I remember seeing an old cartoon with book reviewers on strike protesting the length of Wolfe's work.

As usual, I am pondering what makes or turns someone into a serious reader or one who seeks out less than popular and/or useful books. The most recent books I bought were "The World of the Crusades" by Christopher Tyman from Yale University Press, The German Genius by Peter Watson, and a book of poems by Benjamin Fondane from the New York Review of Books poet series. None of these exactly scream popular reads. A few months ago I was in a book store and picked up some intellectual histories that my friends dubbed "Saul Degraw books" and those are my bookish friends.

Yet even among highly-educated (or maybe I should say highly-credentialed) professionals that did well in school, there is not much thrist or love for these kind of books. Also a few weeks ago my mom said that she likes that I enjoy reading difficult books and this feels like it is a minority form of praise. Most times when people see my book collection, the reaction is "this is a lot of books" and I hear an implication of why?