Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Do I Read?

Whisky Prajer has set my wheels turning with his latest post and book reviews.

As early as I can recall, I have had a love affair with books and expect to until the end of my days. I read anything and everything (just about), but do I choose reading material with a lofty purpose in mind - such as expanding knowledge, or gaining wisdom?

Not consciously at any rate.

Alas, my reading habits have the tendency to mirror my dietary addictions; I just crave losing myself in dimestore trashy heaven. More whipped cream on that malted, please, and pass down that new Kathy Reichs'.

Upon further reflection, I wonder...can't most of us 'fess up to being closet readers of some type of malnourishing unredemptive literature? Those bad-for-you Mass Market Paperbacks in the fiction aisle. (Hear that hiss?)

On those days when work has been a tedious, minutiae of crap, the last thing I want to do is to delve into some deep internal cleansing lofty tome that is good for my brain and my colon. The late and great David Halberstam may be a PPW (Pulitzer Prize Winner), but it's like cutting my little toenail into the quick when I try to read his stuff. It's akin to taking my vitamins - I know it's good for me to read someone like Halberstam, but my throat and likewise my brain goes into lockdown mode whenever I try.

I want chocolate, wine, and a hint of raunch! Bring on that Patricia Cornwell, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, or even a rerun of Dame Agatha. Maybe if I am really throwing all pretenses aside, I might be tempted with a Rosemary Rogers or two. Don't knock Sweet Savage Love until you've nibbled a page or two. (I will say that SSL was the best of her bodice-rippers, and I have been disappointed in any of the others - Fabio cover or not.)

Speaking of Rippers, did I tell you the one about...oh, yeah, why I read. (This is part of my problem, I am somewhat ADD in my thought processes.)

Yes, well, on the subject of Rippers, I will sometimes get in a kind of time warp and want to read everything available about a person or place, i.e. Jack, the Ripper. Or, maybe it is Civil War era stories, like Killer Angels.

Hey, I can hold my own at any fisherman's pub on the subject of Captain Kidd.

I always get a bit squirmy when I compare my booklist to someone else's. Then, I get a case of the so-many-books, so-little-time vapors and think I shouldn't be wasting my reading time with junk.

Ahh, well.

If I succumb to my latest medical adventure, don't send flowers; just fill my cowboy style pine coffin with a few McMurtrys, maybe a couple of Victoria Holt's, and perhaps a Tony Hillerman and I'll be set for wherever I land up next.

Oh, I forgot. I want to be cremated and scattered across the Big Bend.

For good measure, you can send those books on now if'n you want.


Kay Dennison said...

I am a mystery junkie and you just reminded me that I haven't done a post on books in ages. Thank you! I do try to keep two books going at once -- one fiction; one non-fiction although I confess that the latter always takes longer to finish than the former. Sigh. Some days reality is difficult.

bill / prairie point said...

mysteries here too. my favorites are ones by Marcia Muller, but plenty of others will suffice also.

la peregrina said...

Marcia Muller-check
Patricia Cornwell- check.
Dame Agatha- check.
Jack the Ripper- check.
Killer Angels- double check.

I've just discovered Alexander McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series and started reading them-wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Other than Dame Agatha Christie and Tony Heillerman, I must confess ignorance of your favored genre. Since our tastes are so well aligned in music (tongue firmly in cheek), would we not have thought that we read the same books? Silly me! Is it OK if I put it down to the generation gap so that I don't have to admit to being such a geek? ( are so kind.)
Hope you and the little p are coming to a parting of the ways so that you feel up to snuff.
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

Well...sometimes I spell better than other times. Pity poor Mr Hillerman...probably turning in his grave...and after his having entertained me so well with his Native American lore-filled mysteries.