Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What's on your bookshelf?

I was at a memorial service for someone a while ago where people got up to read bits of books that were by the bedside of the person who died. The readings were from books of poetry, ancient political texts, and other worldly pieces of literature.

Recently I had an email exchange with someone about how trashy my taste in literature is. If I died tomorrow, what people would have to choose from by my bedside would be the Harry Potter series, a couple of JD Robb novels (this is the romance novelist Nora Roberts writing a futuristic mystery series that I am OBSESSED with), and one political science book (Homestyle, a book by Richard Fenno because I want Richard Fenno to be my friend). Good luck gleaning great memorial readings from that!!

I read a lot of heavy stuff for school. When I read, I want light reading. You know, books you can read in the bathtub. I have the same feelings about movies and television. I want my entertainment to be entertaining. I don't want to watch a documentary on the state of the city government in Newark. I don't want to watch Hotel Rwanda and feel sad about the world for the rest of the day. I don't apologize for this. In some ways I am proud that I can still enjoy bad popular media for the sheer entertainment of it, even though I am surrounded my reminders that I should be reading Oprah's book club book instead of an oddly satisfying JD Robb novel.

Mostly I wonder if other people actually have poetry books by their bedsides. Or do they have Harry Potter there like I do (you know, for quick reference when a question about the Carrow family pops up in your brain in the middle of the night)? Or alternately, do people not read before bed (Biker Boy does not read before bed - he can't read laying down - and I...I don't understand this. It's a genetic flaw I hope he never passes on to any children we may or may not have)? And, if you don't read before bed, what do you do? Do you just lay down and turn off the lights? Because...I just can't fathom this as a nighttime ritual.

How people go to bed is fascinating to me. But that's another story altogether.

I'm going to brush my teeth and go read a couple of chapters from a trashy novel now.


  1. Ok, I LOVE the trashy novels, as you know. But I can't read before bed. I'll never sleep. I always get involved in the book, and want to read just one more chapter. Just one. Ok, but one more. Next thing you know it's 4am and the book is done, but I'm wide awake. I read during lunch. I read at the gym. I read while on the computer. I read right up until the second I go to bed, and then I put the book down. We usually have the TV on in the bedroom, so if I'm wearng my contacts, I'll watch that before I fall asleep. But if it's a glasses day, then I just listen to it as I fall asleep.

  2. ol' soak and poke

    i had a class w/ him when i was at rochester, he is hilarious in real life


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