Book Talk

As soon as I saw this cartoon, I laughed with immediate self-recognition. I’m that man—the one who has read just enough book reviews to be dangerous, or at least insufferable to my dining companion. I can talk the talk, drop the names, and traffic in the ideas, all the while the other person (wrongly) assumes that I’ve read the books because I’m plagiarizing the opinions of the reviewers. To the bookworms among us, let’s confess that no one has the time or energy to read every new title that captures our (passing) fancy. What transgression do we commit by indulging our curiosity in reviews and then bloviating like know-it-alls? Intellectual dishonesty, yes. Social annoyance, perhaps. But boring, no. God save us from boring table talk.

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