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What Are You Reading?
"You can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelf."
by Alisa Mackay and Jeremy Popkin
What are you reading today?
Oh, this is actually really funny. I'm reading my girlfriend's book, which is about to be published. It's not coming out until fall, and this is the advance pressing.
Your girlfriend is a full-time writer?
Haha, yeah. This is perfect!
So, uh, is it good?
It is! It's kind of funny — when she gave it to me, I jokingly said to her, "I don't know if I want to read it, because I might not like you after this." And then I started reading it, and I'm like, "Holy crap! She's not going to like me anymore, because she's way cooler and way smarter than me!"
Yeah, it's great. It's basically a book on reading — like how she fell in love with it. And there are chapters about how to fake-talk about an author if you haven't read their book. It's sort of like a faux-hipster point of view.
What's it called?
Judging a Book by Its Lover.
That's awesome. Are you in it?
No! Fortunately. We've only been dating for a few months, and she's been writing this for a couple years. But there's a lot of stuff about her parents and ex-boyfriends and stuff like that, too.
Have you ever used books to pick somebody up?
Sure. I think it's an easy opening line. You can just be like, "What are you reading?" So, yes.
Has a book ever sparked a love affair for you?
Um, I wouldn't say that it sparked anything, but I'd say if I was already talking to someone and we found a common book or common author, that helps. Whenever I go to someone's apartment, I look at their bookshelf. You can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelf. So, yes, but not right away.
Do you and your girlfriend have shared authors or books?
Well, it's kind of funny, because I love Gabriel Garcia Márquez, and all the transcendentalists, and she's kind of just like, "Oh, I never finished One Hundred Years of Solitude." We have the same respect for writing, but we have different aesthetic preferences.
The book is Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere, by Lauren Leto, and it will be available on October 2, 2012 in a bunch of places.