Paper Cuts tackles a essay in the New York Times about reading and dating -- It’s Not You, It’s Your Books.
“I did have to break up with one guy because he was very keen on Ayn Rand,” said Laura Miller, a book critic for Salon. “He was sweet and incredibly decent despite all the grandiosely heartless ‘philosophy’ he espoused, but it wasn’t even the ideology that did it. I just thought
“I know there were occasions when I just wrote people off completely because of what they were reading long before it ever got near the point of falling in or out of love: Baudrillard (way too pretentious), John Irving (way too middlebrow), Virginia Woolf (way too Virginia Woolf).” Come to think of it, Collins added, “I do know people who almost broke up” over “The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen: “‘Overrated!’ ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Overrated!’ ‘Brilliant!’”
I would tend to agree with one commentator on Paper Cuts who wrote he “found this whole notion a bit snobby.”
I think that dating is hard enough; adding literary compatibility seems like adding another hurdle. Ideally, I would like to date someone who enjoyed reading. However, I think it’s all about compromises. I despise watching sports and would hate to be dumped because I didn’t want to watch baseball, football, really any sports. Although, would ballroom dancing count as a sport?
I try not to judge what other people are reading. 1. It’s rare enough to see people reading. 2. Who the heck am I to criticize other’s reading choices. I read plenty of what could be considered “middle brow.” I like to think of reading like eating a fine meal. Yes, you may have a nice fillet but it’s nice sometimes to have a corn dog. A nice murder mystery or science fiction can be like a palate cleanser or a nice sorbet between courses.
That said, John Irving too middlebrow. :-O I would not hold it against a boyfriend if he had John Irving on his bookshelf. But then again, A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my favorite books.