• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    What the books you’re giving away on the sidewalk say about you.

    James Folta

    March 26, 2024, 1:11pm

    Boxes of Chronologically Organized National Geographics

    You’re a completionist who has a hard time hitting the “skip intro” button on a TV show. You only read novels in translation and are infamous in your friend group for dragging people to bars at 7:00 in the morning to watch soccer—that’s “football” to you, of course.

    DIY Home Repair and Woodworking Books

    You recently had a scare with some power tools and your loved ones made you give up on your dream of making your own dining room furniture. You’ve read more than five biographies of Winston Churchill and will pick up any book with a boat on the cover.

    A Stack of Dry-Looking Books With Titles Like Reconsidering Informational Econographics, Second Edition

    Congrats! After three semesters of hell, you finally dropped out of grad school. Enjoy reading for pleasure again.

    Multiple Copies of the Same Self-Published Novel

    You’re a really supportive friend, but you need the shelf space back. You made dozens of fake GoodReads accounts to praise your pal’s book, are the emergency contact for every member of your extended family, and have more than one storage shoebox overflowing with holiday cards and save-the-dates that you won’t ever get rid of.

    Lots of Hemingway, Ayn Rand, and Bukowski

    You finally broke up with a dude who you’re better off without. You have a lot more free time now that you don’t have someone in your life who will misexplain how game theory works multiple times a week.

    Lots of Large-Format, Coffee Table Art Books

    You overestimated how many of your house guests would need to kill 20 minutes looking at a monograph on land art. You’ve discovered that your adult life revolves less around hosting salons with the sharpest minds of your generation, and instead revolves more around sitting on the floor in your underwear and eating reheated pasta.

    Travel Books and Guides to Other Cities and Countries

    Due to the recent airline news, your fear of flying has returned.

    A Stack of Business-y, Entrepreneurial Self-Help Books

    You haven’t read a novel since sixth grade, and listen to podcasts at 2x speed. You bought these books for an MBAs-only book club that disbanded because no one ever did the reading. You’re finally getting rid of your entire library because you’ve replaced books with incorrect, AI-generated summaries on Reddit.

    Assorted Cookbooks and Wine Guides

    You’ve tried to remake yourself several times in your life. You had a minimalism phase that quickly got too expensive, and a rockabilly phase that quickly got too embarrassing. You have finally given up on your home-cooking phase after your quick-pickled jalapeños got you and your partner uninvited to a wedding.

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