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Do You Have a “Loneliest Book?”

Lonely books in a bathroom (bottom right)

I wanted to write this post after reading Jonathan Lethem’s piece The Loneliest Book I’ve Read. It’s about a book he read (duh), and he had never met anyone else who had read it.

This was a wonderful thing. I like wonderful things.


I tapped my resources and wasted all my mental energy on the one monthly think I allow myself, just to see if I could come up with a book I had read–a book that I had never been able to discuss with anyone, because I had never met anyone else who had read it.

I came up blank. The Good Soldier Sjevk and Nabokov’s Pnin were the two closest, each clocking in at one other reader. And I’d be surprised if some of you haven’t read one or both of those.

How about you? Do you have a loneliest book?

photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/afroswede/

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey B January 19, 2012, 11:38 am

    The internet makes us all more and less lonely.

    The best way it makes us less lonely (to me) is the way you can find people with shared interest. I love comics and graphic novels, and my friends generally don’t, but online the resource are endless and when I talk to people on sites that cover that media I move from being the expert to being a novice.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 19, 2012, 12:03 pm

      Speaking of graphic novels, have you read DMZ?

      • Casey January 20, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Haven’t yet, but plan to.

  • Charlotte McIntosh January 19, 2012, 12:59 pm

    The Middle Heart by Bette Bao Lord. This story has stayed with me for years and I though I have highly recommended it to friends, I’ve never talked with anyone who read it.

  • Todd January 20, 2012, 7:51 am

    Josh, that’s a tough challenge – Why are you making me think this early?

    Ok, the only one that I can think of is called “The Faith of Our Fathers” by James Gibbons. I’ve heard people in interviews and lectures recommend it, but have yet to actually meet anybody that has read it.

  • shane vanoosterhout January 20, 2012, 9:28 am

    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber is one of my favorite novels, unread by everyone I know except my mother. We have a very small fan club.

    • horsefeather January 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

      I read that

  • Josh Arnold January 30, 2012, 1:04 pm

    I’ve read a not so common book called My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara before the movie came out. It was not originally written to be a chick-flick kind of book and the main character was a boy named Ken–not a girl.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 30, 2012, 1:48 pm

      I’ve read Flicka, but I can’t think of anyone else I’ve talked to who has. Although in this building full of librarians, I bet there are a few.