Published by Harper Perennial
Publication date: October 2nd 2012
Genres: Humor, Non-fiction
Judging a Book by Its Lover is a sharp, funny look at the world of books and reading by one of its biggest fans, Lauren Leto. A law school dropout who gained fame through her website, Texts From Last Night, Leto is also a voracious and thoughtful reader. Old-school jargon would call her a bookworm but that’s a term she’s working to discard:
In this era of social media and rebranding, surely the same creative geniuses who made Pabst Blue Ribbon go from a cheap untouchable mix of water and grain to the favorite of millions of hipsters can do something about the term that holds readers back most.
Instead, Judging a Book by Its Lover is Leto’s look into the mind of readers for everyone who is not. Better yet, she’s sharing secrets with all non-reading cretins, giving them useful information such as: Strategies to Avoid Discussing the Major Plot Points of Any Novel, Stereotyping People by Favorite Author, and my personal favorite, What Your Child will Grow Up to Be if You Read Them…In addition, she has tips for Bookstore Hookups for single readers and a helpful chapter on gift-giving which includes this bon mot for buying a book for a spouse: “I don’t know—you married them. Do you have to get them presents anymore?”
There is a lot of humor in this book, making it wonderfully readable, but don’t get lulled into a false sense of superiority about Leto’s analytical and interpretative skills. As a book lover myself, I would be hesitant to get into an in-depth conversation with her about a particular book as I’m not sure I could measure up to her literary acumen. This, despite the fact that she freely admits being addicted to Janet Evanovich books when she flies.
Judging a Book by Its Lover is a an eye-opening adventure into the world of books for those that have never read one and a treasure trove of authors/books that might have been missed by those who love them. It’s a creative and educational win-win for everyone.