Twitter users recently turned the plots of their favorite books into clickbait, and you won’t believe what happened next…
Actually, you probably will. As with all clickbait ever created anywhere across the Web, this story won’t live up to the headline’s hype.
What actually happened was someone, somewhere started the #Clickbaitbooks hashtag, and as more and more people got involved, it eventually started trending. What do you mean, that’s dull?! Of course it is, but it’s also the truth.
Hell, number 7 isn’t even all that amazing. You just wait and see.
I think it’s safe to assume everybody knows what clickbait is at this point – even your aged parents, who think Windows XP is still a legitimate operating system and that Facebook is the Internet. Neither of which is true (trust us, we’re geeks).
Unfortunately, despite this widespread knowledge of the tricks employed by certain websites to persuade you to click on their articles, clickbait still exists. And, by all accounts, works. Sure, the sites responsible get a reputation for publishing useless article after useless article, but it doesn’t matter as long as someone is reading. Does it?
Thankfully, most people have learned to resist clicking on clickbait headlines, and instead spend their time mocking the practice online. Which is exactly what Twitter recently did with the #Clickbaitbooks hashtag.
The Best #Clickbaitbooks Tweets
The premise of Clickbait Books is simple. Almost as simple as the journalists relying on clickbait headlines to keep their jobs. One takes a novel, whether modern or classic, and turn its plot into a clickbait headline.
What follows are our favorites so far, along with the possible reactions people might have had if these were actual clickbait headlines of articles online.
The Lord of the Rings
Amazing! Gollum lost so much weight, and he only needed one thing. #clickbaitbooks
— ÆMarling (@AEMarling) April 30, 2015
What one thing did Gollum need? I must click through and find out. A ring? A RING?! I must get me one of these ring things. Because I don’t mind being grotty and gray, as long as I can fit into that new bikini I bought for my summer holidays.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
OMG! Discover how Dorian Grey stays so young with this 1 weird trick! #clickbaitbooks
— Brigid Mahony (@brigidichka) April 30, 2015
I want to stay young forever, of course I do. Who wouldn’t? But in lieu of that actually happening, looking young would be an acceptable alternative. Wait, what now? It’s a creepy painting? And, I’m out.
Make Room! Make Room!
#clickbaitbooks What Is Soylent Green Made Of? The Answer Will Shock You!
— Maria Perez (@CinnammmMaria) April 30, 2015
Soylent Green? Yeah, that’s a type of plankton. I know because I read it in a book once. No, I never actually finished the book, but I think I had read enough to get the idea.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
You won't believe what these four kids found at the back of an old wardrobe! #clickbaitbooks
— Andy Horton (@fechtbuch) April 30, 2015
What was it, their dad’s stash of dirty magazines? Their mum’s floral dresses from the 1970s? Dust and dirt? Because no one ever cleans the back of their wardrobe. Narnia? What’s Narnia when it’s at home? Nonsense.
The Catcher in the Rye
An alienated catcher. A shadowy field of rye. What could possibly go wrong? #clickbaitbooks
— Liv Byron (@LivBWrite) April 30, 2015
Nothing could go wrong. Absolutely nothing. I can’t read it though, just in case. But my fingers seem to be intent on doing their own thing. No, don’t click Play. I don’t want to see!
50 Shades of Grey
#clickbaitbooks This woman thought there was only one shade of grey. How many different shades are there? Number 18 is shocking!
— Scott C. Smith (@TheScottCSmith) April 30, 2015
There is only one shade of grey. It’s gray. Oh, it’s about a man, named Christian Grey? How very unimaginative. And there are whips, and chains, and, nope, this is too much for me. I don’t visit those mucky websites. Any more.
This Man Had Negative Thoughts About Big Brother. You Won't Believe What Happened Next, And In Fact It Never Did Happen #clickbaitbooks
— Peter Silk (@KestrelPi) April 30, 2015
I have had a few negative thoughts about Big Brother myself. Because like all reality television, we know deep down inside that it’s pointless. Not that Big Brother, you say? Stupid clickbait, making me think it was about something important.
A Tale of Two Cities
Are you the best of times or the worst of times? Take our quiz! #clickbaitbooks
— Daniel Carpenter (@DanCarpenter85) April 30, 2015
Oh, I love these online quizzes. Am I the best of times or the worst of times? What a silly question. I should get my friends to answer for me, as they know me better than I even know myself. What two cities is it, by the way? I’m hoping for London and Paris.
The Old Man and the Sea
An old man went out fishing by himself and you'll never believe what he caught! #clickbaitbooks
— Scott C Lyerly (@scottclyerly) April 30, 2015
What? What did he catch? Herpes? Syphilis? Something not sexually transmitted? Oh, a giant fish, well isn’t that much duller than my suggestions. Who wrote this garbage anyway? In his byline he looks like my grandpa.
Life of Pi
A tiger and vegetarian teenage boy are trapped on a lifeboat together. You'll never guess who attacks first. #clickbaitbooks
— eldubc (@lwchen) April 30, 2015
It’s the tiger, obviously. No teenage boy would have the energy to fight one of those things, no matter how ravenous they might be. Wait, it was the boy? Well, there’s definitely something fishy about that tiger then.
Clickbait Needs to Die!
We’re not big fans of clickbait here at MakeUseOf. In fact, we have stood firm against the practice while the rest of the Internet has increasingly turned to the dark side. This is because we realize that while clickbait may get the sites that employ it tons of traffic, their readership will grow to hate them. We hope.
The one and only time clickbait is acceptable is when it’s being used ironically. As is the case here. And the #ClickBaitBooks hashtag should act as a reminder that clickbait is bad, m’kay. I’m just glad that most of the authors whose books are being treated in this way aren’t alive to witness the spectacle. Because if they were, they would promptly drop down dead.
Turn Your Favorite Book Into Clickbait!
You have now seen what the Internet came up with when charged with turning the plots of books into clickbait headlines. So, now it’s over to you to do the same. If you need any ideas then check out our list of clickbait headlines guaranteed to annoy.
Show us what literary geniuses you all are by outdoing Twitter. Because although Twitter is a rather good idea, we know MakeUseOf readers are a lot more intelligent and witty than the proles over on that silly little social networking site.