Books As Gifts

Joe Queenan’s point seems to be "don’t give me any books, I’ve already selected every last one of the 2,138 I have left to read before I die of natural causes."

I guess that’s a good point of view if you already know everything (in which case, I’m not sure why you need to read books). I like to get books as gifts (provided they’re from reputable sources) because time and again I’ve been exposed to an author or topic I never would have found otherwise. Joe’s problem is that he keeps receiving books that sound atrocious. Maybe he needs new friends.

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Loved Queenan’s essay, partly due to the fact that I have the perverse urge to send the article to my misguided book-giving sisters, and partly due to brilliant lines such as:
“I do not avoid books like ‘Accordion Man’ or ‘Elwood’s Blues’ merely because I believe that life is too short. Even if life were not too short, it would still be too short to read anything by Dan Aykroyd.”

I think his point was that he only has so much time to read and all the books he gets because are waisted on him because he barely even has time to read the ones he wants most to read. A point I’m in sympathy with. I don’t think he was being literal about the 2k books, but was making the point that there are myriad books out there.

Yes, I know that was Queenan’s point. My point is that there’s thousands of books that he would love to read, except he has no idea they exist. If smart people give him those books as gifts, he’ll be better off.

True, but the tricky part is getting only the smart people to give him books, while the clueless people refrain. Few of us are that lucky. I’m certainly not one of them.

Nice Blog of yours. Keep up the good work.
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