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A brutally honest booklist

In the distant past of 2017, I was able to read an average of two books per month. Even with a terrible commute and long work hours and multiple social media accounts, I was happy to put aside at least two hours a day to read.

And here I am today, snarling at people who share memes about all the books they’ve bought. Nobody cares about your amazing booklist and bookshelf and nightstand, okay? And don’t get me started on those questions: which book has inspired you to be a better person this year? Which book makes you long for a time that never really existed? I used to be able to answer these before. Today, I can barely watch Rory read on Gilmore Girls without itching to check Instagram on her behalf.

I take some comfort in the fact that someone out there shares this problem. Even if they’re liars who won’t admit it in public. To the ones that want to wear their shame on their sleeve, this list is for you. I’m calling it “the types of books you own but don’t really want to talk about in case the nerds kick you out of their club and you don’t really have another place to go to because, let’s face it, you’re too old and uncool to join a new club right now.” It’s a working title.

So, shall we begin? Think of one book (or several) that match these descriptions:

  • This book had many reviews on Goodreads and you read them all. Now you know enough about the book to confidently tsk-tsk at the poor idiot who tells you she didn’t read it.
  • This book is a cult classic, a multi-million dollar bestseller, a must-read, a how-have-you-made-it-this-far-in-your-life-without-it kinda book. And to be fair, you tried really hard to read it. You just have not been able to get through the first chapter. Now it comes up in almost every conversation and you just have to live with the fact that your friend who once ate his English Literature paper can discuss this book in excruciating detail while you nod solemnly.
  • This book was once your absolute favourite but today, you are annoyed by everything it stands for. There’s no way you can actually say any of this in public because a large part of your reputation has been built around the fact that you love it. Now you have two choices: squeak enthusiastically at every mention of this book until your throat goes sore, or come out and tell everyone that life is about growing and evolving and changing your opinions. Warm water is great for sore throats.
  • This book just sits on your bedside table so that people who come over think you’re still the type of person who reads before bed.
  • You bought this book because your teacher recommended it; now you can hold it up against a nicely arranged bookshelf, take a pretty picture, and tweet that you’re so excited to read it. Your end-of-semester score will thank you, but your bank account will not.
  •  This book references a viral TED talk (you need at least one of these to be allowed to enter 2019).
  •  This book’s cover fills you with nostalgia but you won’t actually read it because you’re an adult now and can’t relate to it like you did when you were younger. This doesn’t stop you from posting pictures of the book and lying about how you still love it. Now all your followers are wondering how you have the courage to read a children’s book in public.
  • This book is horrifying and depressing. You read it in college because your curly hair and high-pitched voice didn’t make a great first impression and you really wanted to come across as a deep thinker. It’s left a lifelong scar on you, man. Was it really worth it?
  • You use this book as a prop, to class up the general area you’re sitting in. You seem so cool when you’re rummaging through your handbag, pull out this book by accident, and tell everyone you always carry it around because you just can’t get enough of it.
  • You read this book online but also found a handsome, hardbound version of it. So you bought it. Once again, your bank account is glaring at you. So is the version of you from your past that went through entire novels in a day.

This is all I can think of right now. Can you add to the list? And does it count as a win that I proofread this post? Any typos you may catch were intentional.

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