Last night, I was chatting with a group of women in a conference call about different books. These ladies I met at Booktopia Oxford last summer- and I find them intelligent, articulate, and wonderful. But, as we discuss books and different things, some of the group gets to talking about “serious” books- all the Tournament of Books list, various prestigious awards these books are being considered for, and how most of them were so excited that Orphan Master’s Son won TOB (I’ll be 100% honest: When the ladies wanted to do TOB racket, I was like “sure- I’m in”- and I was doing pretty good. Until Gone Girl got knocked out- because I had Gone Girl taking the Rooster. Side note: this is why I don’t bet in March Madness- I apparently don’t have the skills to pull off the win!)
And while none of the group ever makes fun of me for my lack of serious book reading, this is where I almost being to feel like an imposter in the book world, where I feel like someone is going to discover my lack of “serious” book reading. This is where I begin to ponder the questions: Am I really an avid reader if I don’t prefer the “serious” books? Do I lose “book cred” by not reading the “serious” books- the non-fiction, the tales of life in foreign countries, the dreadful situations, the politically charged?
And thanks to an article that Wendy Wax wrote, I have an answer. Wendy writes: “For those of you who have been made to feel ashamed for choosing a ‘beach read’ over the latest version of War and Peace, I say do not be cowed.”
And so, yes, I freely admit that I read the fun books, the beach books, the cozy books. I like mysteries, I like some Southern Lit. I like the books where the characters go through a bad patch; yet come through it wiser and happy. I still occassionally like a non-fiction, and I don’t mind a book that makes me cry- although I don’t want to cry the whole time I read. I even like books where the ending is not completely clear! I’m just not a fan of the “”serious” books- the ones that make me want to stick a needle in my eye and pull my hair out! As Bob Ross once said:” We want happy paintings. Happy Paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”
Life’s too short to read books that bore you- find the books that make you happy, the books that fulfill you- and read.