Adventures in Reading

“Glamour Pony” Books
October 29, 2008, 1:21 pm
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , , ,

“Because these are the moneymakers and rent payers; these are the glamour ponies.”

I stumbled across Stephen King’s article in the New York Times on the American short story via the Writer’s Report. Though it’s an older article printed roughly around the same time the Best American Short Stories 2007 (the one King edited) was published, I discovered a fascinating book-related term: “glamour pony.”

So into the bookstore I go, and what do I see first? A table filled with best-selling hardcover fiction at prices ranging from 20 percent to 40 percent off. James Patterson is represented, as is Danielle Steel, as is your faithful correspondent. Most of this stuff is disposable, but it’s right up front, where it hits you in the eye as soon as you come in, and why? Because these are the moneymakers and rent payers; these are the glamour ponies.

One, it’s a great term to describe an area of books I tend to stay away from, but perhaps it’s most interesting as King includes himself in this lost, which he also describes as being “most[ly] … disposable.” I have never read anything by King and I have frequently stayed away from him and have written him off as a glamour pony author. But here he is referring to himself in the same way. In recent years, King seems to have received quite a few hat tips from more elitist and influential literati. So what’s up with this? Is King writing himself off? Is it merely tongue in cheek?

Regardless, I have a new way to refer to those “junky” books up front: glamour pony.


Interesting post to read after I just blog about how I might have to tighten my belt in spending. Patterson and Steel are the representatives of what I don’t give two straws. They are usually heavily discounted to boost sales. Glamour Pony is certainly an euphemism out of mercy!

Comment by Matthew

HA! *adds ‘glamour-pony’ to vocab list*

King’s book ‘On Writing’ is brilliant. His horror is exactly what you’d expect it to be, and I haven’t read anything by him in YEARS except the Dark Tower series, which I love. LOVE!

Comment by raych

King is one of the few best-sellers I’ve actually enjoyed when I read him. Aside from his horror novels, The girl who loved Tom Gordon is the one I’d recommend.

Comment by Sarah

I always referred to these authors as writing “supermarket paperbacks”, but I like the term “glamour ponies” a lot!

Comment by fyreflybooks

I never read a book by King, BUT I have seen a ton of his movies (or rather, movies based on books by King). If his writing is anything like “his” films, they’re just good guilty pleasures (with horribly disappointing endings). I think King realizes and accepts this.

Comment by Claire C. Cake

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