Who tells YOU what to read?

I just read (okay, glanced at then went off in a huff) a news­pa­per arti­cle offer­ing to help the poor, benight­ed souls who just don’t know what to read with­out Oprah’s book club.

Now tell me, honestly—have you ever need­ed some­one to tell you what to read? Are you at loose lit­er­ary ends with­out some author­i­ty fig­ure guid­ing you along the shelves at Bor­ders or (how plebian!) the library?

I mean, really—how will they know the right thing to be read­ing now so that they’ll be able to talk to all the right peo­ple and appear informed and intel­li­gent? How will they ever stay with­in the ranks of the well-read? With­out guid­ance, they might wan­der into read­ing for—oh, who knows, pure enjoyment?

Because appar­ent­ly, only nerds just read what­ev­er strikes their fan­cy because we enjoy it, with­out regard to what we should be read­ing. We’re the ones who only mind­ed read­ing assign­ments when we were in school if they got in the way of the read­ing we were doing on our own. And you know where that leads!

Peo­ple with book­shelves! And books on them! In fact, usu­al­ly more books than shelves! Rows and stacks and box­es of books—that they’ve read. Or that they will actu­al­ly read. Not because they should, or because they need to, or because they were on a list. Because they want to read them. Just because. They might even enjoy them. 

But will they have the right book to dis­cuss at the right par­ties? Prob­a­bly not. They may not care about the right par­ties. And if they go to par­ties, they’ll talk about—oh—anything! Any old book! With­out embar­rass­ment! Even if it’s some­thing that has been out for 20 years and isn’t old enough to be a clas­sic but has­n’t seen the NY Times Best­seller list in decades if it was ever there at all! In fact, if you get two or more of these nerds togeth­er in one place, they might start swap­ping books! Loan­ing them to each oth­er! Encour­ag­ing these bad habits, and some­times even writ­ing down an author’s name so that they can go find more by him or her! (And they’ll prob­a­bly go do a web search because they prob­a­bly spend more time online that is Real­ly Decent.)

It’s Just Not Right. Because how­ev­er will you keep every­body think­ing about the Right Things if you don’t make sure they’re all read­ing the same books at the same time if they must read at all?

(Can you tell that I am the one and only bookworm/nerd/geek in my entire fam­i­ly of ori­gin? Includ­ing the huge extend­ed clan? I’m SO thank­ful my daugh­ter took after me!)

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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