February 16, 2012

"The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting speed-dating sessions where each potential suitor has to bring a representative book as an icebreaker..."

"... and we couldn't help but wonder: if you were (or are) on the market, which book would you bring to introduce yourself?  And which book, in the hands of the person across the table, would have you wincing and hoping for the next rotation to happen quickly?"

I'd bring "Get Me a Table Without Flies, Harry."

As for the books that would be off-putting in the other person's hands... there are so many things. The first thing that pops into my head is: astrology. But you don't need to go to a special library-sponsored book-in-hand dating event for would-be suitors to disqualify themselves with astrology.

109 comments:

Matthew said...

It'd be a laugh riot to bring "Getting to Yes."

Is that a real book?

BarryD said...

Dating for Dummies would have to rank way up there.

Jason said...

"How to Satisfy A Woman Every Time (And Have Her Beg For More!)"

Synova said...

I'd bring a book that was either sincerely my favorite or else honestly represented my favorite. How much better to find someone who actually shared my interests? How horrible would it be if I invested all that time in someone, trying not to let him know who I am, and then found out he thought science fiction was stupid?

I don't know if this is because I'm old and wise, now. I don't know if I would have done something differently when I was young and single.

I was once accused of placing prop magazines around my apartment when I was going to college. Why would I do that?

Kevin said...

I'd have: Pictures From an Institution by Randall Jarrell.

Worst for the other person to have: Chicken Soup For the Soul.

MadisonMan said...

Steer clear of anyone with a Self-Help book.

t-man said...

I just drove by the main Free Library building about 20 minutes ago. It is fantastic, but usually empty now.

What book would I bring?

Fun Things to do With my Multi-Million Dollar Inheritance

(I would self-print a copy).

What book would turn me off?

Making Peace with Herpes

t-man said...

I just read your comment, Jason, and had a great memory.

When I was in high school, a friend and I gave that book to our English teacher as a Christmas present.

prairie wind said...

A bad book to see across the table? Oh, the Places You'll Go by Seuss.

I would take ...And Ladies of the Club (Santmyer). Not only is it my all-time favorite book, it's a huge book and I could use it to fend off the Seuss lightweights.

I would love to sit across from someone carrying Sharansky's The Case for Democracy because that was my other choice.

William said...

I don't have a totem book. The awful thing is how many attractive women that would bring Twilight books.

Henry said...

@MadisonMan -- Yup.

A bible might be a good choice, if you believe in it.

In that light I might bring The Selfish Gene or Unweaving The Rainbow by Richard Dawkins.

Or maybe The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball by Tom Tango. That should be a conversation starter.

MadisonMan said...

The book I've read most frequently? Hmm.

Clouds of Witness, maybe?

traditionalguy said...

I would bring The Hills of Tuscany.

Avoids would be anything by Dr Phil or from the Men are Martians genre.

Surfed said...

Gidget - A fairly earthy read for the time frame and intended audience as it chronicles a bohemian lifestyle of WWII vets all but gone...

Aubrey/Maturin chronicles from Patrick O'Brian. If Jane Austen's brothers (naval officers) Francis and Charles had written novels the Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels would be them...Definitive period pieces. The New York Times Review of Books called them "The Greatest historical novels ever written." Certainly the most erudite.

bagoh20 said...

"He's Just Not That Into You "

BarryD said...

How could one book be "representative" of anyone?

I can't think of a book I have liked for one reason or another, that I'd choose as "representative".

SarcastiCarrie said...

My nightstand reading right now is full of stuff like "Please For the Love of Everything, How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night". Not thinking that would win me any dates.

"Stuff" by Ivan Amato would be my book of choice. That pretty much sums me up but is obscure enough that it wouldn't disqualify me automatically in anyone's mind, plus since it's obsccure, it would be a converstation starter.

EMD said...

"Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk, obviously.

bagoh20 said...

Turn offs would be anything about female empowerment. I want that to be a part of her nature. It can be learned, but that process needs to well into it's maturity before I get there. Before that it's like living with someone studying martial arts and watching them destroy your walls and furniture as they learn.

Old RPM Daddy said...

If she brought in a book I remember enjoying as a boy, I'd probably be charmed. If she brought in the Kama Sutra, I'd probably be something more than charmed. If she brought in a political book of any kind, I'd be calling, "Thank you. Next!"

