About Reluctant Habits

Reluctant Habits is devoted to books, films, arts, technology, and culture. It has been singled out by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph, Details, and numerous other outlets of questionable repute. Reluctant Habits often includes 3,000 word essays on books, film reviews that often contain strange digressions, breaking journalism, and long-form conversations with the writers, artists, and cultural figures of our time. A new conversation — part of The Bat Segundo Show, averaging at about 40 minutes — is released every Tuesday for your listening pleasure. And on Friday, you will often find a film review or two.

On January 10, 2011, Managing Editor Edward Champion initiated The Modern Library Reading Challenge, an ambitious attempt to read the top 100 novels, as decided upon by the Modern Library of America, from #100 to #1 and write at least 1,000 words for each title. These essays are included within all the coverage. Mr. Champion is presently working on #89: Henry Green’s Loving.

Past contributors have included Levi Asher, Nicholson Baker, Nigel Beale, Michael Czobit, Richard Grayson, Sarah Hall, Erin O’Brien, Richard Powers, and Brian Francis Slattery.

To pitch ideas for articles or to address any corrections or inaccuracies, please contact Managing Editor Edward Champion. (Please also see our editorial policy, which addresses our ethics and journalistic practice.)

As of November 2014, we are not presently accepting physical material.

Edward Champion — Managing Editor

Twitter: @drmabuse

Edward Champion is the Managing Editor of Reluctant Habits. He is a Brooklyn writer with a receding hairline who sometimes answers to the name Alfredo Garcia. He once had a literary blog here called Return of the Reluctant from 2003 to 2007, but, in 2008, it was absorbed into the long-form written format of Filthy Habits, before this was transformed into the short-form/long-form halfway house known as Reluctant Habits, before this was in turn transformed into a long-form cultural entity called Reluctant Habits in 2010.

His work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Philly Inquirer, Newsday, as well as more disreputable publications. He is a podcaster of questionable repute, a playwright and director (Wrestling an Alligator, the San Francisco Fringe Festival), and a fiction writer. He has decided not to employ the Oxford comma for this bio and apologizes to adamant grammarians. He can also cook up a pretty good breakfast, and learned how to make crepes, half-decent omelettes, and other fine foods — in large part because his girlfriend is very fond of breakfast. He also feels very silly writing bios about his fey accomplishments.

He has been identified as a feminist, a chauvinist, a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, a Buddhist, a Christian, an atheist, an evil goon, a kind man, a snappy dresser, and an ignoble slob. What might you call him today?

He also runs The Bat Segundo Show, a radio show in which he conducts extensive and unusual long-form conversations with the writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other fine cultural people of our time. Said conversations are also absorbed into the Reluctant Habits canon.

He is also hired to speak before crowds from time to time.

If you’re interested in hiring Mr. Champion to write something for your publication or employing him as an entertainer for your wedding (or some other interesting affair), email him here.

(Photo: Suzanne Bemis)

Here is a small sample of Mr. Champion’s past journalism.


  1. […] this embarrassing interview between a blogger and a representative of the FTC (thanks to blogger Edward Champion at Reluctant Habits for digging deeper) revealing that the representative (and very likely the FTC) hasn’t really […]

  2. […] by Rob Agredo, Bar Mitzvah Bookends by Stacey Levine, Geisha Bobblehead by Edward “ed” Champion, and Missouri Shotglass by Jonathan […]

  3. Jack Schwartz July 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    In response to your Kindle bloggers become Amazon bitches does the same objection to the license clause in Amazon’s agreement apply to authors of novels as well as bloggers? I have held off selling my novel on Kindle and my book on Amazon because of it.

  4. I’ve just read your article, The Cooks Source Scandal: How a Magazine Profits on Theft, and was very surprised at reading my name.

    I also was never contacted to ask permission to use my copyrighted article on the “Hamburgers – History and Legends of Hamburgers” at http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HamburgerHistory.htm.

    Thank you for publishing your article on this theft and making me aware of it. I have been trying to find an email address for the editor of Cooks Source Magazine, but haven’t been able to. Do you have an email address (that actually works) for the magazine?

    Linda Stradley
    Whats Cooking America

  5. Friend. You came up on my Google “alerts” list, under search terms:
    capitalism, society

    Very good this interview with Eduardo Porter

    Mr. Porter might be interested in my blog, jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com

    a poor choice of blog company. I know, I know. I live sloppy

    Also, on that blog which is my second serious attempt at blogging, there is a piece I called “Payless” and I think also another about the metaphysical nature of prices

    One of my standard tropes is to suggest that guys like author Porter, E. always always know more about economics than economists do. Why?….

  6. Sir,

    Thank you for including us in your list of alternatives to the Borders that are closing. We are flattered to have made it onto your list.

    I did note, however, that you chose not to include a link to our website. I’m not complaining! But, on the off-chance that you didn’t have our URL…

    Thanks again for including us on the list.

