The Taser's Edge


Feasting at Geek Buffet. Also self-branding.

Head on over to today’s Geek Buffet for a hilarious and great reason to hate the Kindle (including the 2.0): you’ll no longer be able to show off how educated and well read (and pretentious) you are to people who don’t know you via physical book covers in public places.

As someone who has engaged in self-branding (a term borrowed from the NY Times article Geek Buffet links to, describing the way that we describe ourselves by the movies/books/music we like or claim to like in our online profiles) since long before I was an Internet entity, I must admit that I am self-conscious about the book covers I publicly display.  I think this is actually a not-so-hidden form of uber-pretention, but I am more likely to obscure pretentious titles (which are often assigned for Duke classes) in public, and then prominently display titles for which people like me would judge people who are reading books like the book I am reading, so that I can then judge them for judging me.

One such instance: proclaiming on this blog that the only two books which I have had Duke order for me are Batman comics (albeit critically acclaimed ones).  Why would I point this out?  Yes, because I think it’s funny.  But also because I want both people who know me and people who will never know me to think I am neat.

Pretentious tally for this post: 5 to lots.



An Advanced Stage of Anglophilia: Welcoming a new friend (with lots of bonuses)

I’m sure nobody noticed, but there’s a new addition to the ole blogroll: Christchurch City Libraries.  I thought I should probably help you make their acquaintance.

No joke in that blog title (unlike the amazing Perry Bible Fellowship); cclblog is indeed a blog for “one of the largest public library networks in New Zealand.”  And the writing is so darn panache-y that I can’t help but like it.

A few representative posts which converted me to adding cclblog to my Google Reader:

1. “Touch me, I’m sick”–A review of a new book about creepy love songs.  (Anglophile bonus: the Kiwi librarian categorized this entry under “Humour,” not “Humor.”)

2.“Not another damn Heathcliff”–You know why this post is cool: American librarians aren’t allowed to say “damn,” even if they are describing their feelings about a new movie version of Wuthering Heights.

3. “Titular weirdness”–An article about the top weird book titles of the year, according to Bookseller.  Example: Baboon Metaphysics.

Now outdated bonus from when I wrote the beginning of this post on 3-3-09: Happy Square Root Day.  (Thanks, Geek Buffet.  Now start updating regularly for us fans, and maybe you’ll make the Blogroll, alongside all those other blogs which don’t update.)

Replacement bonus, from Reuters: “Most Britons have lied about the books they read.”