Reasons Why I Won’t Read an Author

Justine Larbalestier lists some reasons why she won’t read certain writers. Well, fair is fair. Being of clean hands and sound disposition, I thought it might be helpful to offer a few hard rules of my own:

  • If the author turns out a 2,000 page book and follows it up with a small chapbook, then I am convinced that the 2,000 page book was all the author had in him. Come on, Author! If you can write a 2,000 page book, certainly you can write at least a 300 page followup.
  • If I can imagine the writer having sex with Dudley Moore, no way, Jose. I won’t touch the author with a ten foot pole. I thought the short, belated comedian to be a talented man, but I get a very queasy feeling whenever I imagine him having carnal relations with a novelist. Granted, this association has only happened six times in my life.
  • If the author’s name forms an anagram reading “Cthulhu Sucks,” she doesn’t stand a chance.
  • The author’s name is Steve Almond.
  • If the author has tracked down my home address, stormed into my apartment when I’m away and hidden in my closet, only to duct tape me to my bed and tighten my testicles into a painful Dutch knot as I’m asleep, it’s safe to say that I’m likely to pass on the author’s future volumes.
  • I have a restraining order against the author.
  • If a publicist has sent me thirty-six copies of the author’s latest book, then I will put the author’s name on my Nixon-style Enemies List. At present time, the Enemies List consists of two names. And these two authors are no longer living.
  • The author insists on collecting a lock of my hair. (What hair?)
  • I won’t read authors who leave the toilet seat up.
  • I won’t read authors who fart at the dinner table. (And to determine if the author has, in fact, done this, I require three separate incidents, all reported by unimpeachable sources. I take into account the fart’s decibel level and its wind trajectory.)
  • I won’t read authors who send me manuscripts written in their own blood, urine or feces (particularly all three).
  • I might read an author who wants me to suck his cock, for I’m easily humbled. But if he forces me to go down on him or points a video camera at me as he asks me to go down on him, then I cannot read his work, for I will be reminded of his throbbing penis on every page.
  • I will not read an author if he feels that Lima beans are tasty.
  • I will not read him in a house, I will not read him here or there, I will not read him anywhere.

I hope you catch my drift.

So there you have it, readers. Clear transparency. That’ll show the mainstream media! I don’t think I’m being too unreasonable, do you?


  1. HA HA! I love Lima beans, along with just about every other sort of legume, and you’ve already read my book AND sent Bat Segundo around to chat with me! This is the greatest wool-pulling act by an American author since the Wanda Tinasky letters!

  2. If the author has a “smirky” look on his/her face in the jacket photo, or looks “windblown,” then no way, fuck ’em. No dogs in the photo, either. Cats okay.

    yrs, B. Dagger Lee

  3. I don’t read any writers who refer to themselves as writers. Too pretentious, and it just soaks itself into the writing.

    Doing this keeps my queue manageable. And it leaves me to time to sit around and come up with my top five favorites for anything that anyone might ask me. You have to be ready, because you never know when someone will ask you about your favorites. And it’s really important to know exactly which types of food and stuff you don’t ever and won’t ever enjoy. I’m even starting to tap into my five least favorite lists. Soon I’ll be set.

  4. B. Dagger Lee, it’s a small blogosphere! I’m glad you said that cats are okay, because there is definitely a picture of Dean Young with a kitten on his shoulder on the back of Elegy on Toy Piano.

  5. Jane Awake!

    Well, I was just feeling mean towards my dogs and fond of my cat. Today, it’s the other way around: fuck cats, rah dogs!


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