There's a new fad on Facebook: people are making lists of books that "changed their thinking" and challenging their friends to do the same. Before I get started with my rant, let me say that I love books. I studied English in college. I'm impressed and pleased that people are publicly expressing their love for the written word on a site that is, more often than not, filled with mindless memes and vacation photos.
But I have to call all of you out: stop lying, you lying liars. Sure, we're calling this "books that changed the way I think" but really it's just meant to be your favorite books.
This is a preposterous book list:
No, your favorite book is not "The Sound and the Fury." No, you did not finish "Infinite Jest." "One Hundred Years Of Solitude"? You read that in 10th grade. I know because I was in that English class with you.
This is real life:
1. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
3. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
4. The Phantom Tollbooth
5. The Hunger Games
6. Fifty Shades Of Grey
7. Gossip Girl
8. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
9. The Lord Of The Rings
10. Where The Sidewalk Ends
This exercise is just one humblebrag after another. "I'm just trying to keep up with my friends! This is what everyone's doing!" you say as you look up a the top 100 best novels of all time and write down the ones from that list that you've read. You're just trying to make yourself feel smarter and make everyone else feel dumb. Maybe everyone should have to give a book report on their top 5.
There is nothing wrong with liking popular books. You shouldn't be ashamed to have read Harry Potter a dozen times. Reading is just like anything else: it can be fun and it can be challenging. There shouldn't be a stigma against fun books. If you're super picky, remember that fluffy books can be gateways into more serious literature, ya prude.
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