Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Missing Men's Books

The title of this post is a little misleading. I have thought about it, and I can honestly say I do not miss men's books.

Yesterday I was flipping through channels on TV when I saw a preview for one of the Rabbit movies. The Rabbit books were a series by John Updike. Rabbit Engstrom starts out as a young college basketball player. By the end of the series, he has grown old.

"That looks interesting," I thought, flicking past the preview, "but it's not really my thing."

Being reminded of the Updike books gave me no desire to read Updike. To give you some background, I work at a used book store. We have thousands of books, and quite often I used to pick up a book and thumb through it or even read it all, just because it looked interesting or something reminded me of the author.

That still happens, but usually the book with the intriguing cover, or the familiar author, is by a woman.

Maybe I am becoming sexist towards men. I don't know if that's even possible for a man, but I find women to be better writers. I know it's all personal preference.

So I don't miss men's books. Maybe a little. What I miss more is the autonomy to choose my own books. I only read books that other people recommend for me. I still want to pick up books I'm supposed to be shelving, flip through them, and perhaps borrow them. I have to stop quite a bit and remind myself- "you can't read that. Nobody told you to."

It's hard, but it's getting easier. And it makes me a better employee- I'm working instead of reading.

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