I had a Marie Kondo moment and have been reevaluating my library, realizing how many books I’ve kept that aren’t my favorites, am unlikely to refer to again or reread, or loan to a friend. It’s been a good purge, but I’ve had a few books I was on the fence about and wanted to reread before they hit the resell/donate pile, and this was the first.
I remember liking this the first time through and found its insights valuable. The idea that marginal tastes collectively outweigh the mainstream was appealing in 2006, when I remember vividly wanting comic book themed apparel, and the one comic shop in town had a lone poison ivy babydoll shirt and dozens of XXL men’s comic book tees. Now I could go to the flipping mall to find “obscure” stuff, and when I want something really specific, like art nouveau style comic tees I can just go online and pick a color. In the same way that insect biomass outweighs humans’, the subculture outweighs the mainstream from sheer volume of participants. And since this book’s publication in 2006, the metaphorical humans have gotten smaller and the insects have gotten bigger.
I for one welcome our new ant overlords.
Thst said, the book suffers from having been so prescient, its insights now look like common sense. And 2006 doesn’t feel like that long ago until you read about Netflix as a disc library, Blockbuster as a going concern, Toys R Us being the place to buy LEGO, and 3D printers costing five figures. Glad I read this, but 13 years later it’s going in my resell pile.