Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I never thought that I would end today putting my fiancee in a headlock and demanding that she admitted I was more well-read than her, or else I was going to fart on her head. In my defence, she started it.

If she hadn't shown me the WeRead application on Facebook, and then start crowing about how many books she'd read, then my competitive urges might not have been irked. As it was, having seen she'd spent all of yesterday typing different books that she'd read into the computer, I suddenly had a goal to chase after. And as she was at only 190 books, it didn't look like it would be that hard to catch up.

It was difficult, though. The WeRead application is terribly slow, and filled with duplicate copies of every book you try to search for, which is especially hard when you're trying to select 75% of all the misery John Le Carre has ever produced. Soon I had five different tabs open to the same page, just so I could try to efficiently add different novels without waiting five minutes between them.

Cor. "Efficiently add different novels". We really know how to party in Comments(0) Towers, don't we?

It wouldn't be so bad if I felt there was any real reward to doing this. Having added a hundred and fifty different books that I'd read into the application, I thought I'd ask it for a few recommendations. They were universally dire. As I'd read Midnight's Children, the app decided to recommend every other Salman Rushdie novel, one after another. Well, whoop-de-doo. That was (ahem) novel. I couldn't work out if it was very stupid, or very clever, ignoring all the 1960s spy novels and 21st century science fiction that I'd also told it I'd read. If you're going to give a company lots of delicious data on the books you've read so they can think of new ways to make money marketing things to you, you'd at least hope they'd have some way of enthusing and delighting you with the recommendations, rather than just have you going "huh" over and over again.

Amazon can do it, and in ten years I've bought maybe forty books from them, whereas I've just given a random company I've never dealt with details on books I've read over the last quarter century. Perhaps that's what's confusing them. Poor WeRead.

Anyway, after two hundred books I started slacking off. Perhaps I was growing disillusioned with the whole idea of doing data entry for somebody else for free. So I went off to work, not thinking that as my fiancee had the day off, she was going to be profitably engaged in entering another hundred books into her account.

And so now I'm stuck with her half-pinned and struggling, while I grunt at her, "say it! Go on, say it! Say 'you are so much better at books than me'. Say it!"

What else was I to do?


Post a Comment