Thursday, November 15, 2007

Books I Haven't Read


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 Me

2. Books I Have Skimmed

3. Books I Have Heard About

4. Books I Have Forgotten
Some 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.

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.

10 comments:

  1. It does seem more appealing now that other bloggers are talking about it. My memory is terrible with details of a story--I'm also glad it isn't me!

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  2. I hate the very idea of this.

    If you want to discuss a book, READ IT.

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  3. lol..I think you should...well if you already know those 4 things..why read the book? You already got the idea.

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  4. The title isn't finished! It should be How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read; Subsequently, Sounding like an Idiot in Front of Those Who Have! :P

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  5. Danielle, I'll not likely read the book...which should be fine with the author...but I'm going to take a look at it next time I'm in a bookstore.

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  6. I hear you, Annie, but I'm starting to think that this book is largely tongue-in-cheek...of course, I'm giving an opinion about the author's intent without actually having held the book in my hands. :-)

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  7. I have to agree, Webster...after all, I already have an opinion about it.

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  8. Great title addition, Maggie...that's what makes me afraid to do something like that. :-)

    I can honestly say that I have read every single word of every book that I've reviewed here or elsewhere...sometimes that was very painful.

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  9. 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.

    very funny. me three :)

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  10. That sentence certainly hit home with a lot of us, I suspect, Aloi. :-)

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