Ask anyone at DGLM (Jane in particular) and they will tell you that I’m an insufferable bookworm. When a simple reference to Kim Kardashian would make a more relevant point, I will cite Anna Karenina. If we’re debating the merits of the writing in a manuscript we’re considering for representation, I’m apt to dismiss it by suggesting that the author is no Ivan Klima (or fill in some other relatively obscure Slavic author). See what I mean? Annoying.
Of course, I have a lot invested in turning my nerdy childhood, spent eating chips while buried in the pages of doorstoppers, into a source of irritation for my friends and co-workers. They may have been partying while I was reading The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire but they have no idea how hilarious Gibbon’s footnotes were.
And, of course, like any pretentious book person, I’m terribly insecure about the books I didn’t read. The gaps in my reading list are, as you can imagine, a constant source of embarrassment—not so much that I’m rushing to download those titles on my Kindle, but, you know…. For instance, even though I struggled mightily and valiantly through Romola, I never did get around to George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I did lose steam after the first volume of Proust’s 675-volume Remembrance of Things Past and I’ve never gone near a work by Herman Hesse. This Today list of books everyone really should have read, reminds me that, well, there will always be books that I should have read, should read, haven’t read, and…probably won’t.
How about you? What are the ones that got away for you?