In a nutshell, I have not read Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, The Luminaries, Lord of the Rings or Fifty Shades of Grey. (That’s a pretty spectacular list, I must say.) This post was originally written for a different blog but being that “content re-purposing” is the in thing, I present it here.
A friend was reading some fiction I’d written the other day and after telling me what she did like about it, commented, “But you’re no Jane Austen.”
|I believe this is the book she was reading.|
But it got me thinking about those books that are acclaimed either for their literary merit or their popularity, and the ones I’ve never read. All the other Jane Austens, of course, but what else comes to mind?
I did start the first one, but when Harry arrived at Hogwarts, it lost me. I have actually vowed on many occasions to read them all but since the first book came out in 1997, it’s looking unlikely unless I’m in prison or somewhere with nothing else to do.
I feel I should run away and hide for a few months after admitting this but the truth is, I will never read it. I did read the first six pages or so but the thought of making my way through it all when I can barely make it to the end of a 70,000 word romantic comedy… No. I feel no guilt over this either because Ms Catton doesn’t need me to like it.
I once gave a talk related to romance publishing and got asked what I thought of the trilogy and when I said I hadn’t read them, it felt a bit like when people used to say ‘I read Playboy for the articles’. Like I was lying, or something. A lot of the criticism over the books seems to be due to the writing-style, and given that I’m no Jane Austen, I must assume E.L. James isn’t either and we thus have a bit in common. But then I tend to read more on the sweet and light side, and I don’t believe Christian Grey is at all about sweetness and light. Or maybe he is… I mean, how would I even know unless I go and read for myself? Oh, the quandary… But then there is, of course, the movie… Hmmm.
Many’s the time I’ve driven through Matamata and thought, “I must read Tolkien.” Many’s the time when in Wellington I’ve spotted the Embassy Theatre and thought the same thing. Many’s the time I have picked up an actual Tolkien book, opened it, and thought, “I’m going to finally read this genius and see what all the fuss is about.” Every time I have gently closed it, placed it reverently back on the shelf – and reached for Bridget Jones instead.
|Bridget Jones is so good , you forget to eat the chocolate anyway..|