A non-reader pursues eighty-one books, the recommendations of Donald Barthelme to his students:
Barthelme’s only guidance, passed on by Padgett Powell, one of Barthelme’s former students at the University of Houston and my teacher at the time, was to attack the books “in no particular order, just read them,” which is exactly what I, in my confident illiteracy, resolved to do.
But first he had to find the books. I fell in love with the author a little bit when he revealed his visual system for tracking the books down:
I was shiftless and poor, so I switched the color-coded dots from more-marked-down books to less-marked-down books for a better deal.
Illogical resolutions are the most likely kept; and, whether or not this newfound endeavor had made me more interesting, it certainly made me more interested.
Illogical reveals the interested and the unsuspecting.