He's Just Not That Into Your Library

Did you read Rachel Donadio's NYBR back-page essay about literary dealbreakers yet? Or her subsquent Paper Cuts blog post, in which she asked Times readers to state their own literary dealbreakers?

So, what are the most common literary dealbreakers? People who don't read at all, people who love Ayn Rand, people who dote on Harry Potter, people who worship The Da Vinci Code, people who are too pretentious, and people who aren't pretentious enough.

This is one of the best Paper Cuts comment so far (the prose is a bit rough, the ideas are good):

People who reject others for reading a particular book have either:

1) read the book themselves to merit their rejection of its content, in which case they are hyppocrites [sic] for dumping other readers of the same book
2) demonstrated dishonesty and sterotype [sic] by dumping someone based on a book they have never read themselves and of which they cannot, with integrity, state what they object about it.
— Posted by Student

Most of the blog commenters and people quoted in the piece are guilty of both of these points. Donadio is very wise for not coming out and stating her own dealbreakers. She's absolved. Lucky her.

For as long as we can remember worrying about whether were cool, "worthwhile", popular, whatever -- we knew that we would often be judged as such (or not) based on the things we liked. What we read. The music we listened to. The art we admired. Our tastes, the things we enjoy -- now, especially -- define who we are. You don't need to get to know a person in order to peg them based on their Facebook profile, to decide that the last book they posted on their iRead application was way, way below your standards of snobbery, or that they're "A Fan" of a band you outgrew five years before hipster became a New York magazine cover story. It seems that these days, few people can afford to be genuine -- if they want to adequately compete.

It's sad.

If we're honest about what we truly love, and what we truly value -- whether it's a short story by Chekov or a poem by Jewel -- compatability tends to follow suit. And then, if you want to go ahead and judge people for being happy enough to have found each other based on their alleged crappy-ass taste in blogs, well -- that's your perogative, we say! And we say it with a smile.

Instead of inviting you to comment on your literary dealbreakers (snore), if you would like to, please post either the last five books/magazines/comics/whatevs you read (no cheating, even if one of those books was really embarrassing) or a book that you adore that you get a lot of flack about from other people. You don't have to defend it, although you can, if you want to. What's more important is the fact that you like it, regardless of whether anyone else does. If it made you think or feel something, good or bad or in between, we want to know about it.

| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
PageViews Archives