David Sedaris Blows?

Why am I implying such an awful thing about a fellow writer?

Well I’m about to tell you.

I’ll start by saying David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors so when I heard an acquaintance of mine say that she thought he was lame and hard to get into and frankly just ‘blows,’ I took immediate umbrage.

No, I’m not about to to slam her. I actually feel sorry for this woman because the only explanation I can come up with is that her reading muscle is weak.

“Reading muscle?”

There once was an amazing bookstore called  The Madison Avenue Bookshop that sadly closed its doors a decade or so ago. It was on Madison between 69th and 70th owned by a sweet man by the name of Arthur Loeb and a haven for anyone who loved to read.

“Cut to the chase Susannah.”

“I will, if you give me a chance.”

I was in my 20s hardly able to get through anything short of the current Harper’s Bazaar  when Tom, one of the cute, smart guys who worked there having listened to me flog myself for being unread and stupid suddenly said, “Reading is like a muscle, the more you do it the stronger it becomes.” That bit of what might sound like pompous propaganda changed everything for me. From that moment on, you could say, my mind was in training.

The person who said this about Sedaris doesn’t read. If I see her scanning The New York Post I’m surprised. This isn’t a put down but a fact so it’s no wonder he eludes her since her reading muscle has clearly atrophied.

“So what’s your point?”

“My point is it’s a bloody, fucking shame.”

TV and the internet have wrecked the world’s desire to read. I can proudly say I don’t have cable in my home since its absence forces me to read and write. I’d be there too, making love to the remote control if I had 300 channels to choose from.

“So you never watch anything?”

“PBS, on my computer. It’s great. Quality over quantity. A couple hours of Masterpiece  sets me up for a month.”

“Well excuse us. Susannah, has anyone ever told you you’re a real snob?”

“No, because I’m not. I’m going to tell you something I don’t tell everybody. I never went to school and it’s something I seriously regret. I wanted to be a model so badly that my education simply fell through the cracks.”

“But that lifestyle had to be exciting, all that glamor and travel. I bet you could teach us a thing or two.”

“Well, it depends on what you want to learn. While my peers were studying to be professionals I was snorting cocaine in Milan, so if you need a quick tutorial on nasal reconstruction, I’m your girl.”

“Are you ever serious?”

“Not if I can help it…

Look, education is a divine thing. Why do you think I read the way I do? I hunger for it. I may have missed out on college but this is where books come in. They are so willing to share what they know, all you need to do is to pick them up, like literary hookers.”

“If we send self-addressed envelopes can we get the limited edition Susannah Bianchi library card?”

“Make jokes, go ahead but I know not one of you who bothers to read this is stupid. You all get what I’m saying.”

The woman that started this whole thing happens to be very talented. She’s an accomplished dancer, singer but can hardly speak about anything other than who wore what to the Tonys and her grammar is positively frightening. Reading helps you there too. After your 20th book or so suddenly you start sounding better.

“Do you know what the real shame is here?”

“That we’re reading today’s blog?”

“That one’s fallowness can be so easily corrected.”


“Look it up.”

Anyway, all I really intended to say was that David Sedaris is a great writer. He’s the first writer to ever make me involuntarily laugh on the subway. His essays are smart, funny and in many cases poignant and I believe he speaks to everybody. Have you ever read  Holiday on Ice? The stories are hilarious plus it makes a great stocking stuffer. He was an elf at Macy’s for God’s sake, who wouldn’t giggle over that?

As far as the anti-Sedaris singer, dancer non-reader goes, maybe the next time we meet she’ll turn to me and say, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and she actually will.”

And for the record,

I am not a snob!!!



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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14 Responses to David Sedaris Blows?

  1. Ed Crescimanni says:

    Not only are you not a snob, but your reading muscles are approaching Olympic Competition levels.


  2. Digital Dame says:

    Even if you had cable with 300 channels, there’s still nothing on. I canceled my cable years ago, mostly due to economic necessity, but I have no desire to have it again. There are two or three shows I watch once in awhile, but if I miss them, there are reruns (I have an antenna to pick up broadcast channels). My options are therefore limited, and I am SO GLAD. When I think of the wasted hours sitting in front of that box I could scream. Good for you for turning to books! Now if we can just engineer our lives to be 500 years long we might be able to get through our “To-Be-Read” piles!


  3. Joe Spier says:

    I too am a big David Sedaris fan and I was given his book ‘Holidays On Ice’ a couple of years ago as a holiday gift and I read it every year around the holidays. ‘Holidays On Ice’ helps me to conjure up some holiday spirit. I have you to thank for that book and for my much needed jolt this time of year! I think I will start a little earlier this year!


    • Besides the elf story I love ‘Jesus Shaves’. As far as Xmas tales go, they’re right up there with ‘The Night Before Christmas’.

      Thanks for writing to me . David Sedaris’s ears must be ringing.



  4. Enid says:

    The info on this post is useful.


  5. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!


  6. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!


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