...In sneakers in case you get so fired up by the prose you have to run around the block just to blow off steam...With a glass of wine at hand to sip or maybe even gulp when the plot heats up...On the front stoop where you might remind passersby of where they were when they read it, or the thoughts that streamed through their mind...or how a character like Raskolnikov infected their dreams and pulled them deeply into his obsession.
But I didn't set out to write about the classics, or the dazzling, unforgettable characters who inhabit them. Hell, I just did that the other day, and I'm trying not to bore you here. Not to mention myself.
What I really wanted to do was direct you to a little survey Jason Pinter took about why people buy books. Very interesting to people like me who love nothing better than a thoughtful poll that leaves room for extraneous comments.
I responded to the survey, but when I thought about it, I don't think my answer really got to the heart of the matter.
Why I buy a book:
First, I have to see it and know about it. That means it has to be displayed prominently or reviewed, or talked about by my friends. Or maybe I just see a young woman who looks like she has good taste, reading it on her front stoop, and I stop to say "How was it?"
Most often, however, it tends to be a tipping point phenomenon. Take my most recent book purchase: Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I think I first read about it on Dan Wickett's blog. Within days, it seemed to be everywhere.
Then I read a review--and I wish I could quote it exactly or name the blog, but I can't. Thus I'll have to paraphrase: HALF A YELLOW SUN is simply the future of literature.*
Okay, that got me. At that point, I was at least going to get it out of the library.
A few days later, the title already buzzing quietly in my head, I read a piece about the author and her book in the New York Times. It not only sounded like the future of literature; it sounded like a damn good read. THAT was my tipping point
And speaking of tipping points, it only took one review of LITTLE CHILDREN (and the fact that I enjoyed Tom Perrotta's book) to convince me I need to see this movie.
Happy weekend everyone. I'm off to another waitressing shift. I would say it was my last, but I think I said that last week. Talk about boring myself...
*It was Sarah Weinman. Apologies for misquoting.