Here’s an interesting post at Kill Zone Blog: Faking it.
Here’s how it starts:
I’m sure we’ve all done it – pretended to have read a classic book…agreed when someone gave an intellectual critique of an author we were too proud to admit we’d never heard of before (or never read)…even perhaps ‘faked it’ when asked about a book that we knew we ought to have read in our genre but never quite got around to doing…
And I immediately paused, because seriously? I mean . . . seriously?
I suppose I might turn the conversation from something I haven’t read, like Joyce’s Ulysses to something I have, say, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Or maybe not. It’s not like I’m even vaguely embarrassed about not having read Ulysses; it pretty much sounds like something to suffer through, not something to read for pleasure.
Or I might say regretfully, “No, unfortunately I never happened to read Crime and Punishment.” But I certainly wouldn’t feel ashamed of that.
As for missing “books in our genre that we ought to have read,” well, the genre is so huge, there’s no way to read everything . . . it’s true that you’ll miss some of the authors-in-conversation aspects of work in the genre, but still. Life is short.
Actually, it sometimes seems like I’m constantly coming across authors who may be very famous and well known, but somehow I never heard of them. I never saw a Tamora Pierce book until I was an adult — I would have been all over them as a kid, but somehow it never happened. I discovered Martha Wells only, what, three or four years ago. I read my first book by Michelle Sagara West only a couple years ago even though she has about a zillion titles. I guess I assumed this happens to everyone, so it never occurred to me to worry whether someone might realize I’d never read anything by Some Big Time Author.
So, yeah, I don’t know, I am a little bit baffled by the idea of faking it.