For most of my life, I’ve been the kind of person who only reads one book at a time. Trying to juggle two, or more, required a certain type of concentration (not to mention time) that I didn’t have. This year, though, I have been working on cultivating this skill, and I think I’m getting pretty good at it, if I may say so myself. I also am beginning to understand the appal of having a couple of books going at once, because sometimes you find all kinds of weird synergy. For example, right now I am reading two books about love: one is The Principles of Love, by Emily Franklin, and the other is The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. The first is YA, the other adult lit, and they could not be any more different. But they’re both really good, and moving between them, I’m finding, is kind of like cleansing the palate. Every time I switch back to one from the other, it’s like everything unique and cool about the narrator and story jumps out at me all over again. It makes me wonder why I haven’t done this before.
Speaking of books, and reading, did anyone else see the piece Naomi Wolfe wrote in the NYT Book Review this weekend about teen lit, and the Gossip Girls/A-List books in particular? (I’d link to it, but I think you have to be registered.) Very interesting, I have to say. I haven’t read a lot of the GG books–maybe two?–but I can certainly see the appeal. It’s the same thing that makes you (or, um, me) love things like Laguna Beach and the O.C. Maybe they’re not High Literature, and the characters not exactly who you’d want to emulate, but I don’t necessarily think everyone reads books for those reasons, every time. Sometimes, you just want to escape into a big campy story, even if you know your own life will never be anything approximating what’s on the page. I think what’s great about YA these days is that there ARE so many different types of books to choose from. You can read around and find something for every taste, and that’s not necessarily true in all genres. Anyway, just my two cents. I know I am FAR from an expert, and there are probably many places online you can find qualified people discussing the article and what it all means. As my husband would say, I’ m not a bookologist.
And, with that last sentence, I think I probably lost any respect I’d gained by writing a totally book-themed post. Darn! So close! Oh, well….