Not my thoughts, but Harlan Ellison’s Art Deco Dining Pavilion:, who posted the following on
Here’s a topic likely to provide some grist: the existence of folks who are not just indifferent to, but downright hostile to, the very idea of books.
Like the one who told me a few years ago, “You know, whenever I go to somebody’s house and see a lot of books, I know they don’t have a life.” My immediate response: “That’s funny. When I go to a house and see NO books at all, I know the person’s not worth talking to.”
My wife experienced one the other day. She was discussing possible home purchases with a co-worker who’s also in the market for a house, and as we live in Florida where it’s not all that important to keep a car garaged all the time, both were talking about how they would turn any two- or three-car garage into a finished library with space for all our acquisitions.
Another co-worker overheard and walked in and said, “A GARAGE IS FOR CARS! NOT FOR BOOKS!!”
“Well, it won’t be a garage anymore. It’ll be a library.”
“YOU DON’T NEED A LIBRARY! BOOKS DO **NOTHING** FOR A HOUSE BUT TAKE UP SPACE!*”
The proper response for this would have been that people with no books do nothing but take up space. But my wife explained that we already have a lot of books and that we do want them displayed.
“BOOKSHELVES ARE FOR DORKS!” the co-worker hollered, and stormed out.
My wife and the fellow potential home-buyer gaped at each other in disbelief.
The rest of the day, they were proudly and loudly calling each other “Dork Boy” and “Dork Girl.”
Now, I have no real problem with non-readers. Not everybody has an interest. Although I’m never happy unless I have a read in progress, I know a lot of people who read intermittently, whenever the mood strikes them, and others who simply never picked up the habit. Many are still capable of respecting my love of books. I know a few who simply feel intimidated by ALL THE WORDS, and though it’s a sad condition, it’s not a hateful one.
But the folks who are downright HOSTILE to books…on principle…stun me.
It’s exactly what I would write, if I could write.