Five Music Videos for Songs About Reading
Yes, it’s like dancing about architecture, but songs about reading are more abundant than you might first expect. There are songs entirely devoted to the benefits of reading, others which casually gloss over the subject, and compositions that fall somewhere in between. Without further ado, here are five songs about reading, presented in convenient video form for the illiterate masses.
1: Bomani D’Mite Armah “Read A Book” – 2007Engineered by the animation department at BET this past February, this video was used to fill time on the station as a tongue-in-cheek PSA. More than anything else, it was a brilliant marketing exercise, earning the network free time on the talking head airwaves of cable television.A little controversy never hurts, but the music is pretty great (you have to admit that reworking the classical piano piece is a brilliant touch) and some of the lyrics, while repetitive, are also fucking funny.
2: Belle & Sebastian “Wrapped Up in Books” -2003If there was ever a band that didn’t need to actually write a song about books, much less release something called the Books EP, it’s Belle & Sebastian. Since their inception, critics have been lobbing the adjective “literate” to describe their fey brand of twee-pop, so this just feels a little redundant. It’s like writing a song called “Belle & Sebastian.”Oh wait, they did that, too.
3: The Clientele “Bookshop Casanova” – 2007It’s such a great title, isn’t it? Those two words conjure up enough imagery and subplots to last a couple verses. I don’t even care what Alasdair MacLean is actually singing about on this track–for me it’s about a slimy Ivy League type who gets his kicks by hitting on chicks at the local bookseller-cum-cafe. The kind of guy who would unblinkingly state that bookstores and yoga classes are great places for meeting women.
4: Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton “Reading in Bed” – 2006Yes, the video is of a performance from Last Call with Carson Daly, which, yes, is somehow still on the air.If this song doesn’t prove that reading is for pussies, I don’t know what does.
5: Maximo Park “Books in Boxes”- 2007Maximo Park were so cool when their first record came out… before they started dressing like that closeted high school Drama Club enthusiast who just watched A Clockwork Orange for the first time and had his mind blown apart. It’s like they mistakenly interpreted all of that glowing press about how great their music is as meaning that they, personally, were just too fabulous and subsequently decided to dress “fashionably” in a wholly unironic manner.