Picture a Bookaholic at the end of a day. She is wild-eyed and perhaps snappish. Her skirt is wrinkled and her makeup has worn off. The mintue she gets home she pops open a Diet Pepsi and plops down with a book. It might be Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazelet Chronicles, it might be Marguerite Duras’ Wartime Diaries. It doesn’t matter that much. She will read Zane Grey in a pinch. When her husband comes home, she barely greets him and he notes she is Woman is on the Edge of a Reading Breakdown! “Will you get me a cup of tea?” she asks seraphically. It is pseudo-seraphically: she wants to be alone.. He gets her the tea and prays that after an hour she will be revived enough to make dinner, or at least go around the corner to the very slow Thai restaurant.
But we all have our different styles of bookishness.
Here is the definitive five-question quiz to determine if you are bookish, a literary intellectual, or a full-blown bookaholic. I do not pretend to know all the answers. It’s like telling the future with an 8 ball.
I. On your first date with your soulmate, you
- read the manuscript of his/her short story and believe it’s the most brilliant thing you’ve ever read.
- discuss the bizarre juxtaposition in the New York Times of a disparaging review of 75-year-old Isabel Allende’s latest novel with an obsequious interview with 84-year-old Philip Roth.
- go to a bookstore.
ANSWERS to all three. You’re all three, and if you chose 1 you’re also in love
II. On your vacation, you
- go to Paris and sit in a cafe writing poetry. It’s probably the wrong cafe, but that makes no difference.
- hire a nanny so you can read without interruption in the attic like a mad woman.
- read Dorothy Parker and Dawn Powell so you can chat wittily at the Algonquin
ANSWERS to all three. 1-3 mean you’re all three, and if you chose 1 you’re also artistic
III. Your house looks like
- a library
- a used bookstore
- a clean lovely house with a few tastefully-stocked bookcases
ANSWERS to all three. 1 or 2 means you’re all three, and if you answered 3 I don’t know you.
IV. What do you use as bookmarks?
- chewing gum wrappers, pencils, or kleenex
- dogeared pages
ANSWERS TO ALL THREE. If you answered 1, you’re all three. If you answered 2 or 3, I can’t judge, because I don’t approve. and if there’s chocolate on your book I am quite irritated. Actually I’ve been there, done that, but am reformed. Go to the library and pick up a scad of free bookmarks!
V. What is your favorite book?
- What Is to Be Done? by N. G. Chernyshevksy
- Swann’s Way
- The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
I’m joking! I don’t know what your favorite books are. All favorite books are great .
Only one question left: What is your fav0rite book really?