Friday, April 03, 2009

So I'm a Book Snob...

So apparently I'm a snob.
No, no one has been rude enough to say this to my face, it's more of a realization that I've had about myself off and on throughout my life.

The latest example? A couple of weeks ago a friend came into town and we met at a bookstore/café. It seemed like a reasonable thing to pick up some books while I was there.

Now the other week I was going through various lists of books on teh internetz. Apparently there isn't one "Top 100 Books You Should Read Before You Die." It seems that people have varying opinions on the matter. I even found a "Top 1000" books list in chronological order (based on original publication date).

Anyhow, one day when I'm needing a mental break, I figure I'll break out all those lists, and compile one of my own from all the suggestions. Of course I'll probably populate it with books I've already read to give myself some sense of accomplishment.

Anyhow, back to my snobbishness. On one of those lists, it mentioned "The Watchmen" as something I must read. Having just seen the movie, and being a firm believer in reading the book after seeing the movie, I thought it seemed like a good idea while it was still fresh in my mind.

So I went to the bookstore. Huh. $22.00. For a comic? Seriously?

OK, clearly comics have come a long way since I was reading Archie back when I was 10. Weren't they like 50 cents?

But still, I really did want to read it. So the day I was at the bookstore with my friend, I picked it up again. I was now prepared for the cost and ready to commit.

Then I put it down.
And picked it up.
And put it down.

I couldn't do it.

I buy Jane Austen. I took Shakespeare in University. I studied Chaucer.

Uh huh. When's the last time I picked up the Canterbury Tales for fun? Yes, I do read Jane all the time, but what else do I have on my shelf? The Shopaholic Books, the Bridget Jones books, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz...

Clearly I wasn't going to be writing in any literary journals anytime soon.

So I came up with a plan. I ran to the "literature" section. I scanned through all the authors until I found one I recognized from my many Top 100 lists. Ian McEwan. Atonement. Hey- that was a good movie. Mmmm James McAvoy...

With my non-embarassing book in hand, I then grabbed The Watchmen and proudly marched to the cashier. None of the literary geniuses behind the counter could make fun of me now. Clearly Atonement was for me, and the comic was for like a nephew or something, right? (Right?!)

"Ok, that'll be $50.00."


So apparently I bought the most expensive bloody books in the store that day.
Not wanting to look like an idiot while simultaneously confessing that The Watchmen was the one I really wanted, I swallowed hard and paid for both.

And am now happily in the midst of two fabulous novels. Atonement? Is awesome. I love it. I want to pick up everything he's written now.

And the Watchmen? Well, duh it's pretty cool too. It makes you think, while being fun and disturbing and interesting all at once. And it has pretty pictures to boot.

I think I'll pick up V for Vendetta next.


Avitable said...

V for Vendetta is excellent, too.

Faiqa said...

I'm reading Watchmen, too!

AmyTree said...

Hahaha - so $50 is the price of snobbery? Watchmen is BRILLIANT, as is V for Vendetta. You should try Supreme too, and Moore's Lost Girls. I love his work... And they're not Comics, they're Graphic Novels - totally different animal. :-) xxx

Nat said...

McEwan also wrote Amsterdam... which was a brilliant piece as well. I need read Atonement. I'm not sure I want to... maybe I'll watch the movie first.

I've never picked up a graphic novel, but I reckon my reaction would be similar to yours.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

ohh sounds like a post I would write.. except for the watchmen thing.. yeah so not interested. At.all. and I wish I was...

OH oh oh.. I forgot to tell you!!! Jennifer Lancaster has a new book out that I am reading and then will promptly send to you...

Viking said...

I dread to think how much I have spent on books in my time. Studying English lit is an expensive business! Now I trawl the charity shops for good reads. It's much more fine to pick up something random for £2 and see if you like it!

James said...

Nothing wrong with liking to read quality.
Watchmen doesn't really appeal to me, I haven't watched the film. But I read V for Vendetta years ago long before it was made into a film. Very good and the artwork was very dark and fitted well with the story.

I am a guy and I love Jane Austen.

Princess of the Universe said...

Av- I really do plan on picking it up - I loved the movie.

Faiqa- oh good, someone to compare notes with!

AmyT- I was being obnoxious, purposely calling it a "comic" I know there's a difference between that and a graphic novel.

Nat- I always like seeing the movie first, cause the book is always better. I never read a book saying "that didn't happen in the movie" but I certainly do that in movie theatres (i.e. "that never happened in the book")

Random- you're so sweet!

James- I love you for that. Jane is a goddess.

Princess of the Universe said...

Ooops! Missed you Viking!
Really, it's silly to spend $50.00 on books when there are these awesome things called libraries out there...

Lady Jane said...

Atonement is a great book!!! I live at the Library. I wish I could afford to buy all the books, but I would be dead broke!! There are a few authors that when they come out with a new book..I buy it.

mr zig said...

I admit I do the same thing... Sometimes the books I want seem too... Well not "smart" enough... So I either do what you did, or I order them online so they secretly come to my house :)

Nance said...

Oh, I've always been a book snob. I only buy hardbacks. What the heck can you do with a paperback when you're done? And they're impossible to hold and take seriously. Right now, I'm reading Revolutionary Road. Lovely writing, for fiction.

Princess Pointful said...

Watchmen was the first graphic novel I've read, and I super enjoyed it! Though, granted, I refused to take it on the train with me to read.

Thanks again for the wonderful guest post!!!

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I'm just into The Watchmen for "the penis" *snort*

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