Monday, March 31, 2008

Everybody's talking about it

Book people can't get enough of a recent essay in the New York Times, It's Not You, It's Your Books. For you who don't want to read it, the essay humorously explores how reading tastes affect dating and how some people dump their dates because of what their dates are reading (or not reading).

I will admit to the occasional bout of snobbery when it comes to literature. These episodes mostly occur in the subway, and I must fight the judgmental side of myself during these trying times. I grimace when I see chick lit or anything by Mitch Albom. Yet when I spot someone engaged in Haruki Murakami or a short story collection, that strange feeling of subway kinship washes over me. And anyone reading Truman Capote is automatically awesome.

Yet intelligence, intellectual-ness, and compatibility cannot accurately be measured by the books on a person's shelf. I love to read, but not everyone I know has to agree with me about the finer points of Mrs. Dalloway in order for us to get along. If you require that kind of literary compatibility from everyone around you, maybe you ought to expand your interests a little bit. Not to be too cliche, but diversity is what makes our society interesting. If we all sat around talking about how much we agree with each other about this or that book, conversation would get boring very quickly.

My final two cents: don't dump your boyfriends and girlfriends because of what they read or don't read.

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