Crap books and good books (was Re: Best Books of 2004)

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Wed Jan 19 12:04:12 EST 2005

Allison Marles wrote:

>I found this post highly interesting to read.  In conjunction with the
>discussions of Georgette Heyer, it has made me think about reading them.
>I have often felt rather furtive or embarassed about reading "romance"
>novels.  And I don't really read any others because either I've not
>found them well-written, or they have boring characters, or they are Hot
>and Steamy, which is not at all to my reading taste.  However, I still
>have often felt the need to explain to people that G.H does not write
>the sort of trashy-supermarket-corset-bursting type of romance.  Finding
>out that so many other people who are clearly quite literate read and
>enjoy G.H. has been very refreshing.  I suspect that a lot of Literary
>Snobs don't really think books should be enjoyed so much as endured.  
I have to take issue with this, being someone who might easily be 
characterised as a Literary Snob. I think that you have to take into 
account differences in taste. I actually really love a lot of books that 
other people (even, gasp, Melissa) describe as boring or unreadable. I 
don't just endure them, I enjoy reading them. I don't love everything 
that is supposedly good literature - I hate Dickens, for example, but I 
also really Wuthering Heights, and Robertson Davies, not to mention a 
lot of modernist and postmodern fiction that other people find 
disturbingly arcane, or dull or whatever.


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