I have a friend who has a very strict book reading principle. Now before I go into detail about this particular book reading principle, I am going to slightly pause here and use a written rhetorical device which I have called excessus verbiosus (a Latin phrase you can probably work out) mainly to give you the chance to recover from the shock of reading the first four words of this post. It is true and he is real, (as opposed to a Blog or Facebook friend, or just some bunny you used to know and now won’t stop sending you annoying Linked In requests).
But anyway back to my real friend, who I have known for over 15 years now, and his book reading principle. The principle is that he refuses to read a book with a number in the title.
You know the ones, such as “5 love languages” by Gary Chapman, or “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey or “9 ways to successfully scratch your left ear lobe” by … (actually I can’t remember who wrote that last one, but I can’t wait for the sequel “11 itches you never knew you had”).
But anyway back to my real friend, his basic principle is that he hates self help books and claims that most books with numbers in their titles are from that section of the bookstore. While this is patently not true, he claims he has never read one and boasts that he is helping himself by not self helping himself.
I have been trying to catch him out for years now by monitoring his book habits and regularly quizzing him but to no avail.
“A tale of two cities’, is such a classic isn’t it?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t read it.”
“What about ‘The Three Muskateers’”, “Nope”.
“Catch 22?”,“ Catch what.”
The closest I came was a few years ago when I caught him reading “The Life of Pi”. “Caught you.” I said.
“No way”, he replied. “It’s the Life of Pi, not the life of 3.1415”.
But my time is coming. He has recently become a father for the first time, and I have already bought his son a present. It is a present I hope his boy grows up to love and cherish and get his father to read over and over. One Fish, Two fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
Can you think of any others I can try to get him with?