The best literature, to me, is inherently local. I base my subjective opinion off of my own experiential sort of research. Essentially, this conclusion comes down to answering one question: “Would I read that book again?” First, I did some math. Assuming that I read a book a week for the rest of my life and assuming that “the rest of my life” means I have another fifty years to live, I can except to read anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 books with my remaining time on this earth. Now, obviously, I could die tomorrow, and then all of this math would be pointless. But, regardless, my conclusion is this: That’s a lot of books, and it’s not a lot of books at the same time. Most people won’t read near that many books in their lifetime, but then again, there are so many books out there to read—so much so that being able to say, “Well, I’ve read over 2,500 in my lifetime,” really isn’t even close to making a dent. So much to read and so little time. Therefore, a book would have to be exceptional to merit a second read. Why waste reading Gone With the Wind again when you could be using all of that time to encounter a new novel? Clearly, the only reason you would do so is if Gone With the Wind was really, truly, honest to God that good to begin with. And so I ask myself after reaching the words “The End”: Would I read that book again? Read More
I feel the need to boast for a moment. Not like excessively or anything to the point that everyone hates you and wants to throw something at your face. Just a small amount of saying, “Hey, I have this unique, uncanny ability.” We all have them. Sometimes we work to create this talent, and then sometimes it just happens. Mine is the latter. My fiancée, Sally, also has the latter type of skill. She’s able to find ridiculously good deals on nice clothing—all the time. I think the most recent example was that she found some sort of cashmere something-or-other for eighty-one cents. Part of me thinks I might be exaggerating one or two of those details, but then another part of me thinks I’m not exaggerating it at all. That’s just how unreal her talent is. Mine is related to books. For whatever reason I have the ability to find really good books for next to nothing. It happened again today. Read More
If John Updike, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and The Arcade Fire got together on a collaborative production, the suburbs wouldn’t be able to handle what would come next.