I suppose I could bring in some classic work of fiction, but potential dates would see through that right away. I guess I'd have to bring a Carl Hiaasen comedy and take my chances.

Bob said...

Inoffensive book? The Alchemist.

Offensive book? The Pleasures of the Torture Chamber.

t-man said...

If I really had to choose:

I would take Pale Fire. There are countless books that the other person might bring that would be deal-breakers, but the very top of the list is Dyanetics

(BTW, when did Blogger start using "Captcha"? I hate it. And it means the end of potentially amusing word verifications.)

bagoh20 said...

"Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels"

edutcher said...

The Anarchist Cookbook.

traditionalguy said...

Just getting to see that they read anything is eye opening. That will weed out most dyslexics.

And people who read are programming their thoughts. And their thoughts are what make them interesting.

Paddy O said...

I'd steer clear from anyone with a philosophy book, an exercise/diet book, a romance novel (porn for women), anything political or a Bible. That last one might be surprising given my stance on things, but all that would say to me is that someone is trying too hard to find what they think is a compatible match.

Now if someone brought a book on sailing or how to build a kayak, that might be interesting. Or... something that would surprise me or they could talk about. Maybe a Dr. Seuss book. Something that says they don't take themselves too seriously, but are thoughtful.

I have my triumvirate of representative books, so I'm not sure which I'd actually bring, probably would depend on my mood. Or I might just bring something entirely random and try to see how well I could justify it.

My three books that I always list are Musashi by Eiji Yoskikawa, Paradise Lost by Milton, and Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead. They each were immensely helpful, inspiring and theophanic during parts of my life, and still seem to reflect my inner being.

Or, I might just bring one of my own books. That's what actually helped my dating life. Sending my now-wife a draft of my first book was a big step in her thinking I was a more interesting fellow.

ricpic said...

I was once accused of placing prop magazines around my apartment when I was going to college.
Why would I do that?


I know you're not naive, Synova, which leads me to believe that "Why would I do that? is posited in the dreaded bad faith. I think you know very well why you did that. You were establishing in-ness or withit-ness. And there wasn't a darn thing wrong with having done that. Just as age is or should be the time when we know who we are and declare it boldly, not caring what others think of us; youth is the time when our antennae are extended as far as they can be to detect the indicators of status or non-status so that we can copy the "right" indicators to establish our in-ness. There is no more urgent imperative in youth.

Paddy O said...

Okay, I actually like Surfed's idea.

Aubrey/Maturin novels would definitely draw me in too.

harkin said...

I'd have a hard time choosing between so many books....The Devil's Dictionary by Bierce, Selected Stories by Lardner, just about anything by Raymond Chandler, Homage To Catalonia by Orwell.....

bagoh20 said...

yea, the WV sucks now. I usually have to do it at least twice because it's two words and one is usually illegible.

WV: blackbirds ingslau

That's just too much typing to prove I'm real. A major strength of the human species is the automation of tedious work. Let's not go backward.

Paddy O said...

"I was once accused of placing prop magazines around my apartment when I was going to college.
Why would I do that?"

I did that. For some reason, I started getting Architectural Digest in the mail. Never subscribed to it, and don't think anyone was getting it for me. It just came for a year. I was living in a student apartment at the time, working TA jobs. So, I figured those issues should serve some purpose.

I still have the whole stack in the trunk of my car. Couldn't quite get around to throwing them away, and I still don't know what I would do with them.

Tank said...

I'm reading Job's bio. Might be a good book for me to bring.

In life, I'm sort of a Jack of all trades, master of none type, some interest in lots of things. Hard to sum up.

If I knew what my wife would mostly read, I probably would have rejected her, so I'm sure this sort of thing is worth much. Or are the books you actually read not representative?

Paddy O said...

Althouse needs a captcha not to prove that we're real, but to prove that we're not boring.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paddy,

I'd steer clear from anyone with a philosophy book...

And then you go and use the word "theophanic" in a blog comment!!???

Oh! Oh! Look who's talkin', Mister!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Gravity's Rainbow. What else?

Anything by Deepak Chopra would be a total deal breaker.

Tank said...

oops


.... not sure ...

Add me to those who are NOT liking the new word v.

Tank said...

OT but, Job's bio is way better than I anticipated.

bagoh20 said...

When expecting visitors I do place prop books and magazines, but they are just the ones I actually read. In other words I'm doing this book dating thing all the time. I'm chronically single, so there may not be much to this idea... or I just suck.

