The Downside of Books By The Page

November 6th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

It is somewhat sad, but we can see how this is going to work: the girl you’re trying to score with calls, all excited. “You’ll never believe this, but Kurt Vonnegut will be coming to my dinner party. You’ll be sitting right next to him — how cool is that? You can talk about Welcome to The Monkeyhouse all night.”

It is only after she hangs up that you realize that your little white lie has come back to haunt you. You were trying to impress her with your intellectual intellectualness and hoped that she’d never heard of the book in question — because you’d certainly never read the book in question. Heck, the last book you read had pictures and rhymes. Mostly pictures, though. And how in the world does she know Kurt Vonnegut?

Just when all hope is lost, comes to your rescue. There’s not time to read the entire book — but surely you can get the gist of the plot by downloading a few pages. You do a few mental calculations — forgetting that math was never your best subject — pages 1, 16, 43, 88, and 106 should be good. Also the last page. You want to sum things up nicely. What are the chances that the man will remember all the details anyway.

It is only after you return home that night, feeling good about yourself, that you realize something was weird about your conversation with a famous author. Thinking back, you should have sewn your lips shut. Maybe it was the part where you talked about the complex storyline, and he noted it was a book of short stories. . .or maybe it was simply that you couldn’t outdrink the man. Whatever it was, you realize you’re going to have to find a new object of lust. It turns out the one you want likes older men.

File Under: The Business of Publishing

2 responses so far ↓

  • Caro // Nov 7, 2005 at 7:44 am

    I also forsee a new use of this by students who have a copy of the Cliff Notes in hand, but figure they need to be able to actually produce a quote or two to give their paper that piquant little “something” that will make the teacher think they’ve actually read the assignment. (I swear I’ve known people who put more effort into avoiding reading assigned books than it would take to read the book itself.)

  • David Thayer // Nov 7, 2005 at 10:34 am

    If Kurt had sneezed, you could say ‘God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.’