What is your literary deal breaker?

Considering the books that could tank a relationship.


Sarah Hepola
March 31, 2008 10:33PM (UTC)

I have a female friend who, in the course of online dating, eliminated every potential candidate who listed "The Da Vinci Code" as the last thing he'd read. Apparently, this axed a lot of men. I've never had a literary deal breaker, but plenty women have, as recounted in a story in the New York Times Book Review called "It's Not You, It's Your Books." Salon's own book critic, Laura Miller, is quoted as breaking up with a guy for his love of Ayn Rand: "I just thought Rand was a hilariously bad writer, and past a certain point I couldn’t hide my amusement."

The piece, written by Rachel Donadio, is an amusing overview of that awkward situation we increasingly face in an age of personal profiles -- when what you read (or watch or listen to) becomes an important part of who you are. But here's the part that snagged my attention: Donadio writes, "Let's face it -- this may be a gender issue. Brainy women are probably more sensitive to literary deal breakers than are brainy men. (Rare is the guy who'd throw a pretty girl out of bed for revealing her imperfect taste in books.)"

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So is this true? Are women more prone to this behavior than men? And if so, what's the book that would torpedo your relationship? I had to think about this one for a bit, but I came up with a final answer: "Dianetics."


Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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