Since when did a regular quota of suitably serious reading matter become obligatory? And who decides what's worthy anyway? If Victoria Beckham swallowed a regular dose of sugary chick lit or violent slasher chillers, for example (well, they're books too), would it somehow make her reading habits more acceptable than the fact that she happens to "love fashion magazines"?
It's an excellent article, although (here comes an inside joke for regular readers of this blog) I did wince a bit when Harry Potter was mentioned. Here's another of the parts that resonated with me:
. . . it's an unfathomable mystery why some people love cooking, others adore potholing, some can't abide either. It's probably about as likely that Mrs Beckham will be found with Middlemarch open on her bedside table as it is that I will learn the difference between Versace and Gucci (or care less about it). It's also probably about as likely that she would enjoy Dorothea and Casaubon as it is that I would get any fun out of going to the Prada sale.
Middlemarch. Yeah, I'm there. But what are Versace and Gucci? Some kind of pasta dishes?
Look, I'm all in favor of novel reading. I sure tried hard to turn my kids into readers. (So far I have a 50% success rate, but Number Two Son is just out of high school, so I haven't lost hope.) But I don't like to see novel reading used as a litmus test for intelligence and social relevance. And I really don't like hearing people trash the reading choices of others.
I have said that I don't care for chick lit. And yes, I've read several of the books now. Just yesterday I finished Kristin Billerbeck's She's Out of Control, the sequel to What a Girl Wants, which I read a month ago. And for those of you who think Christian chick lit isn't "real" chick lit, I'll add that I have also read some industrial-strength chick lit, including four Marian Keyes's books.
Billerbeck's books are charming and Keyes's books are clever, but reading chick lit is about as exciting to me as reading the back of a cereal box. And to be scrupulously honest, I haven't read the books so much as skimmed them. So why did I pick them up at all? Well, because I thought I might be missing something. And they were mildly entertaining. But I'm moving on now, going back to the books I find wildly entertaining.
I have made jokes about chick lit, and certain short-tempered bloggers can always be counted on to send me traffic whenever they believe I'm disparaging the genre, but what they don't get is that I'm actually not all that interested in what other people choose to read. There's nothing wrong with chick lit, just like there's nothing wrong with golf or strawberry milkshakes or Siamese cats or country music or [deep breath] Harry Potter books. I just don't care for those things, okay? So from time to time I'm going to make jokes about them. If you don't appreciate that kind of humor, you probably ought to find another blog to read, because that's what you're going to get if you stick around here.
But back to Posh and her fashion magazines. I don't know whether the woman is Mensa material or not, but I wouldn't presume to judge that based solely on the fact that she doesn't read books. Yes, I think she's missing out by not visiting fascinating worlds like Middlemarch. But she'd probably be just as amazed to learn that I don't see the point of pop music and shoe-shopping. Heck, I don't even think David Beckham is sexy.
This is diversity, people. It's a good thing.