Jessica Gross

What’s in the Name of a Book?

In people watching on September 1, 2008 at 10:24 pm

The scene: crowded subway car. I’m standing with my back against the door. To my left: a girl, reading. To my right: the reader’s friends.

Friend (loudly, over passengers’ heads): What’re you reading?

Reader: Rectangle of Sins.

I look down at the book.

Friend: Mmm, sounds good.

Really?

What makes a book “sound good”? I get when a book looks good: artful cover, gilded lettering — probably quality. (Yes, I am “judging a book by its cover.” Thank you.) But sounds good? I can’t think of a book that qualifies. The Great Gatsby: what’s a Gatsby? Animal Farm: picture book. The Sun Also Rises: yes, yes it does. Lolita: sounds like porn. Oh, wait…

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  1. […] was reading while balancing. But I don’t just brag. I check out other people’s books, too, and judge them. Apparently, I’m not the only one — this is a common MTA pastime. But I still haven’t […]

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