Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Review: The Tall Book

There are three things that absolutely define me. Three things that anyone who meets me knows within seconds. Three things that I could not hide from the world if I wanted to. 1) I am very tall (6' 7"), 2) I am a redhead, 3) I am a nerd.

Of these three things, the one that has defined my life as most different from the norm (whatever that is) is being tall.

There are many benefits to being tall, to be sure. I am never ignored at a counter while waiting for service. People remember me. It is comparatively easy for me to project a powerful confident presence. I am very rarely threatened or lashed out at.

And there are many disadvantages to being tall. Some would be obvious even to the non-tall (difficulty buying clothing, hitting my head on doorways, getting jammed into airline seats while some 5' 2" business woman stretches out in the exit row). And some probably have to be lived to be appreciated (ultra low toilets and urinals (actually almost everything about bathrooms), low ceilings, low kitchen counters, cars designed for the comfort of someone a foot shorter than me, foot boards on beds, the non-stop, "Do you play basketball?" Or alas the increasingly frequent, "Did you play basketball?").

When I saw The Tall Book by Ari Cohen I immediately bought a copy (for the Kindle iPad app, of course - see (3) above). But I must confess that I bought it more as a show of tall moral support than because I thought I would get anything out of it. I mean, I was six feet tall on my twelfth birthday. That's 33 years of being indisputably tall. What could a book possibly teach me about it?

I was wrong, of course. I learned a bunch of interesting tidbits. I certainly learned more about tall female psychology than I had ever managed to uncover on my own. Tall people and the curious will enjoy this book. Tall teens will find a bunch of useful advice for dealing with life. And if you know a tall teen girl, stop reading right now and go order her this book. Ditto if you know a tall teen boy who wants to date tall teen girls.

My favorite thing about the book, though, isn't the book at all. It is the fact that Ari has devoted some space to tall activism on the tall book website. That joins colleenification and the Tall Clothing Mall blog as one of my favorite tall resources. There just aren't enough tall resources out there. I would love for there to be a place where I could go to find cars I might fit in before I go shopping for them or find out whether that expensive home gym will be usable before I spend thousands of dollars.

Anyway, I'm rambling. It's a good book. It's on sale on amazon ($7.60 for the hardcover as I write this). Go buy it.