Unread books

Apparently, there is something called the Society for Unread Authors, whose main aim is provide readership for those books never read except by the author. The book trade now seems to consist of churning out books, piling ’em high and selling ’em at discount, so there may be a point in such a movement. High-quality, but specialized, books do not make it to the shelves. Yet, I have a sneaky suspicion that many books remain unread, because they are bad: weird plots and even weirder prose.

I have read many unread works: academic books and theses, written by academics for academics in academese. Plots are non-existent, and the prose is usually not (only) weird but indigestible. In actual fact, I should be writing one too.

While it would be laudable to encourage people to read more, it seems rather doubtful if this ‘I read yours, you read mine’ achieves much, other than to gratify or console the hapless (and perhaps talentless) authors.