Someone recently told me I was “well read,” which I find interesting. The whole reason I started 101 Books was because I felt like I wasn’t “well read” enough, whatever that means.
So now that I’ve read nearly 70 books in four years, am I well read all of the sudden?
Seriously? That’s all it takes–70 books in four years?
According to Google, 129 million books have been published in the history of the history. 129 million!
You always wondered if your college lit professor was just making crap up.
Turns out, maybe they were.
This article from The Paris Review offers a revealing take by many famous authors on how much symbolism played a part in their work.
Their comments were prompted by a letter from a 16-year-old Bruce McCallister in 1963. He was tired of the constant find-the-symbolism game in English class, so he took it upon himself to ask them what the big deal was with symbolism.
He mailed a simple four-question survey to more than 150 novelists. About half of them responded. The responses were varied, but most of the authors seemed to think symbolism is overanalyzed. Their comments were awesome:
The survey included the following questions:
Last week’s post about The Book Borrower, one of my bookish pet peeves, seemed to have hit a nerve with a lot of people.
So I thought I’d dig a little deeper. Playing off last week’s post, I created some rules to help you navigate the muddy waters of loaning books.
Is it okay to loan books? Of course it is. But if you want your book back, you’ll need some guidelines. Here are mine:
Establish a book-loaning circle of trust, then never loan outside of it.
Who are the most trustworthy people in your life? That’s your book-loaning circle of trust, right there. If you wouldn’t loan them money, if you don’t trust them to be on time for your wedding, if they talk about you behind your back, then they don’t belong in your book loaning circle of trust.
Also, the book loaning circle of trust is an unforgiving place. One strike and you’re out. If a member of said circle of trust loses my book, then said member no longer belongs in my circle of trust.
Reading on an airplane shouldn’t be that difficult.
You sit down, open a book, flip on your overhead light, and quietly read for a couple of hours while your flight is in transit. So simple, right?
Yet, things always seem to get complicated. Or, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I make reading on a plane complicated.
There’s a lot to think about, isn’t there? You have so many factors to consider if you want to make your plane-reading experience pleasant.
Here’s hoping you don’t really hate anyone.
But let’s assume you have a “strong dislike” for someone in your life. And let’s further assume that this person recently asked you for a book recommendation.
You, the holder of all book-related wisdom, have a decision to make. Do you give them an honest recommendation, or is this your chance for revenge?
If you’d like to give them the old literary screw job, then I’m here to help.
Here are 9 book recommendations for people you hate:
Here’s some good news if you’re single, or even if you want to improve communication in your marriage.
A new study from the New School For Social Research in New York says that reading literary fiction can help you interpret people’s emotions.
In other words, you can finally figure out what your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or spouse or, you get the idea, is thinking!
Here’s how the study’s author, David Kidd, explains it according to Men’s Health Magazine:
Let’s get this out of the way. Today’s post is horribly clichéd.
What I’ve done here today is adapt the easy-to-write, easy-to-read, seasonally relevant Buzz Feedish approach to content. I might as well have posted a photo of 10 famous authors with the question “Hot or not?” [makes reference in notebook for future post]
Now, that’s out of the way, so let’s embrace the clichéd post.
Here are 10 book-related opinions. Below each opinion, I’ve asked the question, “Trick or treat?” then answered whether or not I think the opinion is a “trick” (bad) or a “treat” (good)?
Get it? It’s Halloween! And, look at me, I’m making a funny “trick or treat?” clever post! On Halloween! I kill myself!
On with it:
If you can say one thing about avid readers, it’s this: We’re a weird lot.
Every reader is unique. Many of us can be rather eccentric. And some of us can be just plain goofy.
So who are we?
Last year, The Atlantic Wire compiled a list of the many types of book readers. Inspired by that piece, I thought I’d have a little fun.
So I sat down, dug in, thought about all my reading experiences, and these are 8 types of readers I could think of:
I don’t mean to be that guy. But I just can’t help it—I’m that guy.
I’m the guy who doesn’t use e-readers. I know that makes me a literary old fogie—part of a dying breed that includes snobby lit professors and hipster independent bookstore owners.
But it’s true.
Now, before you berate me for being elitist and antiquated and the most horrible human on earth, let me say this:
If you like e-readers, I won’t judge you. I really won’t. It’s your literary life, my friend. You live it like you need to live it. I understand why you like them, so more power to you.
But me? I’m not an e-reader guy.
That is, I’m not an e-reader guy until the following things happen.