Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”Rachel Donadio in the New York Times writes about how we might seek out a compatible partner based on the stuff he or she reads. Social networking sites like Facebook also make it easy to check out tastes, and my much beloved Library Thing, let's you walk around someone's entire collection ... and give them a thorough checking out.
We’ve all been there. Or some of us have. Anyone who cares about books has at some point confronted the Pushkin problem: when a missed — or misguided — literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast.
I liked Francesca Steele's comment on this in the Times :
It's not so much the books you read as the way you talk about them. Give me a man who can explain his Harry Potter addiction with real enthusiasm and originality over a Nietzsche appraisal swiped from the Literary Review any day. And, FYI, Paolo and Francesca ended up together for ever, floating aimlessly around the second circle of Hell. You have to hope that they had something more in common than a book club.(Thanks Dina for sending me the link.)