Monday, April 18, 2016

Dr. KnowItAll, PhD

"Did you like this book? I asked in the used bookstore.

"Of the genre, this book is rather blah, blah, blah, and it falls in the dark period of blah blah blah something else highly intellectual and isn't it obvious that it sourced from me, the speaker, who by proxy is as cool as the author who wrote it? ..." the guy spoke and I have no idea what it was that he said past the word 'rather' because I kind of tuned out. This was not an opinion but an analysis for which I do not, nor do I ever wish to have, the background. Do you ever ask a question that you know within the first three words of the answer that you should never have asked in the first place? I won't go into that bookstore any more. They should teach their cashiers that it's not nice to analyze people's book choices even if they are leaning on the positive side of their analyses? Even if he was asked his opinion?

I just wanted his opinion, not a dissertation.

I got this treatment over The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I bought a copy today because Jenny, the Bloggess, said she loved it. She didn't say that I'd love it. She's polite that way, respecting that I'll have my own opinion, but I've loved every other book she's said she likes. Sorry, I couldn't find the post where she listed her favorite books and asked her readers to list their favorite books. If you can find that page, it's a reader's orgy.

No, Jenny didn't analyze The Sandman. She just said she liked it, loved it. That was enough for me since she also loves Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett, two others of my favorites. I showed Nick my new-used book and told him it was a cult classic. I don't know it is a cult classic, but I suspect it is since I've heard it spoken of in those terms since I first heard about it from Jenny. Does that mean that once I read it, I'm part of a cult? And Jenny likes it.

Jenny is my friend. Well, I like to think that Jenny is my friend, but don't we all wish we were friends with that great, crazy author who wrote the book you just felt in your bones when you read it? Yes, Jenny is that author. 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened' is that book. For that cashier, maybe Neil Gaiman is that author, but he could have just said it kept him from committing suicide when he was fifteen and I would have known better what he was saying. He didn't have to go all Dr. KnowItAll, PhD on me. See, Jenny is a better friend than that cashier, isn't she? Even though I don't know her, not really. I only ever read her books and her blog. And once, she signed my book after I waited in line for an hour.

And that makes me one of those people, the tag-alongs, the wannabes, the I-wish-I-were-as-cool-as-Jenny kind of people. But I never will be as cool as that cashier, now, will I? Never.

Thank you for listening, jules

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