On Campus
May 08, 2009, 10:58AM

The Timeless Sexiness of the Book

Leatherbound not necessary. 

Amazon promotes the Kindle as a “wireless reading device” (That’s funny. Aren’t real books wireless too?) in which readers can download the full text of books for $9.99 within a matter of minutes, with the capacity to hold up to 1,500 books. I have lots of technophobic/moral issues with the Kindle, but I’m going to focus more on the timeless sexiness that real books have in comparison to the socially awkward Kindle.What Amazon doesn’t tell you in its promotion of the Kindle is that it looks ridiculous in real-life situations. Seeing someone reading a Kindle in a coffee shop or on the bus is like seeing a Dick Cheney-helmed Segway – absolutely not hip and definitely not sexy, unless you’re into avuncular, sheepish, off-balance neocons. Ride it, Dick!In one of my favorite lines of his, comedian John Waters said, “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have any books, don’t (sleep with) them.”As a bibliophile (look it up, in a book), I would most definitely heed Waters’ advice.In a recent entry for The New Yorker’s book blog, The Book Bench, writer Thessaly La Force makes the point that reading is a difficult balance between “the solitary and the social,” and that this balance is best demonstrated through a good, old fashioned physical book – you know, the kind with paper, ink and pages you can coyly flip at a cafe.It’s obvious that there is more to reading than its Circean ability to lure hot intellectual types at cafes into striking up a literary conversation. I could go on and on about how much I love the solitary comfort I get from reading and about the invaluable ways in which books enrich the soul and all that “Reading Rainbow” jazz. But let’s get real: It’s spring, and I’m sure some of you have the fever, and are looking to ease “the feve” by getting with someone with at least a smidge of intellectual substance. So I’m going to give you some tips on how to pick up some bookish hotties.Tip #1: Reading in a bar is actually a great thing to do.In Noah Baumbach’s “Kicking and Screaming,” a film that is crazy-applicable to our lives in college right now, one of the main characters, Jane, memorably reads a book by herself in a dive bar. It’s the middle of the day, but it doesn’t seem weird that she’s drinking stiff drinks and reading a book at the same time, because if you’re a true intellectual, it isn’t weird – it’s the norm. If you want to be perceived as an intellectual a la Ernest Hemingway or Dorothy Parker, who can enjoy a cocktail or two and still be incredibly smart and non-conformist at the same time, this is a good route to take.Just ignore the fact that both Hemingway and Parker were suicidal alcoholics and focus on how to make your brooding more attractive. Remember to keep that Charles Bukowski novel tilted up, too.


Register or Login to leave a comment