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How to be a woman who loves books, according to every TV show and movie I’ve ever seen.

Jessie Gaynor

August 11, 2020, 2:07pm

Sniff every old or sort of old book you see. Close your eyes when you do it. If a stranger is reading the book, trust that they will be charmed by this. People are often charmed by you, the first book-lover they have ever met.

When there are no books nearby to smell, look for ways to work your love of the smell of old books into a conversation, like when someone says “What’s that smell?” or “Mm, this dinner smells delicious.”

Totally fucking lose it in bookstores. Just absolutely freak the fuck out, to the point of maybe accidentally destroying some books. This will break your heart, and also make you think of Lenny from Of Mice and Men, one of many books you have read.

Make sure everyone knows that no matter what you’re doing, you’d rather be reading. Make sure you always have a book with you (just kidding! of course you do) in case you need to pull it out in the middle of a dull dinner party or conversation. This isn’t rude—it’s quirky, because you’re beautiful.

You are beautiful, right? That’s important.

Know in your heart that all interests other than books—fashion? relationships? microbiology?—are frivolous. You don’t need to say this out loud as long as you constantly signal it with your beautiful, judgmental face.

Spend all your money on books. All of it. Food and shelter are for the weak. You are nourished by words. Besides, soon enough an attractive, wealthy man who has never heard of books will notice you reading on a bench and fall instantly in love with you, whisking you off to his enormous house, which has a library he’s never noticed before. When you ask him what he thought the books on the shelves were, he’ll say something like “colorful wood blocks, I guess? For making music?” and you’ll be charmed, because you also have very cool taste in music.

Once you move in, realize that the only thing you love more than reading books is writing them. In your heart, you’ve always been a writer, of course. Writing is difficult—it requires much more frowning than reading does. But everyone is counting on you: the rich man, the friends you hate, and above all, books.

Now that you have written a book, your transformation is almost complete. You’re becoming more angular. You were already waiflike, but now you appear almost rectangular. Your skin feels rough, like pebbled leather. You contain all the secrets of the universe.

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