How I Became Stupid
by Martin Page
I confess that I added this one to the List in a blatant effort to learn exactly how the title is achieved. For much of my life I've been living in despair, and the back cover to How I Became Stupid promises a kindred spirit. It's often suggested that the reason some people read is to find individuals with whom they share a life experience, because in real life this can prove exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. And really, I suppose this is not so surprising. As the population increases, greater conformity rather than diversity becomes evident. The more people there are the easier it is to latch onto common themes. When someone discovers that their themes are less common, it becomes that much harder to find those who share them. These individuals are dispersed in the large population in a random pattern, and the language they share is found in books. I used to believe that the majority of writers shared this language, but I've gradually been disabused of this notion. So it's always nice to discover the exceptions. I hope to learn something useful from Mr. Page.