Just Speak for Yourself
Am I book slut? Hell no! No way would I ever
... go to sleep worrying whether Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughan are actually a couple, if Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud is losing too much weight and how much cosmetic surgery Teri Hatcher has really had.
No, not me - that sort of stuff is pretty much a chick thing, right, and so is
[loving] all kinds of texts equally, refusing to play favourites and treating them all with the same kind of intense but ultimately casual affection.
Isn't that just typical. You'd never catch me doing that: like any bloke, I know that there are those books you just read for fun - cultural quickies you pick up at the library, skim through overnight, or over a weekend at most, then drop casually down the return chute on your next visit - and real, serious books that are actually worth shelling out your own hard-earned (or hard-bludged) readies for. And as for those gossip mags and women's magazines, no way I'd be caught dead reading one of those. You have to wonder what the editorial staff at Cosmo and Cleo are thinking when every time they run one of those articles on "Ten great ways to be better in bed", they follow up with a half a page of sex tips for guys. Who do they expect to read this stuff? I bet you wouldn't find the editors of Ralph making that mistake. Not that I'd be caught dead reading Ralph of course.
I'll admit that I've had a few disappointments with books - like the time I bought "the best novel to come out of New Zealand this year", and decided, after finishing it, that there would have been no great loss to world literature if it had stayed in New Zealand. Some of the alleged classics have been no better - like that fat-arsed tome by some dead Russian fart that begins "All happy families are alike but each unhappy familiy is unhappy in its own way ..." - or something like that. The sort of portentous bull that gets a novelist a totally inflated rep for giving good human condition. Over time I've learnt to ignore a lot of the gossip about authors who give good human condition, just as I learnt how little substance to all that talk about Marjorie Malvern-Starr's precocious sexual accomplishments back in my Greenfields High School days (all my two bob's worth of licorice bullets from the school tuckshop got me was an angry glare and a slap in the face).
"Intense but ultimately casual affection" indeed; you won't catch me ever falling for a book that way. I've read around a bit - I'm wise to their sly little ways, their so called literary conventions. Read 'em and leave 'em, that's the way to go. OK, now and again you find one that's worth keeping around for a while, good solid works of reference and such but they're few and far between. When it comes down to it, reading books is just a pleasant way to pass the time.