07 May 2009
the empty bookshelf and how to make anyone fall in love with you
Confession time: In high school, in search of the greatest manipulative power possible, I read a friend’s copy of a book called “How to Make Anyone Fall in Love With You.”
Good news: The principles of the book generally worked. Any high school boy with a full set of teeth and a touch of discipline could SOFTEN his way into any girl’s heart.
Bad news: I now have a daughter.
Lest you think I stopped at romance in my quest to be able to analyze and manipulate humans at a whim, in college I picked up a book appropriately entitled “Reading People”. It was equally enthralling and equally enlightening. The basic point of the book was “PAY ATTENTION!!”
So instead of daydreaming when in a person’s apartment for the first time, I learned to pay attention to little details – decorative flair, ethnic accents, quality of materials, and…wait for it…the books on the shelf.
Ah, the bookshelf. A gold-mine of snap-judgementalism. Back then, a guy rocking sci-fi novels was not likely going to be included in the night’s party plans. A guy with books on sports and history – now there was the guy to go have a beer with...
Well, today, there is no bigger evangelist for the Amazon Kindle than me. And yet there is no bigger killer of snap-judgementalism than the Kindle.
I love the e-reader. I love the paperless society. I love the barren bookshelves…
Or do I?
The New York Times featured a great piece not too long ago about the way that the Kindle masks our public persona and our private image.
Think about it… One guy is reading Chaucer on a plane and another is reading Anne Rice. What can you tell me about them just from that tidbit? With a Kindle, no one would know the difference. One woman is reading the Financial Times and another is reading USA Today. What does that speak to…? The papers are both available on the Kindle every day. And the Kindle gives away no clues.
Check back later today for the article and links…
FYI: SOFTEN = Smile, Open Body Position, Forward Lean, Touch, Eye Contact, Nod