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 Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4259

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top