Go to enough bookstores and you start seeing a pattern. There are these books that are in every store, misfit books that nobody seems to want on their shelves. A Million Little Pieces is one of them. Eat, Pray, Love is another. Couplehood, by Paul Reiser is probably the first one I noticed. Every store has a couple copies of Couplehood, a half-dozen copies of Eat, Pray, Love. I told this to my buddy, Ben, and he cracked up.
I’ve decided to read these books. All of them that I could handle. I’m not sure how many I’ll handle. Note: I’m not linking to Amazon — I don’t recommend you read these books. I started with A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Then I read Couplehood by Paul Reiser.
Why is Couplehood a misfit?
Couplehood came out at the peak, or near the peak, of Paul Reiser’s mid-’90s popularity. His show, Mad About You, was wildly popular at the time, and it made him huge. He used the same material for his book.
Every person that watched the show was a potential reader. Every person that mentioned they watched the show to any friend ever probably received this book as a gift. And every person in a relationship in the ’90s, regardless of whether they watched the show or not, was also a potential gift recipient of this book. It tapped a big market.
Let a decade pass, then another. I’m guessing a lot of the relationships that were solid in the ’90s didn’t make it to 2012. Who, then, gets to keep the book? Too touchy. Best to donate it, split the tax write-off.
Honestly, it’s pretty funny and a quick read too. Humor is a little Seinfeld-esque, very ’90s, observational and agonizing male humor, that sort of thing. If you weren’t old enough then, you may miss some of the jokes, but most of them are timeless. Grab a copy if you see one … it’s worth the $1 or whatever the price is now. I’m keeping my copy.