My Mom thinks I'm cool.

Robert said...

Biggest book danger sign:
Twilight.

prairie wind said...

If Jane Austen's brothers (naval officers) Francis and Charles had written novels the Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels would be them

I have heard someone else say the same thing...maybe I've heard you say it twice. Makes me want to read those books. I love Austin and I love the Master and Commander movie. Maybe instead of bringing me a book, the guy could bring me two extra hours for my day. That would win me over for sure.

Audio version of the Aubrey books...can anyone recommend a particular reader?

I hate Captcha.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Surfed said...

Aubrey/Maturin chronicles from Patrick O'Brian.


Hear, hear. I've read all twenty books three times and I'm eying Master and Commander again.

bagoh20 said...

I think a Twilight girl would be easy prey. Not marriage material mind you, but easy.


WV: lyhowsu venture


Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Dan in Philly said...

I suppose it would depend on what I wanted to accomplish with the speed date. If I truly wanted to represent me, I would bring one of my philosophy books. Since chicks who are really into philosophy don't really do it for me, I might bring a book which speaks more of impressing others with my intelligence than something I might find intelligent myself, let's say a Malcome Gladwell book.

Of course, I might just bring a "Far Side" collection to show off my high-brow whimsical side if I wanted to attract someone like that. Maybe a Harry Potter book so I could safely weed out anyone who expressed too much interest in it?

Russ said...

"A bad book to see across the table? Oh, the Places You'll Go by Seuss. "

I actually got that book for my (now) wife for her college graduation.

Joe Schmoe said...

Isn't Griffith the guy who does the Zippy comic strip? If so, Ann, I would run screaming from your table. Next!

virgil xenophon said...

How abut Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me or, alternatively, Steaming to Bamboola.

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't Griffith the guy who does the Zippy comic strip? If so, Ann, I would run screaming from your table."

As well you should!

Paddy O said...

Young Hegelian,

I know, I know... unlike Jerry, I'd be entirely unattracted to myself.

RonF said...

"The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis.

"Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain.

I actually read the latter as an 8th grader. We got a list of books to buy from some company marketing books to schoolkids under the guise of getting kids to buy and read books outside of class assignments. They were books designed to be attractive to 8th grade kids. I guess someone figured "Oh, Mark Twain - Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" and thought it would be in that same vein without actually having read the book!

Tom Spaulding said...

"The Life and Times of Gaylord Nelson"

Joe Schmoe said...

If a woman had a Thomas Friedman book, I'd try to kill myself like the characters in Airplane did whenever Ted Stryker started relating his life story.

LordSomber said...

I always carry a stack of books with me so it'd be amusing what someone would make of:

• A Don Rickles biography
• A book on Yiddish
• Italian Art Deco/Futurism
• A Heinlein novel
• A sketchbook

Joe Schmoe said...

Same for any woman with a Deepak Chopra book.

X said...

To Serve Man

Freeman Hunt said...

If the other person brought a self help book or an astrology book and said, "This is representative of me in that I hate this stuff," that could be good.

Freeman Hunt said...

All would depend on what the person said about the book he brought.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

When expecting visitors I do place prop books and magazines

I'm the opposite. I remove books.

virgil xenophon said...

RonF/

Letters From Earth is one of my all-time favorites--I should have thought of that! Or, alternatively Groucho Marxs' collection of letters or the book of letters Churchill wrote to his Mother.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I have people over, anything by or about any modern political figure leaves the living room as does any religious book that is too conspicuously inside baseball. Shelves of controversy reside deep within the house.

Joe Schmoe said...

And if she had Al Gore's Earth in the Balance? I can't even joke about that.

Otherwise not much would scare me off. I read all sorts of genres. I'd probably bring something funny. Or at least something that I thought was funny.

Freeman Hunt said...

The funny thing is that the stuff that's left out; the literature, the philosophy, the history, the theories of education, etc.; are, in actuality, just as controversial. No one cares about any of that stuff though.

Carnifex said...

How could I decide? I read an average of 3 books a week.(I reread a lot to save money). Currently, I am reading "Kildar" by John Ringo, "The Overton Window" by Glenn Beck, and "The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire" by Storm Constantine, a book I bought 20 years ago, but was to callow at the time to enjoy. The underlying premise is that our bi-sexed culture has been replaced, sometimes violently, by hermaphrodites. As a younger man I was so disgusted by the idea I only read a few chapters.(but I didn't throw it away).

