French author Pierre Bayard's How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read is mentioned everywhere I look lately. This article from the "Books and Arts" section of The Economist put a smile on my face this afternoon. It seems that Bayard has developed a classification system to cover all the books he has not "read."
1. Books Unknown to MeSome books are eligible for more than one category, but even that does not keep Bayard from talking about them and expressing his strong opinions concerning their content and worth.
2. Books I Have Skimmed
3. Books I Have Heard About
4. Books I Have Forgotten
As he says in this article, "Even as I read, I start to forget what I have read." I'm relieved to find I'm not the only one with this problem.
I didn't think that this one would appeal to me at all when I first started hearing about it, but these little excerpts and interviews are really starting to tempt me now...or I could just place the book in Category Three and continue to talk about it a lot.