Friday, October 24, 2008

PEEKING AT BOOK TITLES


When somebody sits near us on a train or bus and is reading a book, why do we sneak a peek at the title?

I doubt we're counting on total strangers for help in selecting a book. I think we're seeking, for reasons inexplicable, penetrating insights into their private lives and innermost thoughts.

Hmmm … this plumpish woman sitting to my left … I deduce from the title of her novel that she's a middle child … probably a Libra … prone to crying jags during chick flicks …two miserable marriages … and a son who's in therapy three days a week and doesn't think it's enough.

This bearded guy sitting in front of me … he'll never finish that self-help book … high school dropout… went into his father's printing business … made a shambles of it … no wife, no girlfriend … no doubt lives with a scruffy cat that only stays with him to flaunt her feelings of superiority.

Sneaking furtive glances at other people's book titles is a conceit of jumbo proportions.

From a single feeble clue, we construct a complete character study in about 10 seconds. I think it's idiotic and reprehensible. And it's a shame that the bearded guy with the cat will never get his damn act together.


@#$%*@

FORWARD THIS TO FRIENDS AND A POX WILL NOT BE VISITED UPON YOUR HOUSE.

3 comments:

bernie most said...

While reading this post, I had the feeling that some guy was peeking over my shoulder. I thought I heard him muttering, "What the @#$%*@ is this guy reading?"

Howard Portnoy said...

Milt,

Obviously, you never read (or have forgotten) "The Overcoat," by Sally Benson. Here's link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=jkdgfWp0TYoC&pg=PA176&lpg=PA176&dq=overcoat+sally+benson&source=bl&ots=xnA7d62jyh&sig=pY6h9fdAOhI-V5GNOERB9aNLQxk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA176,M1

Howard Portnoy said...

Oooookay. It appears the link didn't work. Just type "Sally Benson Overcoat" in Google, and it should show the correct link.