Books I would love to like

There is a certain phenomenon I experienced very strongly at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, regarding a category of books which I will call (for lack of a catchier term) “books I would love to like”.


I’d read about them in advance, saved little clippings about them and was completely open and prepared to be bedazzled by their brilliance.

If one can speak about lusting after the written word after having been seduced by clever book jacket blurbs, book reviews or the aesthetics of the cover and title itself, then this was it.

You see the book, piles or rows of them in this case,

full of promises wrapped in their beautiful covers and clever titles,

pick it up in anticipation of something wonderful about to happen,

read a little bit,

think, well, I opened it up to the wrong page,

try a different chapter,

read some more,

think maybe I’m just not in the right mood for this,

after all, it was so highly praised by critics in this and that magazine,

take a deep breath

and finally admit to yourself that

the book is not what you expected,

it’s not any more brilliant than book x or y,

and after a moment of dejection,

go on to the next one,

surely that one will live up to the expectations

you have built up.


I am not the only one realizing right at this moment, that this is similar to what happens as teenagers with regard to the opposite sex, am I?