Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why reading a book can make you more attractive to the opposite sex/same sex* (choose as appropriate)

"Men are twice as likely as women to exaggerate their reading habits to impress a potential partner, mainly in order to appear more romantic or intellectual." according to a highly scientific new survey by the National Year of Reading.

Is the National Year of Reading about to end incidently? Will 2009 be the National Year of Watching Telly? Let's hope so.

"A quarter (26 per cent) of adults use reading to clinch the deal with a prospective lover in the bedroom by strategically leaving evidence of reading material they’ve talked about during the date by the bed."

Well done Britain. I salute you. Except, as a proper reader who does read books (some of them all the way through without skipping), it strikes me that if you're staying in reading books you're not gonna be going out going on dates. Unless you meet a sexy bespectacled librarian at the book club.

"Almost one in five adults (18 per cent) would read whilst waiting for their date to arrive in the hope of making a good first impression."

Women are impressed by men reading Shakespeare, cookery books, Nelson Mandela's autobiography & poetry.

Hmmm. Really? I mean, men that read poetry? Good luck with that, ladies. Are they sitting in a coffee shop in the 1950s looking like James Dean? Ok.

I do, of course, read poetry, but I don't like it very much. Where's the story?

It's just words ...
In a line.
And then another line.
Then it ends.
But I keep thinking I should give the poetry thing another go. It's good for you. Like spinach, but not as good with gravy on top.

Interestingly, while we're on surveys & lists - and we are cos it's December and that's stocktaking time - there was a similar sort of list complied in 2007 by where:

"Two out of three Brits surveyed said they would perceive someone who read Jordan's and Beckham's biographies in public as 'unattractive'.

Come on - they're not reading, they're looking at the pictures. You'll know if they're reading the words because you'll be able to see their lips moving. But my favourite bit in that survey was this:

"Meanwhile, over a third of women said they would actually be physically repulsed by a man they saw reading The World According To Clarkson in public."

Ahhh. How sad. And yet most of the women are probably married to men that read Jeremy Clarkson's books, so what are they trying to tell us? Personally, I might read the Clarkson book but I'd keep it hidden if anyone came round. Hidden underneath a pile of Swedish pornography. "No, don't look under there! Listen, I swear, it's not mine. I don't even like that sort of stuff. I hate cars. I've never watched Top Gear in my life. I'm looking after it for a friend."

So what would be the worst book you could read while waiting for a date to turn up:

American Psycho?
Serial Killing: A Beginner's Guide?

Probably the last one.

"What am I reading? O, this. Book called Lolita. Have you not read it? Yeh, it's a classic of 20th century American literature, the metaphors and the general writing are just brill. Amazin. I'm on page 10. O, what is it about? Ummm. Well, it's about this guy that fancies this 11 year old girl. But not in a bad way. In a sort of poetic way. I mean, yeh, it is a bad way as well. Then he kills her mum, runs away with the girl, then later she gets pregnant n grows up a bit and he doesn't fancy her any more. But it is a good book. Wait, where you going - you've not even sat down yet..."

*Sigh* Don't they all look so lovely reading their big fat clever books. Guess I should have read Al Gore like boring old George Clooney...

Wait, no, that reading Lolita on a date thing - that never happened. No. Really. But I wish I'd read these surveys first though...


  1. Oh what?
    I take it this is "women" not actual women. Who completed the survey? I did not, nor do I believe that anyone in my book club did.

    Now, as a woman that does actually read, these are my observations:

    1) anyone that has impressive books lying strategically placed does not actually read. People who genuinely read have an odd mixture of high brow, low brow and stuff you'd never have heard of. People who genuinely like reading also read drivel. Or if they're like me, also train timetables, flyers, the instructions for paracetamol, ingredients and everything else written down.

    2) Liking books is only impressive if you like books yourself. And that's a compatibility thing, not a pretention thing.

    3) I think I'd be scared of a man reading poetry in public. That says to me "look I am reading poetry" which isn't the same as "I enjoy poetry". Poetry isn't something for the wine bar. No.

    4) Reading Clarkson is almost grounds alone for shagging someone. It says quite a lot about a bloke and it's all good things.

    Basically, what is a turn off is anyone who uses books as anything other than something to read. If they care what people think about their choice then they deserve the sort of woman that cares most about whether a book looks good on the coffee table.

    I'm not a real girl though.

  2. Your comments are duly noted. Should I ever have a date I am going to take a kitten with me. Everyone likes kittens.

    Or a book of Jeremy Clarkson's poems.