Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Where the books are
Working, as I do, when I'm feeling up to it, at a library, my attention is frequently grabbed by the surprise of these books lying all over the place. I suppose books in a library shouldn't exactly surprise me, but they do. Books never really seem like they have anything to do with the real world, which perhaps is why I find them so appealing. Fundamentally they hardly even exist in this plane, being something more like doors into their own private and very idiosyncratic realities. I mean, they're things, books, and their covers are physically suggestive, but the only real way to get anything useful out of them is to sit staring quietly at them for hours and hours. And a lot of the time even that doesn't work.
So I was marveling at a whole cart of these books when a rather clever title caught my eye: Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan. This might be a great book. I don't know. I haven't read it, though I might take a look at it later. I just investigated enough of it to find out that it's a humorous memoir about an introvert who is feeling pretty sad and so decides to try living as a gregarious extrovert for a year. This places it squarely in two successful current mini genres. One of these genres is Introvert Books, kicked into genredom by the mega bestseller Quiet, the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. The other genre is The Sort of but not Necessarily Silly Artificial Personal Quest Memoir. This one is probably best represented by The Year of Living Biblically. One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.
As I said I haven't read Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan, and I don't have anything against it other than the flash of irritated jealousy I have towards anyone whose humorous personal insights, written into essay form, have been collected into a genuine book, that actual people appear to buy and read. And I suppose I'm a bit cautious at the start about its suggested rejection of introversion. But I'm willing to take my spear of envy and my wariness with the grains of salt they deserve. Nevertheless I wanted to say that right in the moment of my jealous disdain I had an idea for a book of my own that I thought I'd like to write:
Extrovert! The Journey of a Pretend Extrovert Who Gives it All Up for a Year to Stay at Home Eating a Variety of Barbecue Flavored Potato Chips.