I don’t know about you, but the minute everyone’s raving about a certain book, I automatically don’t want to read it. This doesn’t apply, of course, to the books recommended by my sparkling co-bloggers, but it certainly does to the general book-marketing machine. It’s a combination of snobbery and not wanting to be sucked in by hype.
But of course that means you miss things you really would like, as Dan Piepering says in The Paris Review:
we deny authors who would clearly suit us, and seek out those who will almost certainly disappoint us, all in the name of eclecticism. And soon enough, it seems that what passes as taste is an arbitrary extension of our insecurities and neuroses… the best thing to do would be to start over, bringing no preconceptions at all into our lives as readers.
Start all over? Well, writers use pseudonyms, Gert has been told, so why not follow this Dada advice and chose a reading pseudonym?
Yes, reader, take a reading pseudonym; you will be astonished how interesting it will become without the intellectual baggage of whatever-your-name-is. *
Artemisia Coldicutt? Pierre Schnitzel? Sassy Pfeiffer? Or perhaps a random graffiti tag – Murgo? Weeds?
Or maybe you could have different ones for different genres: a cold-eyed, rat-trap-mind one for reading crime, a benign philosophical one for reading the Great Works, a rollicking saucy one for reading Fifty Shades of Grey and its clones.
What reading pseudonym(s) do you fancy for yourself?
334172030@N00/29746162, 62586117@N05/15532866091, 22507788@N03/6047664493, 16391511@N00/8411930810, 25053835@N03/2536711008, 39997856@N03/855581278556141021@N04/16067809883
*Andrei Codrescu, The Posthuman Dada Guide (Princeton University Press 2009) p. 61.