Books and people

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010

There are two things everyone says to be the more the better: meeting people, and reading books. (I'm sure you could come up with many more, but this is a PG-rated blog)

And there's some truth in it, to be cultured and learn about the world, its ideas, events and misinterpretations one has to read many, many books. And the same goes for people, to learn and edify yourself completely, you need to grab chunks out of everyone you meet.

But, as always, I have a problem with this. You see, here books are like people, right? The more you come in contact with the better?

Well, excuse me but that's bullshit.

While it's true that you need to read a little bit of everything to know, you aren't going to read the entire self-improvement bookshelf just so you're cultured (yes that's culture too, sadly). You're not going to learn all about astrology, or sparkly vampires or any of that sort (if that's your cup of tea, i don't judge). You're just going to read the good stuff, the things people you consider smart recommend you. So you start developing your own taste and begin to choose yourself what kind of books you want to read, which kind of culture you want to take in. Now, I'm aware of the attention bias I'm implying, but let's forget that for the analogy's sake.

But people are not like that. To begin with, it's not as easy to meet someone as picking up a book, the book will not ever have awkward silences. Also, there's no way you can know who to meet, I mean when the 1000 people you need to meet before you die comes out, believe me, I'll be the first to buy it. But meanwhile what is one supposed to do? Meet tons of people, filter them out and just keep the ones you liked?

Well, Fuck that. I don't have to read all the books in the shelf to know I'll probably just read 10 or 15. Yea, that must be one of the most asocial things I've said, but it holds true, what's the point on meeting all the Mayan Calendar 2012-s, the How to think like a man and still be a lady-s and cheap thrillers, when I can simply go to the Vonneguts and Kunderas and Cortazars?


The trick is telling them apart from the rest.

And make them want to meet you too.

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