Culture

Twitter Had A Meltdown Over What ‘Red Flags’ To Look Out For On a Man’s Bookshelf

"Hitting my head with a hammer so I can become illiterate for all the beautiful, amazing Queen's out there"

Twitter exploded arguing over what books were a 'red flag' for men to own

We missed you too. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, so you always know where to find us.

A single Tweet about the “warning signs” on a man’s bookshelf effectively ruined Twitter for a whole day.

US journalist Jess McHugh started a furor on Tuesday when she tweeted out the “top 7 warning signs” on a man’s bookshelf, listing off a few classics for any intellectual bro — Hemingway, Infinite Jest, Bukowski and libertarian Ayn Rand.

The other references felt awfully specific — who reads Goethe or says that Lolita or Fathers & Sons, a staple of 19th century Russian literature, is their favourite book?

The tweet caught on, and responses were pretty split between sharp agreeance and mocking, as well as a series of men who then shared their bookshelves or went through the list — truly the biggest red-flag of them all.

For some, the post itself was deeply triggering, bringing back memories of boyfriends past.

“Wish I’d known about the too much Hemingway with my college boyfriend,” replied Giulia Pines. “He actually READ ME PASSAGES in this swoony voice he always used, like this was the most profound insight into humanity I’d ever get.”

Many suggested their own personal red-flags. There was the category of ‘books they should have outgrown by adulthood’, such as On The Road, Catcher In The Rye and Into The Wild or people who are “really into”  Vonnegut. Then there were suggestions of a ‘good bookshelf’, which is just a really embarrassing idea to put out into the world.

Meanwhile, others counter-argued that having an obsession with Young Adult fiction as an adult is far worse than being an insufferable lite-intellectual.

Most people were just pretty frustrated with the earnest traction the tweet got in the first place, given that owning or reading a book doesn’t mean you politically align with its message or author, and we also had this conversation 20,000 times on Tumblr back in 2011.

Overall, it was a terrible time on Twitter.com filled with terrible opinions, salvage by the meta-joke responses which laughed at how laughing at someone’s bookshelf is much more of a red flag than having read Infinite Jest. Enjoy those below.