    Jim Lewin
    The York Emporium
    343 West Market Street
    York, PA 17401

  7. Great piece on alternative bookstores waiting to fill the voids left by Borders closings across the country. Hopefully you will include Alamosa Books as one of the Albuquerque, New Mexico alternatives. We celebrate our first anniversary of business the first weekend of April, and consider ourselves a viable alternative as much as any of our fellow indie bookstores in the area. Thanks for shedding light on this issue.

  8. In your article about Independent bookstore alternatives to the Borders closed stores, you left out The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Illinois. The address is 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Il. 60301. The Norridge Borders store would be the closest Borders store.



  9. Re: Borders Closing in Colorado

    Begging your pardon, Sir, but Grand Junction does indeed have not just one, but two fine independent bookstores. Twice Upon A Time Bookshop at 2885 North Avenue has been around for 15 years or so, and is happily doing well. It’s sister store, Grand Valley Books at 350 Main Street in the Downtown commercial core is about to celebrate its 1st anniversary on April 30th despite the construction on Main Street and the buffeting winds of the local economy.

    As the proud and grateful owner of both stores, I encourage readers to stop in and browse at both of our stores. We offer an eclectic mix of both new and used books with a focus on Regional History, Western Americana, Native Americana and bestselling fiction and non-fiction at wallet-friendly prices. Grand Valley Books offers a calendar of events including lectures, signings, Lunch and Literature (20% discount with a receipt for lunch at any of the downtown restaurants) and lively discussion groups. Both stores have a knowledgeable staff and offer world class customer service.

    We partner with other independent bookstores in the West when searching for out of print and rare titles. Stop in for a visit and make yourself at home in two of Colorado’s best independent bookstores.

    Margie Wilson, Owner
    Grand Valley Books
    350 Main St.
    Grand Junction, CO 81501



    Twice Upon A Time Bookshop
    2885 North Avenue
    Grand Junction, CO 81504


  10. hank littlejohn April 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hi, read your comments about google’s terms of service section 11.1 in 2008. Still haven’t fixed the problem. Would appreciate hearing more of your thoughts.

  11. Hi Edward. I just published my latest book, a time travel novel called, ‘A New Jersey Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.’ It’s available at Barnes & Nobel and smashwords.com as an e-book. The first 50% is free and should you purchase it the e-book costs $3.00. It’s a family book and a great read.

  12. Edward, thank you for your comment on my post,”Some Thoughts on Finnegans Wake.” How it would gladden my heart were you to review in Reluctant Habits either of the the two novels I have out in Kindle, Foreign Matter (http://goo.gl/jxYwO) and The President’s Palm Reader (http://goo.gl/btTkQ) (review copies in PDF available on request). They are, I promise you, infinitely pleasanter reads than Midnight’s Children; indeed, if you don’t laugh out loud several times I’ll pay for dinner.

  13. “He has been identified as a feminist, a chauvinist, a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, a Buddhist, a Christian, an atheist, an evil goon, a kind man, a snappy dresser, and an ignoble slob. What might you call him today?”

    After reading the Danica McKellar article and accompanying comments, I’d call him a douchebag.

  14. This is a message for Edward Champion. My name is Edward Feiner from Sydney Australia.
    I just happened to come across your assassination of Paul Fischer back in 2010. I took the liberty of leaving a belated comment at the end of that article. Actually, I left two comments, as I had a couple of typo’s at the end of the the first one, which I amended in the second.
    I’ve known Paul for over 30 years, so I feel qualified to comment on your article. I ask that you and your readers that may have read your article view my comments in the interests of balance. I have not discussed this with Paul Fischer at this stage.

    Thanks and Regards


  15. I like your approach and your taste in the arts. When I noticed the following phrases (Line 3, first paragraph: “outlets of questionable repute” and line 5 under Ed’s bio: “more disreputable publications.”) I realized that you must be familiar with either my book, my website, or both.

  16. could you add a cawmmintt sp@@@@@mmm reeep0rrt form into this page?

  17. Please add us to your list of alternative bookstores to Borders in the Sarasota Florida area. We are the only Children’s bookstore in Venice Florida.

  18. First, thanks for your kind and insightful blog on our friend and former co-worker Wayne Shannon. Someone has picked it up, and now its circulating among our facebook friends and especially the ExKRONvicts newsgroup (former news staff at KRON, San Francisco). A fellow writer, Kevin Wing, writes for Off-Camera and is interested in contacting you. Would you be kind enough to provide a contact email or phone number? I’ll be happy to forward it. Of it’s on this site, and I missed it, please direct me to it.
    Again, thanks for remembering Wayne.

  19. Edward G. Boggs July 8, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Can the first novel sentence be an original (my own) or does it have to be from an established author ?

    If it may be an original of my own : “She was given to bouts of whimsy now and again.” from my work in progress, “Love In Passing. Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Ineffably, E.G. Boggs

  20. Thank you, thank you. I thought I was going mad. None of my friends or acquaintances had read Anthony Burgess other than A Clockwork Orange so haven’t brought this up for years. This has always been one of my favourites.

  21. […] now, there’s a Shteyngart blurbing documentary, created by Edward Champion, viewable […]

  22. What I’m trying to understand is why you say that you won’t employ the Oxford comma but then go on, in fact, to use it throughout…

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