Today’s bookish pet peeve is about me. I am my own pet peeve.
But let me first clarify. Reading through the Time list has immensely helped me with this problem because the only books I buy right now are books on the Time list.
So I’m very purposeful, rarely experiencing one of those bookstore binges in which I buy 10 books, only to read 2 of them before the next bookstore binge.
You know how it goes, right? Read more
Why in the name of all things holy would I want to speed read?
Okay, I understand if I’m researching for a paper and I want to skim through a large amount of text in a small amount of time. I understand if I want to find a specific quote or a specific source within a book.
From an academic standpoint, there are many reasons why speed reading makes sense.
But just as a general rule: What motivates one to speed read? Read more
I love books. You love books.
But let’s be honest, some aspects of books and reading suck. They just do.
I’ve told you about my some of my issues in my bookish pet peeves series. The items in this list today haven’t quite reached “pet peeves” status, but they may be getting pretty close—so you could see them again in that series!
Here are few things that irk me, because we all love a good list of irksome things heading into the weekend.
If you’ve ever loaned a book to someone and never seen that book again, then raise your hand.
Wow, look at that. Lots of you are raising your hands sitting alone in front of your computer screens. You madam, the young lady in Portland, please shave your armpits. I know it’s Portland, but come on.
To the point, though. Here’s the thing you should know if you loan a book: You’ll never see that book again.
Am I right or am I right? We’ve all done it. We feel bad saying no. Even though we hate to let go of that book, and even though we’ll worry about its ultimate fate if we loan it, we loan the book anyway.
That’s got to stop.
Tell me if you know this guy.
You’re out to lunch, maybe shooting the breeze over the water cooler at work, chatting with a friend about the books you’ve recently read.
This guy, the annoying guy known as the “One Upper” approaches at about the same time you mention reading A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
“That’s the first time I’ve read James Joyce,” you say to your friend.
Like a literary bloodhound, the One-Upper sniffs an opportunity to inflate his ginormous ego.
We’ve talked a lot about book snobs here on 101 Books. But, today, I want to take it to a new level and make the dreaded Book Snob one of my official bookish pet peeves. This is a select group of which, to this point, there’s only three.
I know a lot about book snobbery. I’ve been one at various points in my life, and I still have book snob tendencies. It’s not a point of pride. So I can speak with some authority here.
Here’s the deal with the book snob. The book snob regularly confuses his or her personal taste over a matter of art—that being literature—with gospel. You see, the book snob respects only one opinion—his own. He respects only one type of book—the ones he likes.
If you don’t read “The Classics,” if Beowulf and Shakespeare and Chaucer and Joyce aren’t prominently displayed on your bookshelf, if you can’t give four different critical interpretations of Gatsby’s green light, then you’re an amateur, a wanna-be, a literary piss ant.
Doesn’t The Book Snob sound lovely?
I can smell your breath. You’re so close to me, I can smell your breath.
Did you just eat raw garlic? No? Is that sour cream and onion chips? No? Maybe you bathed in a vat of stale vinegar?
You are totally up in my personal space right now. In fact, the term “personal space” is a misnomer because there is no space between us. You’re totally up in my person right now. Yes, that’s it. You’re in my person. Could this be qualified as assault?
What is your deal, Mr. Total Stranger On An Airplane?
Every bookstore has one.
This guy, he lurks the aisles like a predator of silence. With his cell phone against his ear, his weapon is his voice. Loud, obnoxious, overly chatty.
You hear the Bookstore Cell Phone Blabbermouth long before you see him. He’s not reading books. He’s not even looking for a book.
He came in the store to buy his wife a $50 gift card, but he’s been on the phone for 20 minutes. And you, along with the 47 other people in the store, have heard every word.
This guy says words like “meeting” and “business” and “shareholder” and “bro.” He strings those words together into sentences like, “Bro, we need to set up a business meeting with shareholders!”