Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Snobby Side

In today's New York Times, Joe Queenan wrote an essay called "Why Not the Worst?" about why he loves reading bad books. During most of the time I was reading the essay, I was thinking, I usually love Joe Queenan, but this argument is idiotic.

After all, I am one of those snobby readers who would never sink so low as to pick up a copy of The DaVinci Code. And this week it took every ounce of strength I had to smile and thank a coworker who, after telling me she noticed that I always had a book, presented me with a gift of a Richard North Patterson thriller she loves. I spent a good hour feeling miserable that now I'm actually going to have to read this book because it is the polite thing to do. And it was only a few years ago that friends forced me to read The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Their punishment for doing this was having to reread the sections I had edited, recieving print-outs of what I deemed to be the worst sentence ever written, and listening to me rant every time I got the opportunity.

So, yes, I am one of those people Joe Queenan describes as reading only good books and thinking it makes me better than everyone else. (More of the former than the latter.) As I was reading, though, I realized that I'm slightly hypocritical in this area. Indeed, I have no shame admitting that I watch American Idol every week, enjoy People magazine, and have Ashlee Simpson music on my ipod.

By the end of Queenan's essay, I was willing to admit that he had a somewhat good point. And while I will probably always do everything in my power to avoid "bad" books, I will at least try not to scoff so much when I see someone else enjoying one.

1 comment:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Have you tried any of Robert Ludlum's thrillers? Somehow I think not...