Friday, September 26, 2014

Popcorn Reading List

The other day I was lounging on our couch in the basement, watching Doug and Jeff play. Directly across from me are two large bookcases. As they played, I looked at some of my favorite books on the shelves. So many books, some I haven't re-read in quite a while.  As I looked over the books, I was realizing the books had a few things in common. Being physical books, they were all purchased prior to Doug's birth. And while most of these books wouldn't be considered high literature, they were all decent reads, meaty, thick books with complex characters and plots. I'm sure many of them have been on the NY Times best seller lists, etc.

Then I began to think about the kinds of books on my Kindle. Sure, there are a few books like that, but not as many as I'd like and certainly not too many after Doug was born. I still read regularly. I will admit my reading took a hit during the first trimester when I was exhausted (making up for it in the bathroom though, I think).

As I began to ponder the issue and review what I've been reading in the past year, I realized that my reading selections tend to be books that are easily consumable. Books that are satisfying but have no intellectual value, like popcorn for your brain, delicious, but not nutritional. Last winter/spring I began reading romance books, for something to read. The characters aren't deep, the plot is always predictable and my brain doesn't have to do too much work. Easy for a tired brain. I probably didn't read much more than half a dozen of these books before I got tired of them and moved on.

I don't remember exactly how I stumbled into the next books I began reading, but it was sometime late last spring. To date, I've read probably close to a dozen Star Trek the Next Generation books. And by read, I mean devour. For a while I was confused by this new trend of mine. I'm not really a sci-fi reader. But then I realized it wasn't too difficult for my poor brain. It was drawing on an established list of characters with predictable reactions. The plots were much more involved than the romance novels and funnier, and more enjoyable.  For a while I was unhappy with this new literary fetish of mine, but then I realized it doesn't matter, I'm reading and it's enjoyable.

I did join a book club recently and I am sprinkling more 'literary' books into my reading. But right now, there's a crisis the Enterprise is facing, and I don't know if the crew will be able to save the day....