Books maketh the (wo)man

Walkabout in Borders bookstore

Not that I've ever made a friendship or relationship decision solely based on the books the other person reads or has read, but the New York Times' Sunday Book Review essay, "It's Not You, It's Books", made me giggle at parts. For instance, during this tidbit:
Jessa Crispin, a blogger at the literary site Bookslut.com, agrees. “Most of my friends and men in my life are nonreaders,” she said, but “now that you mention it, if I went over to a man’s house and there were those books about life’s lessons learned from dogs, I would probably keep my clothes on.”
The essay's about how much reading preferences affect a relationship and essayist Rachel Donadio asserts that "this may be a gender issue", but I don't think so. For those of us living in a society with near-100 per cent literacy rates, everyone reads. It's just a matter of what they read (reading online counts too), and how often.

If you're going to knock it down to just the reading of books, I've noticed that in Singapore, it's mostly men in the bookstores but mostly women who read in public places (where you often don't see anyone reading at all). I'm not sure what might be behind that apparent gender skew.

I realised yesterday after finishing Anne Enright's The Gathering (thanks, sarah!) that I've run out of books to read. I haven't been buying new ones, not after making that new declutterific resolution. In fact, yesterday evening at Kinokuniya, I took two books off their shelves --- Hermione Lee's Essays on Life-writing and Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree --- and some minutes later restored them to their places, deciding that while I wanted to read them, I certainly didn't need to own them.

Note to self: visit the library, stat. Meanwhile pray and hope that they have some real books available for loan.


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At 3/30/2008 6:29 pm , Blogger  said...

your shoes are glowing! :)

At 3/30/2008 6:48 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When are you going to read some Sebald? I've just finished crossed off the only book left of his that I didn't read... Austerlitz. I want you to read the Rings of Saturn! Then some Isak Dinesen...


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