If… most people buy books because they like to be seen reading rather than because they actually enjoy it, then I would suggest that you can’t beat a collection of letters by an author – and if that author is a poet, thenso much the better.
This adequately explains my feelings about reading a book about books. I think I took this passage out of context but the thought goes well with my current condition of wanting to read non-stop. I do jobs on the side but mostly I prefer to read. In Housekeeping Vs. the Dirt, Nick Hornby suggests reading a book comprised of letters by a famed writer/poet because it will imply that you do know or you are at least familiar with said writer’s works and that this exercise in pure braggery will surely ‘impress the hell out of anyone’ who will see you reading the stuff. I don’t know what to make of this suggestion except that it’s a slightly weird thing to say, coming from the writer of such a funny and impressive book, High Fidelity. But maybe all he’s trying to say is that any book of that type is good and that it’ll do anyone well to be reading Letters To/From Author type of books. As for his book, it’s doubtful if one is going to achieve impressive status by reading it, his collection of book criticisms because for one, it has a goofy, non-serious looking cover. And speaking of goofy, sometimes I feel like my desire to read isn’t pure. I suspect that some of my reasons for wanting to spend hours with a book is so that I could write about them? Which is goofier and so very purposeless. At least Nick Hornby gets paid to read and criticize. I normally find this sort of I Love Books sentiment corny but there are people who make book-loving sound sincere and Nick Hornby is surely one of them. And so after giving it much thought (not really), I think I’m agendaless after all. I don’t read to impress… I think. I like the smell of paper and I like how books, when stacked nicely, make my room look really, really nice.