Oh dear the dreaded writer’s block and a broken computer have all contributed to my distinct lack of blogging for the last month. Instead I have been reading avidly. An intellectual pursuit? No definitely not.
I’m afraid when it comes to reading, I am less Booker Prize and more Richard and Judy. There I have admitted it – I just love a good yarn rather than great modern literature. One of my favourite books last year was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – not exactly a favourite of the literary critics but a New York Times bestseller. It’s about an up and coming racing car driver but written by his dog. And it works.
I just hate book snobbery. I have read books that have won major literary prizes. Some I have found enjoyable. Some I have had to give up on because they are just too darn hard to read. When I read I like to lose myself completely in a book. I like to be affected by the characters and really care about them and if that makes me intellectually inferior well so be it. I’ve always been a popularist.
An acquaintance of mine was a best-selling local author. She came up across a great deal of snobbery about her books.
She did not care – they earned her a good living. If someone has written a book to Booker Prize winning standard – then in my opinion they have a right to criticise their contemporaries.
But if they have never as much as had a short story published – then who are they to criticise. Writing a book is a long and painful process. It is said that everyone has a novel in them – whether it is readable is another story. I have every admiration for everyone who has gone through the process of writing 50,000 words or more in a readable form whether it is good or bad.