8.05.2012

we like lists: list # 17: conformity and its discontents


Allan is in the midst of a giant Stephen King reading and writing project, and in honour of that, I'm reading my first ever book by Stephen King.

From this post, I was moved to read the novella The Body (which was adapted into the movie "Stand By Me"). Allan's description of the novella made it sound like a very good young adult story, so I decided to give it a go.

This made me think: why have I not read one single book by - as the book jacket tells me - the world's best selling novelist? I have nothing against best sellers per se. I just never care about reading them. The books that I want to read will seldom (if ever) have wide popular appeal.

Sometimes people who are avid readers say they read a hugely popular book because they were curious - they want to see what all the hype is about. The Da Vinci Code and Bridges of Madison County are two that come to mind in that category. Right now that book is Fifty Shades of Gray. Yet nothing I have heard about any of these titles piques my curiosity. My reading time is rare and precious; I can't spend it lightly. I did start to read The Da Vinci Code once, while waiting for someone in a bookstore. I thought it was truly terrible. End of experiment.

So this brings me to today's list. What do you like that's quirky or oddball or completely non-mainstream? What does the rest of the world seem to love that makes you shrug or run the other way? And where do your tastes coincide with mass appeal?

This isn't only about books. Books are just what inspired the post. It could be anything.

This list has three parts.

A. Name three things that you really like which most dislike or don't care about.*

B. Name three things that large numbers of people enjoy or are obsessed with that you have no interest in.

C. Name three things that you like that are also very popular.

* These days, thanks to the internet, most of us have found others who share even our quirkiest fascinations. For part A, I think we have to imagine a pre-internet or internet-less world. Imagine the people you physically see on most days.

Here's mine.

A. Three things I like that most people seem to hate or not care about.
1. The novels of Charles Dickens
2. Origins of words and phrases
3. Little boxes or containers

B. Three things many people care about that I spend zero time thinking about. (Very tough to limit myself to three!)
1. Celebrity news/gossip
2. Football
3. U.S. elections

C. Three loves I share with millions of fans.
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Bruce Springsteen
3. Baseball

Your turn.

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