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Am I Taking The Easy Road? And Is That A Bad Thing?

September 19, 2008
Beautiful birthday flowers from Mom…

I’ve been feeling kind of guilty about my reading choices lately. I mean, it’s been a long string of pretty light fluff. Normally I don’t give it a second thought, but since I’ve been keeping track of what I read, I’m starting to feel like I’m really letting myself ‘off the hook’ so to speak.

I love any sort of reading — backs of cereal boxes, Reader’s Digest, those funny health magazines at the doctor’s office, brochures and pamphlets… I’ll read them all. Up to and including fine literature (not that you’d know that judging from my reading this year).

Well, I have read a few longer, headier books. But mostly, it’s been the fluffiest of fluff. And I have to say, I’ve enjoyed every page. Should I be worried? I do actually enjoy more difficult reading (Turn of the Screw not included, darn you Henry James), but really all I’ve felt like reading is pure entertainment.

I guess that it hasn’t been the easiest year on record, so maybe this pull towards total escapist reading is not so mysterious. I just feel like lolling in complete self-indulgence (as far as books are concerned). I have a list, in the back of my mind, of more ‘grown-up’ books that I’d like to read, but really all I want to do is finish this string of thrillers, and then move on to a month of ghost stories. Is that so wrong?

Maybe I’ll just complete this year of abandoning myself to whatever silly book whims I have, and then next year add in a few more serious books, just to keep the ol’ brain sharp. I mean, I guess it’s not like I haven’t been thinking at all this year, what with the Physiology class and all. And next term I take Neuroanatomy, so I’ll be using the noggin again. And deciphering Lyme disease treatments takes quite a bit of concentration. But I’m starting to feel like I’m missing the art of beautiful grammar and imagery, of books that make me think, rather than books that simply entertain.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Oh no. I am completely loving my trashy books. I am just starting to feel as though I’ve eaten a few too many pieces of chocolate, if you know what I mean. But I’m not to the quitting point yet.

Maybe I’ll just sneak a classic in here and there among the fluff, and see if the tides start to turn. Winter is always a better time for really meaty reading anyway.

For now, I’ve got two more books in this series I’m completely hooked on, and then my month of scary reading begins. I can’t wait. Then, as the weather turns (as much as it does here in California; I’ve never gotten used to the lack of seasons), perhaps it’s time for some slower, more contemplative reading. That sounds nice.

I also had a goal of reading 100 books this year and I don’t think I’m going to make it. Perhaps I’ll modify that goal to 75. And work on 100 for next year.

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