In "Literary Dealbreakers" post, Rachel Donadio writes, "Suffice it to say that for those of us cursed with literary interests — and no small amount of intellectual snobbery — taste in books can have a limiting effect on our romantic lives."
I know what she means. I can tell you for certain, when I was dating, whether or not someone read was indeed a heavy-duty interest of mine. Now, I can't say that I would never date a non-reader, but it certainly earned a man brownie points if he was literary. Remember the Barrister I found on Match.com? He had a woooonderful library, leather chair and all, and I was drooling before we even got to the homemade dinner of pork cutlets, honey mustard sauce and roasted root vegetables. Sadly, we all know he turned out to be Prince Charmingless, but at least I got to pet his books before things crashed and burned.
I've been with B. on and off for a long time now. We've known each other for almost ten years, and this is our second year of living together. While he is not the obsessive compulsive book hoarder and book reader that I am, he reads like a mofo. As much as I do, I'm sure. His proclivities tend toward any manner of news media online as well as a bunch of other sites that are tailored to his interests. We both keep our laptops in the living room, and many a cozy night has been spent in our respective chairs tapping away at the computer reading whatever we're most interested in. For that, I'm truly thankful. And the fact that he doesn't seem to mind--on the whole--the fact that I'm an obsessive book hoarder. He's a fan of gentle ribbing in regards to my leaning stacks, but he doesn't give me too hard of a time. If he did, then we'd have a literary dealbreaker on our hands.
Back to the article. Some of the comments were truly hilarious and ring a weeee (more than a wee, maybe) bit true.
"The dealbreaker? After dating a guy for the second time, trying to bring up the subject about my latest read and New Orleans literature a la the Tennessee Williams Festival going on, he says 'Oh, I don’t read. It’s a waste of time. I get most of what I need to know from my buddies and TV.' Damn, but he was sexy. Oh well. Can’t do, just can’t." --Lyne LeJeune
"During an online dating phase, I discovered that anyone who named The Alchemist as his favorite book was basically revealing that he was a sensitive stoner—to be avoided at all costs. I have fallen in love within minutes of a conversation in a bar, simply from a mention of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. And one of my most romantic moments in a twenty-something relationship was reading Nabokov’s Mary to one another one rainy Seattle night. There is nothing more wonderful than connecting romantically to just the right literary spirit. "
...and my favorite...
"I just realized that I have Fight Club and Atlas Shrugged prominently displayed on my bookshelf, remnants of a jaded youth.
It looks like I have some reshuffling to do lest an anarcho-capitalist yuppie high-schooler fall madly in love with me. " — Posted by Michael
So, how about you? Any literary dealbreakers that come to mind?
On a wholly unrelated note, we went loafing yesterday just as I suspected. We ended up at a huuuge outlet mall complex with a bookstore! Of course, since I was saving $1 per book I had to buy two of them! I picked up:
- What is the What, by Dave Eggers at the recommendation of my friend T. without whom I never would've read Cormac McCarthy. I trust his judgement even though the thought of Eggers titling his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius makes my butt pucker and makes me never want to read Eggers at all. It might be ironic, but I'm not willing to find out at this point. Bring on the Lost Boys in What is the What, I say.
- A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray. This is one of Heather's recommendations, and she's my reading sooouuuulmate, so I had to give it a go. I've been lusting after it and trying to mooch it for a while now, but I can't ever get my paws on it. Can't wait to start. Oh, and Libba Bray has a great Livejournal blog that I've been reading for a while now. She's hilarious.
I also had The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, in my hot little hands, but I realized at the last minute that it was the large print edition, and I just can't do large print. For me, it's more distracting than teensy tinesy print.