I go on an ex-work colleague’s feed. 52 books in 52 weeks. instead of selfies she takes pictures of (rather skinny) books. Is this what life is?
I will not be so shallow as to repeatedly take selfies. My life is more. My life is a library. A collection of paper. Reconstituted wood.
Instagram is the medium for the narcissistic. Grid-locked images of perfectly posed faces. Then a book pops up. What does it mean to swap yourself for a book you’re trying to read?
Social media gives us a very warped representation of reality, but choosing to fill yours with books suggests your life is nothing but homely comfort. In cafes. In libraries. In bed. In an armchair in front of a fire.
In Gustav Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pecuchet, the two main characters are convinced that they can gain an understanding of the human experience from knowledge found in books. They relentlessly fail and intellectually blunder back into their mindless copying jobs.
Ugh. Another selfie. Yawn. Wow, they’ve got a face. I, on the other hand, am FAR too smart and FAR too intellectual to take a picture of my face. I’ll take a picture of Crime and Punishment instead. That’ll prove my unparalleled worth to the online community.
…unless someone else’s read it…