What might be more telling is what a person that knows you intimately would chose for you. My wife on our second Christmas together, gave me "The Tangerine Bear", because she said, I was the bear that needed to be loved but no one would look past its odd coloring, and upside down smile.(I won't give away the ending).

Add me to those who disapprove of "Captcha". Am I the only one who has to enter two or three times because they can't quite make out some letters?

mikee said...

Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian, to weed out strident unthinking feminists immediately while attracting the intelligent and historically literate.

Dan in Philly said...

Freeman Hunt, I agree that philosophy is really controversial, but no one cares, which is sometimes confusing. I have come to the conclusion that there is a cabal of professional philosophers who have bamboozled most of the world into thinking that philosophy is really what they teach in college, which isn't really philosophy but usually just a history of philosophy with a few cute sophist questions thrown in there to make the kids who take those courses think they've learned something.

True pholosphy dictates the shape of the world, so it only makes sense that there really are philosopher kings who are telling noble lies through their administrative puppets while they get on with running the world in a way in which Plato would approve.

Now that I've exposed this, I fully expect to be nullified, or maybe made into one of the elect, depending on how well my views mesh with theirs...

Surfed said...

@Prarie Wind - Start with the second in the series book "Post Captain". It's where the women intergal to the story are introduced. Especially Diana de Villiers and Sophie. You can pick up a used copy at an old book store for a couple of bucks. The. Most. Erudite. Book(s). You. Will. Ever. Read.

Jess said...

Master and Commander would not be a bad choice. One of the Hornblower novels would also be good.

Or I could bring the complete boxed set of Calvin and Hobbes, which gets even deeper into my psyche.

Add me to the list of those who don't like the new captcha stuff. So far, it is rare to find one that I'm even close to sure about. I'm not a prolific commenter anyway, but I suspect I will be even less prolific henceforth.

David-2 said...

The Ultimate Resource 2 (Julian Simon) or Mathematics Form and Function (Saunders Mac Lean) are both terrific books. The Ultimate Resource 2, in particular, would help you identify someone who believed that humanity and civilization were good things.

I'd probably still be reading them by myself when the "speed-dating" session was long over and they had to kick me out of the library at closing time.

Good thing I've been married 35 years or I'd be some kind of secular monk by now.

Kirk Parker said...

Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook

John Lynch said...

People will just lie. They'll bring whatever book is working the best.

Synova said...

Putting books or magazines out that you figure someone might enjoy paging through isn't the same as a prop-book. A prop-book is something to put out to imply that you read it even if you don't, so that people who see it sitting oh so casually there think that you're smart, or right-thinking, or deep.



(I figured we got captcha because the WV was terminally screwed up.)

Crunchy Frog said...

AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide

What?

Avtually, I have no idea what I'd bring. Probably a bible. Or Starship Troopers.

wv: ouv choofif - I think. Captcha sucks.

Nope. Next attempt - silicious hablyst

Peter said...

I'd bring "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" by Michael Chabon. It's not the world's finest SF, but there's plenty in it to talk about.

Or perhaps "Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World." IMHO more of a hagiography of the "great" warlord than a quality history, but plenty to talk about.

Turnoff: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (or anything related to it).

But "Dianetics" or "The Book of Mormon" would also be strong negative clues.

Jess said...

Wait! What about Watchtower or Awake! - with an extra copy of each, for you?

Nathan said...

"The Anatomy of Melancholy." By far, my favorite book.

Title that would scare me away? "The Anatomy of Melancholy."

It's a lonely world.

EMD said...

"That's just too much typing to prove I'm real. A major strength of the human species is the automation of tedious work. Let's not go backward."

This is Google's latest improvement to the shitfest that is their commenting structure?

Forget shortcut buttons for links, bold, italic or anything else. Forget nested or collapsable comments. We need to prove that people are humans!

I'm about ready to get the f off of Blogger for good.

Jose_K said...

I guess Justine is a no no too

EMD said...

"I'd bring "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" by Michael Chabon. It's not the world's finest SF, but there's plenty in it to talk about."

Chabon is awesome, but TYPU was the one I couldn't finish.

Third time's a charm with Captcha.

Goodbye, Professor.

Henry said...

AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide

Or Batsford Chess Openings 2. You could really speed through the crowd with that one.

