Jon Waters once said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” I don’t know when he said that, but I’m hoping it was before the digital age of publishing. People may have a lot more books than you’d be aware of. They could have hundreds of books in their electronic reading device, maybe even my book, maybe my book titled I Forgot To Be Famous, maybe my book that I wrote, that’s my book, maybe my book is in there. Did I mention my book?
But let’s say that you go home with someone lovely and their shelf is brimming with books. Like Belle’s dream library. Or like Keanu Reeves’ library in a fan fiction I once read on Fanfiction.net many, many years ago. And I don’t need your judgement. Let’s not even start about judging others by the fan fiction they do (or do not) read. I was a wayward youth. The Matrix was a big deal. Keanu was dreamy. These things happen. So let’s say that they have a huge selection of wonderful, amazing books.
YET — there is no way of actually knowing if this dreamboat actually read any of these said wonderful, amazing books. So if people are judging you by the books you’ve read, are they also judging you by the books you HAVEN’T read?
Here are the books on my shelf that I haven’t read. Or haven’t finished. It’s not that I’m a slow reader — I’m quite fast actually, if you must know — but if something doesn’t interest me right away, I stop. It takes a lot of effort for me to give things another chance. Sometimes I go back to it. This happened with Mad Men, and now I love Mad Men. Something something relationship metaphor here.
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, Robert Dallek
More like an unfinished book!! Ha, am I right?? No but seriously, I started this when it came out in 2003. Which means, Jesus, I started this book ten years ago. Now I see it and think, “Oh, maybe I should get on that” but then I think, “Naw but I know how it ends.”
Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
I have started this book two or three times. It’s the same thing. “This is funny! …I think this is funny. This is supposed to be funny, right? Yeah, definitely! Am I stupid? I don’t like the way this book is making me feel.” And I put it down.
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
“This time, I am DEFINITELY going to read more than ten pages. This time I’m going to get to the part where they actually get on the road.”
My French Whore, Gene Wilder
“Why do I even have this book? I mean, I like Gene Wilder, but I don’t know where this came from. Did my dad buy it for me? Did my dad leave it in his ‘to-go’ pile in the divorce? Yeah, that’s probably it. That’s probably why. Is this book jinxed? If I read it, will I get divorced? But I’m not married! Oh well, better be safe. Don’t read.”
So there you go. Those are four books in my home, on my shelf, that I haven’t read. What are yours? DO TELL!
Photo: Barbara Laage by Nina Leen for LIFE.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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