The Lemon Law of Reading

There’s a new show on Star World called ‘How I Met Your Mother’. It features something called the ‘Lemon Law’. The Lemon Law allows you to bail on any date in the first five minutes, no questions asked.*

I use the same principle in terms of books. If the first page and a half of a book isn’t riveting enough for me, I simply don’t read it further. If I do, I invariably end up regretting it. And I usually don’t pick up books by authors who have disappointed me so. As a result, I now never read anything by Somerset Maughm, Khalil Gibran, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a whole lot of others, including P.G.Wodehouse. Yes, I can see a bunch of you getting up in outrage at this exclusion of the granddaddy of Brit smirk-fiction. But I can’t help it. Jeeves and Co. just don’t do it for me.

Archer, the eternal Anglophile, has taken this slight personally and gifted me a Wodehouse from the Blandings series. Will this make me join the ranks of the faithful? Only time will tell. For now, I’ll settle for the contentment that comes with having a new book to read in the rains.

*Realised to my utter dejection the other day, that I don’t know even 10 interesting men. ‘Interesting man’ meaning someone with whom I can have a 10-minute conversation without feeling like stabbing myself repeatedly in the head with a pencil.

7 thoughts on “The Lemon Law of Reading

  1. I swear. I got the complete Jeeves set on my birthday this year and given my experience in the past, its staring at me from the pile of those unread books I will never thus pick. Anyway, I am reading Bill Bryson these days. Superb stuff. Let me know if you’ve picked his work earlier or plan to.


  2. haw !and that is not for Maughm , Gibran or Wodehouse , especially wodehouse. But but but marquez , how can you not read marquez ? ??? (more question marks for emphasis and raised indignant eyebrow ) ? ?I guess lemon law is ok , but then sometimes you have to really fight to get through and the rewards are often astonishing , the way it is with people and they way it is with books. and i quote ( in bleak hopes of changing your mind )“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.” Love in the time of cholerap.s this is not really a comment.Lug


  3. Rohit: Haven’t read any Bryson. what kind of stuff does he write?Lug: That’s lovely prose. But I’ve been scarred by One Hundred Years of Solitude. And if it isn’t a comment, what is it?


  4. it was more of an exhortation, a plea and an entreaty. can’t really complain about the scarring , HYOS has done it to many , Joyce did to me so fair enough. o.k start with “strange pilgrims” short stories, in case psychological damage happens it will be limited. and some day , some far away day maybe you can get your hands on “Love in the time of cholera” , preferably during the rains. apologies if i sound preachy and righteous Lug (still shaking head)


  5. I totally know what you mean. If the first 5 pages don’t interest me, I drop the book and never get back to it. But then again, I give the most talked about books a second try. Just coz everybody likes it. *Shrug*But then, it’s Wodehouse! How can you not like Wodehouse?! Try reading Galahad at Blandings. It’s one of the better ones in the series, I feel.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s