Category Archives: A Little Book Told Me So

A Little Book Told Me So…3

28th April 2012

Dear Picky Girl:

I like to read in bed before I go to sleep, but my husband would rather watch TV. Unfortunately, my short attention span will not allow me to concentrate on my reading while there is TV on in the background. Pray tell what is the solution? (The solution would be for hubs to be a reader but he just isn’t…)


Anonymous…in Bed


Dear Anonymous…in Bed:

You married a non-reader?!? Can’t….compute.

Ok, so I’m guessing you love him very much to have gotten past this character flaw. Either that, or he’s great in the… kitchen. How can we make this work? The opening of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening has always amused me. Mr. Pontellier is trying to read his newspaper, but the birds outside his door will not stop squawking. As Chopin says, “the parrot and the mockingbird…had the right to make all the noise they wished. Mr. Pontellier had the privilege of quitting their society when they ceased to be entertaining.”

Am I calling your husband an annoying parrot? In a roundabout way I guess I am, but I’m sure he’s a very colorful annoying parrot. He certainly has the right to watch TV before bed, just as the parrot has a right to repeat whatever random bits of languages he has picked up. However, unlike Mr. Pontellier, you probably do not care to leave the comfort of your bedroom and bed. Being in bed and…reading is, at least for yours truly, a distinct luxury.

What to do, what to do?

  • Though this is not at all a literary answer, I think the solution is quite simple. For this you’ll need to go to a specialty shop for adults. You know, like Best Buy. Either buy him a good pair of headphones or buy yourself some cheapo earplugs. Bada bing. Problem solved. Am I genius or what?
  • Not sold on it? Have you considered listening to audiobooks with headphones while he is watching TV? This would also leave your hands free for whatever you wish them for in bed…like knitting.
  • If all else fails, let me introduce you to a phenomenon called closed captioning. It is not just for the hearing impaired. Far from it, if the aforementioned husband is unwilling to experiment in the bedroom by wearing headphones for the television, perhaps he would concede and put closed captioning on and mute the television.

Anonymous, use your womanly wiles. Present him with his options…in bed, and hopefully your textual life will be that much more rewarding.

Hugs and Air Kisses,

The Picky Girl

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A Little Book Told Me So…1

A Little Book Told Me So…2

A Little Book Told Me So…2

14th April 2012

Dear Picky Girl:

OK here is my problem… someone borrowed a book from me, and when I got it back it looked like it had been left out in the rain! It was an airport copy of The Help, larger than normal, with beautiful heavy paper and a gold trimming along the edges. I have never seen another copy like it in the shops. What should I do about this? What happens when someone returns a book to you in poor condition or worse still, doesn’t return the book at all?




Dear Regretful:

A couple of things. First, if you haven’t read The Shadow of the Wind, do. In it, the main character is besotted by a particular book, but when he goes to find the author’s other works, he finds, instead, that someone has been destroying them, sometimes moments before he can get to them. Could your “friend” be somehow anti-The Help? (He/she wouldn’t be the only one.) Perhaps your friend began to feel guilty that instead of ruining your copy, he/she really should have just gone down to Barnes & Noble, dropped $150 bucks on a few hardbacks and tossed ’em in the toilets? So he/she returned yours to you in poor condition after retrieving it from the toilet bowl in a last ditch effort to remember your kindness in loaning the book in the first place. If there was not some ulterior motive to rid the world of this controversial book, I think the only answer remains in…

Fahrenheit 451. No, we won’t burn your friend. BUT. Remember the mechanical hound? In the novel, it was used to destroy those who caused trouble, kicked up some dust, flew in the face of government (why yes, I do know how to turn a phrase). How? It systematically hunted down the perpetrator and injected him with its choice of poisons intended to paralyze, stun, or kill its victim. Pleasant, right? Now, hear me out. You may like this person, but tell me this? Who would actually return a book in that condition?

Still not convinced? Ok, maybe next time, think twice before handing out a book you love – whether for its content or its aesthetic qualities. And maybe ask for insurance. Why not? Some people ask daycares to sign policies for their offspring. Why not do the same for books?

Hugs and Air Kisses,

The Picky Girl

Have a questions for The Picky Girl? Email your query to… No, now…. No, do it now. You’re already on the computer. Hurry!

A Little Book Told Me So…

24th March 2012

I am so very excited to bring you the newest feature here at The Picky Girl: A Little Book Told Me So. You send in your questions (anonymously if you choose), and we’ll see what bookish advice we can come up with just for you. Don’t want to leave a comment? Just email Chime in each week if you have advice of your own or just want to commiserate.


Dear Picky Girl/Bookish Advice Giver,

My son, age 27, is a college graduate but has been unemployed for a year and living at home for three years. (Unfortunately, he was a journalism major.)I have been accused by Dad of enabling him and just recently told Sonny that he has to start paying rent on 4/1/12. He sits at the computer from 11-5 every weekday, but what he actually accomplishes is uncertain. Any advice for me?


Too Nice Mom


Dear Too Nice Mom,

Oh honey. This one stumped me until I realized what you really need. You need a swift kick in the pants. A soft one, maybe with the house shoes your man child is wearing while you’re working. This is as much about you as it is about Sonny. Have you read Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City? This doesn’t sound exactly like you, but maybe it will make you laugh a bit:

Mom, I’m not coming home.

Mary Ann, you can’t just…run away from your family and friends to go live with a bunch of hippies and mass murderers!

You’ve been watching too much TV.

Ok….then what about The Horoscope?


The Horoscope. That crazy man. The killer.

Mom….the Zodiac.

Same difference.

You have the opposite problem. No worrying about The Zodiac. Your son’s home and under your care. He’s home, and it’s nice to still have your family together. He’s home, and the laundry piles up, and he’s playing Oregon Trail or Doom all day on the computer. He’s home, and suddenly the refrigerator seems to have a faster diminishing return on milk. The thing is, that resentment… “he sits at the computer from 11-5 every weekday, but what he accomplishes is uncertain” will eventually take over your relationship. For your relationship and for your husband’s (and your own) sanity, give Sonny his own kick in the pants. He’s on the computer all day? Bookmark and Hot Jobs.

Plus, maybe he needs some help. Unemployment is rough. It’s depressing (thus the mind-numbing computer all day), and it can be super hard to motivate yourself when you’re not seeing any results. Hand him the book Drop by Mat Johnson, about a 31-year-old who finishes college and goes on a crazy ride to find a job he loves. Tell him his job is finding a job. Sometimes that requires a little footwork. Set up a timeline for your expectations regarding his independent living situation *clears throat* end date of crashing at Mom and Dad’s.

Mary Ann, at one point in the book, decides she’s going home to Cleveland. She’s made a mistake in San Francisco, and that mistake glares at her, and she gets down on herself and wants to pack it in. You’re Sonny’s Cleveland. You’re safe, but as Mary Ann’s friend Michael tells her, “You’ve got to make things work for you. When you’re down to the seeds and stems, get out there and grab life.”

Simple as that, Too Nice Mom, and I promise you can let him do that.

   Hugs and Air Kisses,