You Are What You Read
Posted May 7, 2010on:
I know every book of mine by its smell,
and I have but to put my nose
between the pages
to be reminded of all sorts of things.
~George Robert Gissing
‘Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are’
is true enough,
but I’d know you better
if you told me what you reread.
A good book is always on tap;
it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times,
and it is still there for further imbibement.
For Christmas this year, The Dingus got me a Kindle.
I actually WANTED it, which surprised me, a die-hard bibliophile.
I LOVE everything about books — their smell, their feel, their heft — not to mention the amazing dreamscapes they at the same time bind and unleash.
Whoever said ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ was no booklover.
Often I WILL choose a book SOLELY based on its COVER — or by its gold-gilt pages — or perhaps because its pages are wafer-thin or unusually thick and rough hewn.
I guess, then, that more often than not, the BOOK chooses ME.
Specifically, I remember fingering Cormier’s I Am the Cheese back in 9th grade — simply because the page’s edges were turquoise; I’d never seen anything like it, and being the tactile-visual gal I am, I HAD to HOLD and then OWN that book. It is an amazing read.
The feminine hands proffering the proverbial apple on the front of Twilight beckoned me from the portable metal shelves of a middle school book fair — long before the book became a sensation. True, if I had known that it was about vampires and werewolves, I probably STILL would’ve read it, but it was that archetypal image on the front that called to the Eve in me….
Thus, for me to have a Kindle — a very generic, cold and mechanical literary vehicle — was anathema to me. Here, there are no blurbs on the book’s back cover, there is no scratch and scrape of the page as it is turned, there is no crunch or crackle as the spine complains when injured. Here, there are only ‘page clicks’ and a consistent weight. There is no dusty, OLD and BELOVED, ‘library cologne’.
And, yet, I have found that I enjoy my electronic reader — just not as much, maybe, as I would the actual, physical tome.
What’s FAB-O about the Kindle is that I can store HUNDREDS of books on it at any one time. As I am an eclectic reader who ALWAYS has at least FOUR books going at once, this nifty little gimmick is pretty much what hooked me on the Kindle.
As evidence of my multiple personality disorder, my reading repertoire is quite varied. Depending on the day, the TIME of day, hell, the time of MONTH — I have many reading MOODS and TASTES.
At present, I am reading the following:
Island of the Sequined Love Nun – Moore
Twilite: A Parody – Jenner
Skinny Dip – Hiaason
The Shack – Young
Now, three humorous ones and a religious/spiritual do not a varied mix make, but my usual book buffet has a bit more variety.
I ALWAYS have a funny book nearby, and the darker and more twisted and blasphemous, the better. I like a good best-seller, too — mainstream fiction — involving lawyers, spies, science, prehistoric man or beast — thawed and on the rampage. And how I do so enjoy a particularly-intelligent-sado-masochistic-cannibal-psychopath or secret-treasure-huntin’ college professor!
Horror? Honeychile, I’m IN!
*I ADORE religious reading!
*Especially when there is not one fuckin’ paragraph in my home, including the ingredients necessary to create the tissue with which I wipe my bound-for-Hell ASS, left unread.
My only real plot requirement in my choice of reading material: SOMEONE’S gotta DIE a wretched death.
Dismemberment and humiliation of the victim in his final gasping moments are a BONUS.
Cryptic biblical/apocalyptic metaphor = 1,000,000 phantom bonus points!
I do know that on my shelves, I don’t have a single romance (blech!), history, biography — auto- OR manual, nor one o’ those RIDICULOUS waste-of-cash ‘thought/quote-a-day’ books. (C’mon! A} if it’s funny, I’ll read the damn thing in the bookstore in 10 mins., evoke tsks and the evil eye from other patrons and leave the book THERE, and B} I’d rather save my $7, 014 — $14 for the discount softback of 365 Days: 365 Ways To Love and Serve Our Savior and $7,000 for my funeral after I saw off my own damn hands with the ragged book edge — ‘discount’, ‘member? — and bleed to death — on Day 4: ‘Wash Your Spouse’s Feet’.)
There are books in EVERY room of my house — even the laundry room (a handy little text on lifting
incriminating stubborn stains).
While MY books are in every nook and cranny, stacked or stored in baskets and crates, my hubby keeps the total of his library on our bedroom bookshelf. Honestly, I think he just likes to see the books, all lined up neatly according to size, and keep count of how many he’s read (‘Look how LONG my stack is, honey!’).
I think the difference in reading material preference in my home is testament to the adage that opposites attract.
While my bent is certainly toward the obscene, perverse, black and evil, the hubby is strictly a BUSINESS MANAGEMENT/CAREER-BOOSTER kinda guy.
I cannot FATHOM how he is able to STAY AWAKE, let alone READ, these hebetudinous SNOREFESTS!
Why, I do believe I’d choose toothpicks to the eyeballs over having to read one of these God-forsaken ‘Business Bibles’!
I mean, really, after he read How To Suceed in Business, is there TRULY a need to read any others?
I must say, though, that I get a huge kick outa the titles. Taken into individual consideration, the titles are not all that funny; read in a list, they are downright HILARIOUS:
Naked in the Boardroom
New Rules for the New Economy
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
Now, Discover Your Strengths
The Little Book of Coaching: Motivating People to Be Winners
Teach Your Team to Fish
The Servant: A Simple Story About Leadership
Yes, You Can!
Start Late, Finish Rich
The New Strategic Selling
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Jesus, Life Coach
How to Become a Rainmaker
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be
Relevance: Making Stuff That Matters
Leave No One Behind
The No Asshole Rule
Though these books’ TITLES may tickle my funny bone, there is nothing funny or remotely entertaining whatsoever within their covers. I am amazed at how many are sold each year. There are some very boring people out there.
Has any CEO or billionaire ever attributed their huge success to the reading of these coma-inducing manuals?
If ever I were so inclined to enter the business world,
and this type of ‘get-ahead’, ‘self-promotion’ literature
were expected and required of me,
I envision titles The Viv’s Kindle library might contain:
New Rules for the New Philanderer: How Jesse James Cools His Engine
TAIL: Making the Most of Your ASSets
The Little Black Book: Tiger Tees Off on T & A
Teach Your Team to Drink Like Fish at Conventions
The Servant: A Simple Story About Leading Your Escort to Drop Her Pants AND Her Price
Yes, You Can Write Off That Three-Martini Power Lunch!
Hardwiring Excellence: Tapping The Boss’s Phone
The New Strategic: Selling Your Soul to Satan For Profit
Start Late, Leave Early
Jesus, Life Coach…And How That Worked Out For Him
How to Become a Rainmaker: Blowing Town Before They Find You’re A Flim-Flam Man
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Much You Can Embezzle
GUTLESS: How To Blame Others For YOUR Fuckups
Relatives: Nepotism Is The Key To Success
Leave No One Behind: Kicking Off Everyone Else on the Corporate Ladder
Faking Authenticity: Smoke and Mirrors = Success
*The No Asshole Rule
(*Okay, THIS one IS real, and it’s FAB-O…Guess who bought it for The Dingus?)
True, though MY business library would lack adventure, excitement and gore (save for the Ladder one), at least MINE would be chock-full of giggles and guffaws.
The leadership instinct
you are born with
is the backbone.
the funny bone
and the wishbone
that go with it.