Okay, so I really want to read Zadie Smith’s “The Autograph Man”.
It’s set in London, where I lived for five years as a child and five years as an adult, and New York, where I am very excited about going in just over three weeks’ time, and where one of my very top favourite TV stars lives.
It’s about, as far as I can make out, a young man obsessed with celebrity and wanting to meet famous people.
Now, here’s the thing. That sounds a lot like something I could write about. From, erm, personal experience, apart from the fact that I am not a man of course. (If anyone has been following me on Facebook or Twitter you will have no trouble understanding what I am talking about.) It also sounds a lot like something I might WANT to write about at some point in the future.
So what do I do? Do I read it? But what if there are ideas in it that I would have come with myself, but then can’t use because I will know I’ve read them in or been inspired by the Autograph Man?
I surely can’t just avoid all books for the rest of my life, can I?