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.