Thursday, April 8, 2010


Do people ever try to get a rise out of you for reading what you read?

scene: my office
cast: me, Literarily-Inclined Co-Worker (LICW)

LICW: *picks up book from my desk* Hey, whatcha reading?

Me: That's the new Jenna Black.

LICW: *teasingly, from the front blurb* "Who says demons don't like to party?" I don't know, who DOES say that? Certainly not me, ha ha!

Me: Mmmm. *typing email*

LICW: *reading from back blurb* mumble mumble "It seems that demons have started showing up at the hot spot in alarming numbers and in the unwilling bodies of rough-trade club-goers...." Rough trade? *spluttering* Rough trade?! I haven't heard that term since... I mean, you usually only hear that in reference to, like...

Me: *sighs, stops typing* LICW, some of the books I read have adult content. You know, for grownups? *shrug* If you can't handle it....

*end scene*


Now, you could read any of that as snarky or mean, but it was mostly friendly teasing; just with that little edge of "Really? isn't this kind of thing just for idiots?" and the "no, actually; would you like to compare IQ scores?" undercurrent.

It reminded me of the Apologia Scale, which I love with so much love. I was pretty happy with the fact that I didn't get flustered or defensive but managed something that really kind of translates to a socially-acceptable, workplace-acceptable "fuck you."


Smokinhotbooks said...

I once had a B&N cashier read OUT LOUD a sexy blurb on an erotic romance book. There were 10 people behind me, she totally judged me.

I read books because they move me, not so I can play the social pseudo-intellectual card.

Sullivan McPig said...

I got lucky with my collegues and friends I think.
Most are just curious about what I read, but never judgemental or anything like that.

Renee said...

omg, I was totally thinking of that Apologia (Dear Author) post while reading your scene with LICW!

Most "literary" fiction puts me to sleep. But that's ok, since I don't read it. They don't have to read my book choices, either. To have lit fic readers judge my reading choices makes me crazy.

Carolyn Crane said...

LOL. I bet she secretly went out after and bought it!

Nicola O. said...

Carolyn, I should offer to loan him the series. :-)

Smokin', that's pretty horrible. I might've spoken to the manager, but then I'm a bitch like that.

Sully & Renee, I really think he was mostly just teasing, we have a pretty good rapport. It's just... well, you know. DON'T DIS MY BOOKS.

Anonymous said...

So great! And I agree with CC-- it's probably on LICW's shelf as I type this!

Kaetrin said...

I'm pretty lucky with my colleagues too. I don't have a lot of patience with someone dissing my books either.

Jill Sorenson said...

I had to look up "rough trade." Heh.

I once had a showdown with a used bookstore clerk--she *gasped* at the sexy covers (twice) and clucked about escapism and romance formulas. It was like she was trying to shame me in public--and I had a baby on my hip! I'm still annoyed, thinking about that.

Nicola O. said...

I've never had any trouble with clerks. I did get into a very frank conversation with one of my husband's co-workers once, but this is a guy who made money in early days of internet porn, so it wasn't so much as judging on his part as a game of chicken about not being embarrassed.

The funniest thing about the "rough trade" conversation is that I totally could have turned it back on him-- there was definitely room to imply that maybe he knew a bit more about that scene than you'd normally be talking about in a work setting, you know? LOL.


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