READ TO IMPRESS
This one was a tough challenge and I really struggled to come up with something. Reading is as natural to me as breathing and it wouldn't cross my mind to read a book purely to impress someone. I'd just read it because I love reading. I'm the type of person who when someone asks me if I've seen a particular film, my reply is usually, "no, but I've read the book."
Then I remembered Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The first time I saw a copy was on a friend's bookshelf which was full of achingly hip and intellectual titles. She assured me it was really good, but I just thought it looked like a load of pretentious nonsense. I have always been more impressed with shelves that have a wide range of styles. My shelves may be crammed with the giants of English literature, but there's also Dan Brown, Terry Pratchett, and Judith Krantz among others on there too. But I made a note to myself to read it to see if it lived up to the hype.
The next time I came across a copy of ZAMM, was when a boyfriend was reading it. Funnily enough he was reading it to impress a mate. And he wasn't enjoying it. He was a motorcyclist and I think he was expecting a bit more on how to properly maintain his sprockets, and a bit less on the philosophical mumbo-jumbo.
The copy ended up on my shelf, and there it remained. The boyfriend fell by the wayside (left me for another woman), and every so often I would take ZAMM down from the shelf and think, "nah", and put it back.
A few boyfriends later, I met the man who would become my husband. He was browsing my shelves one day and picked up ZAMM. "Have you actually read this?", he said. "Um no, but it looks good", was my rather sheepish reply.
It eventually ended up going to the charity shop, still unread, when I was culling my shelves for my move to the States.
So please accept my apologies, Robert Pirsig, I would have read your book to impress someone if I had actually got around to it. One day....