Saturday, September 15, 2012

You seem nice. But I've got fifty pages left.

So here is the plan: I read. I write. You read.

I read a lot. I read because I want to learn, because a friend gave me a book, because I really liked the cover. I read because I recognize the author's name, because the book won the Man Booker Prize and I feel I ought to read it, because it is about the British aristocracy, British colonies, or has the word 'manse' somewhere between its covers.
I read without attention to genre or critical opinion. In the last few months I have devoured the entirety of the George R.R. Martin oeuvre and Kristin Lavransdatter. Reader, I married them both. I don't think the ceremonies are recognized in most states (possibly Nevada. Awaiting word), but my love for them is real.

I read because I cannot help myself. Left alone at a breakfast table, I read the cereal box. I break into a cold sweat when I scan my bookshelf and discover I have read everything on it. I own a TV, but cannot remember the last time I turned it on. The magnetized strip on my library card has worn out twice and I revel in the confirmation of social limitedness that such a fact reveals.

I mean, truly, are you as interesting as Jemubhai Patel, a Cambridge-educated judge who has retired from serving Nepal because it is "too messy for justice"? (The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai)
Have you ever been drugged and placed in an asylum under a false name? (The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins)?
Are you a downtrodden worker at the Harvest Fertilizer Plant in provincial China with dreams of becoming an artist? (In the Pond, Ha Jin)
If you have ever been called the 'modern personification of evil' (Young Stalin, Simon Sebag Montefiore), please do be in touch because I imagine your blog gets a lot of traffic and I could use the link.

Surely you see why I'd rather hang out with these folks. It's nothing personal.

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