Regarding books one the coffee table -- what is out is out. Considering the wildly divergent social and political views of my extended family, the takeaway for guests hopefully is wonder. The Action Bible (gift from grandparents) a scattering of Captain Underpants (Scholastic book club), the cartoon Bhagavad Gita (gift from brother-in-law), The Metaphysical Club (my current reading), novels set in India (my wife's current reading), Sibley's Guide to Birds, some heavyweight art books.

phx said...

Or Batsford Chess Openings 2. You could really speed through the crowd with that one.

Yeah they'll see how out-of-date you are. "That's so Kasparov era. Don't you have a database?"

Joe Schmoe said...

Freeman, too funny. That's the beauty of having something like Liberal Fascism on Kindle. I don't have to 'splain what it's doing on the shelf.

Sort of off-topic, but another amusing feature of Captcha: I just tried the audio version that is supposed to say the word or letters. Oh my God. What a trip. Sounds like the Revolution Number 9 backwards. It's even more incomprehensible than the text, if that's possible. Who the hell tested this and said, yup, that's an excellent system, and easy to use.

Crunchy Frog said...

That's the beauty of having something like Liberal Fascism on Kindle. I don't have to 'splain what it's doing on the shelf.

Or worse yet, what's on your desk at work. I have Kindle versions of Main Kampf, The Prince, The Communist Manifesto, The Road To Serfdom, and The Fountainhead.

Any one of them would get me looked at funny, and probably reported to HR.

Henry said...

Yeah they'll see how out-of-date you are. "That's so Kasparov era. Don't you have a database?"

In that case, I'll bring a library copy of Ben Hogan's 5 Lessons. Just for the pictures.

William said...

Only people who read a lot of books--perhaps too many books--would say that your choice of a totem book says something truly important about you or your choice of a significant other. One of the kindest, most sensitive women I've ever known read tons of Danielle Steele's novels. She was plenty smart, too, but she had no real interest in literature.....Also, in my day, lots of attractive women were into Anne Rice. I don't know if Anne Rice is superior to the Twilight author, but vampire books seem to attract hot chicks. The ironic thing is that these very same women with their perverse taste for necrophilia would be judgemental, even censorious about my taste for Russian bestiality porn. Well, it takes all kinds to make a world.

Christy said...

The summer I read Godel, Escher, and Bach at the beach I had wonderful conversations with my housemates and the occasional strolling physicist, but somehow failed to get any romantic action going.

I can tell you that I received tons of attention from young handsome guys when I had Neil Gaiman's Sandman collection at hand. Unfortunately it was all dreadfully age-inappropriate. I've little desire for cougar action.

Heinlein's female protagonist in The Number of the Beast talks of having the books to impress guests downstairs and the stuff she actually reads in the bedroom. I've always done that.

I'd take Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.... I'd be dismayed to see any political book. Does that sound odd from someone who reads this very political blog regularly? But ask me again tomorrow and I'd have a different answer, I'm sure.

Freeman Hunt said...

That's the beauty of having something like Liberal Fascism on Kindle.

Bedroom, middle bookshelf on the left.

I just tried the audio version that is supposed to say the word or letters. Oh my God. What a trip. Sounds like the Revolution Number 9 backwards.

This.

The Prince, The Communist Manifesto, The Road To Serfdom

It's different for the living room than it is for the office. I have these three in the living room somewhere, but since they're ensconced in the cultural Heritage of Important Books, guests don't care.

Also, no one would mistake me for a communist.

Icepick said...

Were I in the market, I'd bring my Baby Rudin. They may as well know what Hell they're getting into.

What would make me run? Anything by Jacques Lacan or Michel Foucault or any of those other noxious 20th century French philosophers. Ugh. Mind you, it's one thing to have them in your librarry (my wife has some of each - had to study them for her course of study) but it is another thing to claim them as a favorite. < shudder >

prairie wind said...

Depends on who is coming to visit, doesn't it? When my holier-than-I friends came over, I would be sure to leave something like Cosmo on the coffee table. For parents, it was news magazines. For my gram, I'd lay out the books I wanted to talk to her about.

Icepick said...

The ironic thing is that these very same women with their perverse taste for necrophilia would be judgemental, even censorious about my taste for Russian bestiality porn.

Dude. Seriously. TMI.

Icepick said...

Yeah they'll see how out-of-date you are. "That's so Kasparov era. Don't you have a database?"

Hey, Garrik practically MADE ChessBase! Just because he shilled for Keene's opening book....

