I bought Bayard's book in January 2016, and I spent the next five years talking about it. But it was not until my winter holiday at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 that I got around to opening it up and actually reading it.
I think Bayard would be proud.
Brown goes on to talk a bit about Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, which I’ll admit that I purchased before even finishing Brown’s essay. It’s a great little book whose central thesis is that interacting directly with the text of a book—you know, that act we typically call “reading”—is far less important than understanding how the book is connected to all the other books out there.