One-Night Reads

August 19, 2013 | 3

“Ever since, I have added a new layer of rules for my casual sex partners, especially when I end up in their space: I ask them for a book prior to exiting. I might phrase it more diplomatically, saying ‘I just want to read something on my train-ride back,’ or ‘I just finished my last book and I have been looking for the next one.’ Via this simple action I can estimate a lot more on a broad scale of very personal information and variation of taste than what I could possibly collect through hours of post-coital, emotional interrogation.” Seven books Elias Tezapsidis acquired through casual sex.

is a staff writer for The Millions. He lives in New York.


  1. Let me see if I understand what I’ve just read. After Elias Tezapsidis has casual sex with a woman, and as he is preparing to flee, he asks her – in a way that makes it difficult for her to decline – to take one of her books. He then uses this book to judge her taste and worthiness, a method of getting acquainted with her that he prefers to actual conversation. Finally, he writes about this abominable habit in a self-indulgent, formless, pretentious essay that fails to clarify whether he returns the books. And in the middle of this essay he plops down a paragraph that serves no conceivable purpose aside from informing the reader that Elias Tezapsidis owns an expensive coat and once fooled around with an actress.

    I know I shouldn’t take these things personally, but is Elias Tezapsidis trolling me?

  2. I don’t really know how I can improve on Garrett’s succinct and brilliant comment, so I will simply add 1 – A few lines on what I found annoying about Mr. Tezapsidis’ essay; 2 – One comment to the original essay page that made it all worth while, and 3 – One more observation on another long-forgotten essay this suddenly reminded me of:


    a.) The David Foster Wallacerish footnotes;

    b.) Acronyms for city neighborhoods (LES), at least I think that’s what they must be;

    c.) Hurting my head trying to figure out whether the reference to the cheap and easily replaceable book copies is/is not deliberately intended by the author to parallel his ever flowing fountain of “strange” to diddle (at least until youthful good looks and/or money dries up);

    d.) Any and all references to coke, the financial industry, and elegant coats. 80’s flashbacks I do not need.

    Reader Comment That Made It All Worth While:

    “…The last book I sent someone home with was ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting.’ He never came back.”

    Another Essay “One Night Reads” reminds me of.

    Ten years or so ago, I read a travel essay by a good-looking young man who had made a weekend trip to Las Vegas. He wrote about the “ropey blue veins” of the “50’ish” waitress at a coffee shop he visited. Everything about his artful prose, his clever badinage, proclaimed that to him, this human being, this stranger, possessed of limitless possible pasts, untold depths and details, existed as nothing more than an unsightly bundle of blue splotches and cellulite, offending his eye as he sipped his morning coffee. That’s what “One Night Reads” reminds me of.

  3. Dear Elias Tezapsidis:

    Just because you know how to write doesn’t mean you should.

    And no one who is a self-proclaimed “neurotic” would write something like this. You seem all too well-adjusted. You’re not neurotic. Just an asshole. A garden-variety asshole.

    If you want to judge the women you have sex with, base it on who they would have sex with. In that case, most of your conquests fail based on the fact that they fucked you.


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