Reading Condescension

According to a friend of mine, I have a reading problem. While this might be somewhat related to heavily overburdened five books shelves in my current apartment (all but one of which have my books on them) or to the two 2.5′ piles of books from the library on the coffee table (that’s about to be 3 piles unless I get some quality reading time in soon)–I’m not sure.

Personally, I don’t see this as a reading problem and certainly my branch’s circulation stats see no issue.

If you’ve been following this blog at all this summer, you’ll have noticed a propensity for romance novels and cozy mysteries. Add on top of that my position as a children’s librarian–which means lots of bringing home of juvenile fiction and reading through that–and, yes, there aren’t a ton of books following me home that one would consider heavy reading. There are a few things–David Weinberger’sEverything is Miscellaneous” that I was pleased to get my hands on and a couple of knitting books that are waiting for me to browse through and decide which patterns I’m interested in trying.

What grates on my nerves is her condescension. Apparently because I’m not only reading “high literature”–I’m wasting my time. Could I be reading more engaging material? Absolutely. Should I be reading things of greater literary work? Probably. Do I need passages of what I’m reading re-read aloud to me in a mocking tone? Not so much. Even my-friend-the-lawyer, who has specialized in his amused teasing of my romance novel habit for the past decade, doesn’t go that far.

But my reading habits are one of the few things I feel I have complete control over in my life. I’m at a number of unexpected crossroads in my life at the moment, the majority of which are wearing me down enough that I haven’t the energy to sit down with non-fiction. So bring on the mysteries and romance–and forgive a little reverse condescension that I’m not watching sitcoms that sound like Friends rehashed.

Grrr….annoyed small hedgehog.