Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just read

Over at the Daily Dish, there's a lively discussion about the popularity of young adult novels among adults who aren't young. Some seemed surprised. Others pooh-poohed idea and sniffed, "Silly adult, those are kiddie books." Still others approved of the trend. I'm in the last camp. Reading is good. And if YA novels encourage it, great. That said, I was a bit taken aback when one Dish reader wrote: "My brother is 58. He had not read a book since high school until a coworker lent him Twilight. It lit him up like a Christmas tree." Apparently, his bro is now an avid reader and has stepped up to "the likes of Tom Clancy and other challenging adult fiction." Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, of course, is the YA vampire-romance novel. Meyer (who rakes in $40 million annually) is sometimes compared to J. K. Rowling. Stephen King stated, "the real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer, and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn." Enough said. As for Clancy, well, let's just say he's a long, long way from Hemingway. The secondary school system clearly failed the reader's brother by not inspiring him to read. But now that he is doing so, let's hope someone exposes him to some decent literature. If Clancy's The Hunt For Red October lit him up, think what Patrick O’Brian's Master and Commander or Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny would do. Otherwise he might start reading health books and end up, as Mark Twain noted, dying of a misprint.

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