Apathy Jack writes:
Literary Musing The First
Jack’s interior dialogue:
“Ooh, looky, an article saying, in effect, that reading gets you laid. Finally; validation for English teachers everywhere.”
“That’s not exactly what the article says...”
“I said: Finally; validation for English teachers everywhere. And look: But before you trip off to the park clad in your most fetching sun hat and clutching your copy of the latest Jilly Cooper - be warned. Not just any book will do. Erotic fiction, horror, self-help books and the dreaded chick-lit were all, in fact, deemed turn-offs when it came to love between the covers. Of course women wouldn’t be attracted to anyone reading such nonsense!”
“Okay, Casanova, what are you reading at the moment?”
“You will never again know the touch of a woman.”
“No, wait! I’m also reading What’s Left: how liberals lost their way.”
“You’re going to die alone.”
“But... I have a girlfriend...”
“You won’t once she gets a look at your bookshelf.”
“Hold on! I’m also reading The worst person in the world and 202 other strong contenders, a book of social, political and media commentary by Keith Olbermann.”
Somewhere, a lone cricket chirps.
“Oh come on! What woman in their right mind wouldn’t want Keith's little Oberbabies inside them?”
“For the last time, it’s just you! Now be quiet and get back to your womanless library of obscure American political thought before you disturb the Actual People™. Oh, and try not to get too many tears on the pillow tonight, it’s getting uncomfortable to sleep on.”
Literary Musing The Second
David Slack (from whom I lifted the above Guardian link) points out a comment made at the original article (and they’re as worth reading as the original piece, in my opinion) that states: “Don't judge people for reading Dan Brown - judge people for not hiding it.”
I must say, I disagree. You shouldn’t be ashamed of what you read – even if you should be ashamed of what you’re reading. (That makes sense. Shut up!)
I give you for example: Harry Potter. Now, the Harry Potter series are children’s books. Over the last half decade or so, I’ve been barraged from all sides by cretins and idiots telling me that they're really adults' book disguised as kids' books, or that they can be enjoyed on one level for kids and another for adults.
They're children’s books.
But here’s the thing: that doesn’t matter. If you want to read a kid’s book: read a kid’s book. Don’t wait around to have growed-up covers with paintings of mystic symbols replacing the cartoon pictures of trains – just read the damn book. Before I started on my pile of politicy books, I read UnLunDun, which boldly announces that it’s China Mieville’s first book for younger readers, then I read Skulduggery Pleasant – also a kids' book, and not even trying to hide the fact. After I finish my current stack of books, I have a lot of comics I need to catch up on, so will be reading those on the bus to work in the mornings.
Something isn’t less worth while because it has a cartoon cover. I like the Narnia books, but they’re not for grown-ups; The Screwtape Letters is. I’ve read the first of Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and enjoyed it immensely, but it’s for kids; Adverbs is for adults.
So stop whinging and read what you like, dammit. (Unless it’s Harry Potter – I saw that movie yesterday, and I really have no idea what the fuss is about – some twenty-seven year old horse-blinder getting emo for two hours without a beginning or an end? Kids these day...)