Monday, October 24, 2005

Books are the new snobbery?

Well, that’s what John Ezard reports in this Guardian article: ‘More than one in three consumers in London and the south-east admit having bought a book "solely to look intelligent", the YouGov survey says.’

The story includes the quote, “We seem to have lost sight of the fact that reading a book should be a personal, enjoyable and relaxing experience…” So true - that’s something those of us who read for a living often lose sight of too.

Also: ‘Some consumers hedge their bets by keeping two titles on the go - one an impressive book to show other people, the other an escapist work to enjoy.’ Can relate to that as well. Now I’m off to finish Chetan Bhagat's one night at the call center, though if anyone pops into my room I’ll hide it behind Joe Sacco’s Palestine.

But hey – Palestine is a comic. I can’t win.


  1. Great! Now I can FINALLY
    stop agonising over reading Georgette Heyers incessantly and not reading enough stuff to improve my mind. Have decided don't want my mind improved, after all.

  2. I don't think it is wrong to show-off the books you read. Snobbery (specially intellectual snobbery) if not a worthy thing then at least it is morally neutral ;)

    btw, I recently read Coetzee's autobiographical "novel" Youth. The narrator in the book reads Rilke in the trams and tubes of London just hoping that some girl (of such sublime mind who understands Rilke's poems) will take a look at the cover of the book and will talk to him...

    Needless to say, he doesn't find any such girl (no spams on sexist bias please!), but the point is, even nobel prize winners read to impress other people :)


  3. that's a brilliant plan. you do that. and i knew this girl who lugged around Dante's Divine Comedy around -- in her hands, for maximum exposure-- and, er, hoped people het the right idea about her.

    useful tip? :D

  4. terribly pessimistic i know, but i'm beginning to believe demonstrable intelligence in a woman is rather a turn-off/intimidating for most guys. so that friend might have been better off carrying around something pedestrian like, hm, dan brown's latest swathe of tripe, so as to make her more accessible to your average hot guy. hell, he might even be able to start a conversation about it without even having to lie about reading it...

  5. are you going for the 1N@TC2 launch?

  6. ummm..have been carrying around at least two books on my person for ages.
    Which means i've been a wannabe wannabe, without knowing it :( and shrutified, pssst..the average 'hot' guy has a lot of muscles in his brain as well, so books may not be the best way to bond

  7. Alok, its not wrong to be a book snob- its just terribly terribly BORING. I find booksnobs tedious and I always have the urge to pat them on the head and go, there, there, now, don't fret, yes dear, you are quite intelligent, now now, don't worry so, we are all impressed, we are, we are. No, don't cry so, please don't!!! Here I've got a book, cheer up now.

    As you can tell, its tiring besides being terrible unattractive in a grown man or woman. And that is why I suspect Shrutified the "demonstrably" intelligent people you speak of are such turnoffs - not for their intelligence but for their insecurity.