Choose your reading pseudonym

8411930810_53e4ca9570_m8555812785_c968eb2f86_m2536711008_4a690574db_m

8195773183_83b4bdf86b_m6047664493_a7c1d79b7b_m

15532866091_c991a21007_m16067809883_1a56143f76_m

 

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.

http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/08/31/

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?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/

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.

 

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Choose your reading pseudonym

  1. Dunno. We can’t read them all and sometimes how books are marketed puts me off–which probably isn’t fair. But as we continue to read and continue to age, I would hope that we hone our instincts regarding certain books.
    War Crimes for the Home is yours if you want it. Shoot me an e-mail.

    Like

    1. You’re right, it ends up being a question of instinct. Gert has the unfortunate tendency though of “taking a set on” someone as our mother would have said. Then neither heaven nor hell can make us read him/her. You’re probably more mellow.
      Yes, please, would love War Crimes.

      Like

      1. re: the author’s article, I’ll compare it to food. Some of us refuse to try sushi let’s say,( I’m vegan so I wouldn’t go near it anyway). But taking that example of sushi, person A loves it and swears person B would love it too if they just gave it a go, but person B will not be persuaded. Person A says person B doesn’t know what they are missing. Person B doesn’t care. Seems like the same sort of scenario.

        I didn’t think I’d be interested in Pratchett btw until persuaded to try the first Discworld book. I was surprised by how much I liked it, but I haven’t continued with the series.

        Didn’t think I’d like Chuck Palahnick’s work. Tried it. I was right. So instincts are sometimes correct.

        Like

        1. Hmmm….but what if someone told you a food was really good for you and you discovered it was full of fat and sugar? That can be the case with hyped books.

          But there’s plenty of good stuff to read that you’ve never even heard about (hurray for book blogs) and you can certainly go in directions that are new and challenging just by going along those tracks.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never read Pratchett – did enjoy a TV version of part of Discworld but didn’t feel the need for any more. Sometimes when there’s a lot, you feel a bit jaded before you even start.

      Like

  2. Ok fresh with the dawn, I have two possible names.
    Helen Back (pinched from The Young Ones)
    and this one:
    R.U. Nicholas (which must be derived from reading War Crimes for the Home)

    Like

  3. I’d like to try as my pseudonym the title of a book, ‘Vegan Vampires’, which happens to have been written by my current publisher. As a reader’s name, it seems to cover a lot of bases and is appropriately physical (chomp chomp?)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s