an academic – while I can devote my attention to something I have no interest in, it sorely pains me to do so.

I just wish the people who wrote these things gave a little more thought to what makes the great writers GREAT; why not kick a little plot, partly for the craic, and partly to draw the readers in.

At the end of the day, you need people to read these bloody things (seriously it’s required by EU Regulation), why not incorporate the four basic pillars of telling a good (see also, any) story: the beginning, the middle, the end – and the driving force/motivation that links the three sequentially.

Now let’s say your name is, and I’m just pulling a random name out there air here, “Lee”, and you work in, let’s say, the Irish Insurance industry – now you are required by regulatory supervision to study the subject, just as you are required, by SANITY, to find the process boring – so why not kick in little plot along with the factoids:


John is a down on his luck salesman, and heredity member of the Irish travelling community; because of the perceived weakness of his character, due to the nature of his heritage and current occupation, John is approached by an organised crime syndicate, who would like him to fence products for them, during the course of his daily actions as a travelling salesman.

Being a married man, of good standing, John refuses these illicit advances, and subsequently his car is stolen and his house attacked, by a malicious act of arson, for which John and his respective insurers embark on a relentless quest, for retribution; through a consort of insurance industry appeals procedures and the Irish courts system.

 That, ladies and gentleman, is the sum total of the plot that would have been required to make my…sorry, I mean, “Lee’s”, journey through Insurance Industry Regulation a more appealing and fulfilling experience.

This is the probably the worst blog I’ve ever written – and my only point is that textbooks don’t have to be Sandwiches… sorry, strike that, let’s say – SHITE – they just need a little heart and soul, to go with the required acts and torts.

Honestly, after three solid weeks reading stuff like that, I couldn’t think of a worthwhile book-related blog to post.

[Note: Now that I am currently paroled from study, I started in on ‘The Glass Bead Game’, by Hermann Hesse. I’ve been meaning to get to it for some while, and the first 150 pages have been compelling. Obviously, I’m only a quarter of the way in, but the book is echoing my memories of Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead’.]


2 thoughts on “Leopold Broom Investigates: Why I Hate Textbooks

  1. Chris White says:

    Yep … not a great fan of textbooks either. I sense your pain … no, agony.
    I agree with you. They could also try and pep the titles up a bit. That would help.
    For example: A history of Shoes …. A history of shoes and the way that people who wear shoes often have sex, but not always when wearing them … that sort of thing.


  2. Loonyloonyvish says:

    This was not a bad post at all. Textbooks surely are agonising to go through because they present everything in such a bland manner. I wish they would turn the textbooks into comics. Like the Big History videos with John Green in them. The format is more fun and apealing that way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s