1088 Reasons You Should Read Infinite Jest*

*This list contains only 20 reasons.

1. The title comes straight from Hamlet — and we all love Shakespeare, right guys?

summonedbyfells / Via Flickr: 8521690@N02

2. The book is baby-sized.

Bart Everson / Via Flickr: editor

This requires no further explanation.

3. The book is so heavy it can be used as a weapon.

John McStravick / Flickr: 23860276@N05

The hardcover weighs 3.2 pounds.

4. And so thick it can be used as a shield.

Frank Kovalchek / Flickr: 72213316@N00 / amazon.com

That’s 1088 pages of protection.

5. You look really smart when you read it in public…

And no one will know if you flipped it open to a random page while daydreaming about halloween costumes for your cat.

…and you know what handsome people everywhere say about smarts.

flaunt.com / http://iwantbritishaccent.tumblr.com

6. Not to mention that lugging that doorstop around will build some serious muscle.

Ben Jeffreys / Via Flickr: 58761082@N03

“Oh man, you’re getting real definition. How long have you been reading?”

7. You can advertise your love of the book through swimwear.

8. You’ll finally have something to talk about with this guy.

Christopher Michel / Via Flickr: cmichel67

Oh, is that a bad thing?

9. You’ll have an opinion on the Ellis v. Wallace twitter rant / one-sided fight.

Reading D.T. Max's bio of DFW and OMG is the solemnity of the David Foster Wallace myth on a purely literary level borderline sickening...

— BretEastonEllis (@Bret Easton Ellis)

10. Beautiful women also think it’s a good book.

This woman is an italian model. Her mom was a librarian. She loves Infinite Jest.

11. Michael Schur, the co-creator and showrunner of Parks & Recreation, loves Infinite Jest.

Read more about his love here.

12. If you read the book, you can delight in the subtle references to the novel he hides throughout the show.

Why these four would partner up and found a law firm is beyond me. I do like to imagine that Wayne specializes in divorce law and Gately is a criminal defense attorney.

Schur also directed the music video for The Decemberists’ song “Calamity Song.” The video dramatizes the Eschaton scene in IJ.

Schur owns the IJ movie rights too, so watch out. Anything could happen.

Schur says he has “no immediate plans” to make an Infinite Jest movie.

13. You can nerd out and purchase E.T.A. varsity gear.

ryan_sprinkle

robyn_oneil / instagram.com

 

And be totally in on the joke when someone else wears it.

14. It will teach you to view tennis as a religious experience.

ebbandflowphotography / Via Flickr: 57848917@N08

“Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty. The relation is roughly that of courage to war.” -David Foster Wallace

15. You won’t really want to do drugs anymore…

…or you might want to do a lot of them.
The photo is art inspired by Infinite Jest. Seems about right.

16. You can take a walking tour of Boston and see all the locations mentioned in the book.

William Beutler / Via infiniteatlas.com

Or, for that matter, the entire continental U.S.
Check out this website for more mappage.

17. You can read Wallace’s biography and get confused about his moral code. And read way into certain details in the book that seemed inconsequential at first blush.

Good people do bad things but also write good books about people who do bad things but are trying to be good like the person who wrote the book about the bad people who do good things also.

18. By virtue of its length and difficulty, the book is a nostrum for your capricious, media-saturated life.

The better question is: does it work?

19. It will teach you to recognize (and mourn over) the solipsistic nature of your existence.

20. Which will compel you to actively try to empathize with others, which will make you a better human being.

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