introducing readers to writers since 1995

December 06, 2006

What!?! Reading is Supposed to be Fun?

by Scott


In Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, Nick Hornby makes a surprising--no, downright revolutionary suggestion. He has the audacity to state that reading is supposed to be enjoyable.

"We have got it into our heads that books should be hard work, and that unless they're hard work, they're not doing us any good," Hornby writes. He goes on to recall a Guardian columnist who criticized his country's reading habits by saying that "the fact that millions daily devour thousands of words from Hello, the Sun, The Da Vinci Code, Nuts, and so on does not inspire the hope that the average cerebrum is in excellent health. It's not just that you read, it's what you read that counts." Hornby skewers this critic's hot air by writing, "In Britain, more than twelve million adults have a reading age of thirteen or under, and yet some cleaver-dick journalist still insists on telling us that unless we're reading something proper, then we might as well not bother at all."

I'm afraid that I'm as guilty as anyone. I bitch and moan about Nicole Ritchie novels as much as anyone. But for today, let's take Hornby's advice and just celebrate the act of reading, without regard to intellectual challenge, without trying to impress the litblogger next door, without worrying about which book will look most sophisticated on our night stand. Whether it's a book by a Nobel Prize winner or a celebrity who struggles to complete a sentence, let's just enjoy reading today.

If you enjoy this blog,
your PayPal donation
can contribute towards its ongoing publication.