Books VS Socks
And so I finish my week of writing articles with something a tad more light-hearted.
\In 1946, George Orwell wrote an entertaining essay entitled ‘Books V Cigarettes’, in which he totted up the cost and pleasure of both and came down firmly on the side of books.
After setting out to buy socks and returning with books instead, I’d like to present a further argument to that. One has to take into the account the often irrational levels of pleasure that both books and socks provide, so these are the fourteen reasons that informed my decision.
1. Books generally last longer than socks, if you compare, say, ‘War And Peace’ to a pair of Adidas sport short-cut ankle-socks. Although if you’re reading, say, ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ socks will last longer because you’ll hurl the book into the nearest large body of water by Chapter Five.
2. Books are available in millions of varieties, whereas socks are basically black, white, shades thereof, or coloured/striped comedy socks worn by Lanyard People at the weekend to show that they still have a faint muscle-memory of what fun was.
3. You can’t go without books, but you can go without socks. (For the Shoreditch area of London, this is a command).
4. Socks need to be thoroughly washed. It is rarely recommended to thoroughly wash books.
5. You can have long, convoluted arguments in the pub about a mutually enjoyed book. It is much harder to do this with a sock.
6. You can, however, make a puppet from a sock. You can make a puppet from a book only if it has printed instruction on how to do so.
7. Books don’t wear out, unless you re-read them or leave them on a sunbed all day. And they don’t shrink. Although they sometime do get a small annoying hole in one corner.
8. I’m more likely to lend my socks to a friend than I am to lend them my favourite books.
9. Say you’re reading two books at once and you lose one. It’s less of a big deal than losing a sock.
10. Both books and socks seem to go missing for no reason.
11. When you buy a pack of three pairs of socks, it’s rarely described as a trilogy.
12. Both books and socks are warm, comfortable things you can slip into. You don’t really enjoy your socks unless they’re thick white hiking socks, and you have a log fire going. But you’ll never be moved to write to the manufacturer of your socks.
13. Badly chosen socks will make you look ridiculous. Whereas there’s no such thing as mismatched books.
14. You can dust a floor with your socks. But you can wipe the room with your books.
Verdict: Books win over socks every time.