What, have I said too much? Didn't the Baby rudin tell you anything?

Chip Ahoy said...

I would date the first lady who brought a pop-up book.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would want to bring The Brothers Karamazov,but what sort that would interest, I don't know.

I doubt most of the men care what books the women bring. The book thing is a fun gimmick to draw women and provide men with an opener.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

"American Psycho"

Skookum John said...

"I doubt most of the men care what books the women bring. The book thing is a fun gimmick to draw women and provide men with an opener."

Thread winner right here.

Henry said...

@Chip Ahoy -- Have you seen the Escher pop up book?

Call me wrong, but it kind of defeats the purpose. It's like colorizing Ansel Adams' photos.

@Skookum John -- Very correct. There's only so many librarians a man can hit on.

Joe Schmoe said...

@CrunchyFrog, I agree that might get you in trouble, which saddens me because that stuff should be required reading.

@PaddyO, didn't know you were a published author! I'll check out your samples on Amazon.

Oxbay said...

I don't know what book I'd bring but instant turn offs would be The Da Vinci Code or anything by Stephen King except for Misery.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

At the moment? Edmund Crispin's Holy Disorders.

Unfortunately, having out-mystery-nerded everyone else present, I'd have to go back home. Fortunately, I have a husband who can appreciate a plot involving venomous insects, a Black Mass, Anglican theological banter, a hysterical set-piece involving Poe's Raven,, and an ingenious murderous use of a musical instrument.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, and Nazis. No seriously complicated mystery plot is complete without Nazis.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

William,

The ironic thing is that these very same women with their perverse taste for necrophilia would be judgemental, even censorious about my taste for Russian bestiality porn. Well, it takes all kinds to make a world.

Heck, I've lived in worlds where people would be judgmental about spelling "judgmental" with two e's in it.

I have not read the "Twilight" books, but Anne Rice's (a couple decades back) were heavy on descriptive detail (historical and otherwise). Not sure they and "Twilight" were directed towards the same crowd, really.

OK, I'm going to try this wv.

omisFac Cross-pieces. Here goes.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, my second pick would probably Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead. You hate that, we likely won't get along so well.

Have to try again, as the captcha thinks I have Greek characters right to hand on my keyboard.

I don't think it will accept beta-rho-alpha-chi-nu.

OK, desirac Servetus,'-- I think I can do that one.

Eric said...

The Joy of Sex?

Too much? Bah, no wonder I'm not married.

Jess said...

Ooh! Ooh! To draw the British History* geeks, I could bring my copy of 1066 and all that.

* Just to be clear, this means (British History) geeks, not British (History geeks).

bagoh20 said...

How many of the books mentioned here were actually read by more then one person on here. Apparently, a few were, but clearly it seems most choices would tell the other person nothing about you since they most likely never read your book.

But if they did, that means they are one of thousands that have, and what's the chances that all those thousands are what you are looking for.

I think this idea is slightly interesting, but not likely effective.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Synova,

I'd bring a book that was either sincerely my favorite or else honestly represented my favorite. How much better to find someone who actually shared my interests? How horrible would it be if I invested all that time in someone, trying not to let him know who I am, and then found out he thought science fiction was stupid?

Well, exactly. Pretending you like something you don't is a really treacherous way to get into a relationship. Way better to own up to your fondness for Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle first.

I was once accused of placing prop magazines around my apartment when I was going to college. Why would I do that?

Because the people around you would do it. Me, I put magazines around my dorm room that would give anyone who saw them the right idea, in that they were stuff I genuinely liked to read. Only Fanfare and First Things and the late Lingua Franca and the late The Sciences really are none of them come-hither material.

wv (I think): 140 etsuche

wildswan said...

I would take with me that book about Himalayan orchids or else that one about the Victoria Regia waterlily. But you can't get them even on Amazon. Maybe I would take Borges or Stevenson.

I would really not like to know anyone who reads Michael Moore or Al Gore or reads about zombies.

Coketown said...

I would bring my writing journal. It's full of scenes, sketches, stories, things like that. Writing is far more personal than reading; you can learn infinitely more about a person from what they write than what they read. And it doesn't preclude you from smuggling in your favorite books anyway. Most of all, I'd rather talk about myself than some dead British guy.

Astro said...

I'd bring 'Godel, Escher, Bach'. If a woman brought 'Winnie The Pooh' I'd propose to her.