Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Ramble When Sleepy...(copy)

I am a little groggy. I spent half of last night reading a book just for fun. No, it wasn’t the new Harry Potter. It was something a little more adult. I read Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich and loved it!

I don’t feel at all guilty, either. Why should I? I know, I didn’t learn anything and lost valuable beauty sleep, but boy did I have fun. At times, I was having so much fun, my laughter echoed down the hall. Come to think of it, my husband is probably groggy, too.

What is wrong with having fun? Isn’t reading supposed to fun? Why do we feel we must learn something in the process? I admit, I read Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find earlier in the week. Okay, in essence, I lied. I did the self-assigned hard stuff first, because I felt guilty, before playing. Even I couldn’t let myself have fun.

I should be able to pick up a book for the pure escapism it provides. Not only that, I should consider O’Connor’s writings as much fun as the Stephanie Plum series. Yes, her writings are full of racism, classism, and ageism, but they are meant to be escapism, too. I think Flannery would have used a road-killed, stuffed, exploding armadillo created by the local taxidermist as performance art, had she thought of it like Evanovich.

Come to think of it, I had as much fun reading O’Connor. I do remember laughing out loud while reading her last story titled, The Displaced Person. It was a different type of fun though, a cerebral type filled with subtle ironic twists. For example, in the last few sentences of the short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, our main character is described by her killer with, “She would of been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

We see ourselves in her characters, hear ourselves in their voices, and move within their world which makes the book fun. Also, I found with O'Connor's characters, it is just as much fun knowing we aren’t like some of them.

Who is to say I didn’t learn something through Evanovich’s character Stephanie Plum. Before reading the book, I would have been skeptical if someone said they totaled a car, burnt down two buildings, stapled a man’s jewels, and receive 16 stitches in their leg in less than 24 hours. Humph?