Why I Read Memoir and a Trip to the Strand
March 29, 2010
This weekend, my boyfriend and I took our weekly trip to the Strand. For you non-New Yorkers, the Strand is the greatest bookstore ever. 18 miles of books for low prices make it my favorite place to shop in all of Manhattan.
Since we visit the store at least once each week, we try not to make a purchase every visit. Although I try very hard to follow our goal, I often have to go back the next day without my boyfriend to buy a book I was eyeing the night before (just don’t tell him).
On Friday, for a total of $12.50, I picked up two books—two memoirs—that I’ve wanted for quite some time:
When I showed my boyfriend my new purchases, he shook his head. He doesn’t understand my love of books about, and I quote, “messed-up girls.”
I think my obsession can be explained with some help from author Dave Eggers. On the back cover of “Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood” is a quote from Eggers:
“I have known Jenny Traig for a while but did not know she was so odd—so dangerously strange. Devil in the Details is breezy and entertaining, and will give great pleasure to anyone who is buggy, obsessive, and who therefore should be jailed. The rest of us, who are sane and perfect, read a book like this with detached amusement, glad that this sort of behavior is limited to teenage Jewish girls.”
Eggers’ quote is funny, but it is also accurate. I am not sane and perfect. I take comfort in reading books about people who are just as “messed-up” as I am, preferably more so.
I don’t have OCD and I was never addicted to drugs, but I have my issues (which you’ll have to wait to read about in my memoir). I, like most of the population, am not perfect. In a society where we are bombarded with images of perfection daily, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in struggling to reach that ideal.