confessions and excuses
Read who you like and what you want. I always hated literature class, mostly because it was of no interest to me as my younger version and I hated when it was pushed on me. I’m surprised I got a college degree 🙃 Later in my life I took up reading with a vengeance. And I learned a lot by reading books of my own interest. Happy it turned out that way🤓
Love this piece. I think the one area where I would disagree a little (and I'm aware it'll make be a pretentious git), is about not *needing* to read x, y, or z. That is - absolutely - true, but I think it's worth pushing oneself a bit. I'm not on TikTok, but I do follow a guy called Jack in the Books on YouTube, and I continually look to him for bite-sized criticism or a huge range of books. I don't always agree, and it's not always my jam, but I have absolutely found some bangers by listening to this (depressingly young and handsome) man with taste wildly different from own.
Basically, I think it's at least a little bit fair to ask people who enjoy reading to consciously broaden their readership somewhat. That doesn't mean people who love murder mysteries or Alex Cross novels should all tuck into "the canon" or that "the canon needs more inclusivity" (it does.) But that if you take joy and meaning from reading, it's worth pushing yourself on occasion.
Sidenote: I find Infinite Jest even less readable than Ulysses, a book I 100% battled through purely for street cred (though the Stephen chapters and a few others were worthwhile).
I don’t think Lit Bros are real. Also, Infinite Jest is a great, really great novel, and I hate that it’s basically become a meme. I was a young woman when I first read it (and now I am a middle-aged woman).
I try to read everything, and I try not to be a snob about others’ reading habits.