You Are What You Read

Posted on: May 7, 2010



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. 

~François Mauriac



A good book is always on tap;

it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times,

and it is still there for further imbibement

~Holbrook Jackson




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! 

It’s uplifting! 

*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!


Hardwiring Excellence


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. 

You develop

the funny bone

 and the wishbone

 that go with it. 


~Elaine Agather





























































8 Responses to "You Are What You Read"

Uh, can I borrow The No Asshole Rule?

SMC, as you are NOT an ASSHOLE, certainly you may borrow The No Asshole Rule!

You will LOVE it!

πŸ˜‰ VIV

Hilarious! I am clenching my gut due to laughing so hard. Love it, love it, love it!. Looking for a great page turner right now. Nothing too heavy, nothing too stupid… any suggestions?

Why, thank you, Danielle!

Have you read The Host by Stephanie Meyers yet? LOVED that one…nothing to do with vamps & wolves, though.

I also enjoyed Under the Dome by Stephen King.

I just started Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child; so far so good.

Ever read The Secret Life of Bees? One of my faVs.

Grisham’s A Painted House will stay with me forever…also made me crave down-home victuals.

Christopher Moore is my go-to guy for a good guffaw…Love Nun was ok, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job or You Suck. These may be stupid, but you’ll hurt from laughing so damn hard!

Read any David Sedaris? HE’s HILARIOUS!

Hope these help; none here will be found in a m.s. library, though!

πŸ˜‰ Viv

Now that I read so much for work, I read for pleasure much less. The last one I read was The Road by Cormack McCarthy. This had just about universal acclaim including the blessing of Her Holiness, Oprah I. I found it unremarkable, maybe because I’ve read countless post-apocalyptic books of the science-fiction-with-extra-cheese variety. Have you read it? If so, what were your thoughts?


Happy Belated Father’s Day!

No, I haven’t read The Road; I prefer my science fiction on film.

(Though the Sandy Bradigan in me screams, ‘But it’s a Pulitzer!’)

I do enjoy a tasty baby-on-a-spit now and again.

How disappointing that Her Holiness did not appear in the film; OPRAH roasting a newborn babe?

Now THAT’S tasty!

And I think that is really the key to the whole over-the-top adulation. McCarthy came up with one scene, not just shocking, but striking at the core of Her Holiness’ religion that it caused a visceral reaction in the readership that they mistook for being “moved”. This book is similar to when I find myself in a movie theatre listening to the back rows laughing uproarously while I’m mentally ticking off the jokes: not funny, not funny, mildly humorous, not funny, etc. I sit there and think, “is it me? or are they just pitching this thing to idiots?” Thanks for the Father’s Day wishes. The little guy is making it pretty easy on us. I’ll send some pictures to your email.

You betcha, Shystie!

Hope you enjoy my post ‘The Viv’s New FaVorite Video’ —

Just for YOU…Welcome to The Dad’s Life!

(If you go tickin’ off ‘not funny’ on THIS, then The Viv IS an IDIOT… and DAMN PROUD OF IT! πŸ˜‰

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