Let's take another tack on Up, this month's NaBloPoMo blogging theme. Today is my birthday. It's one of those special ones that ends in a zero and I'm sure that I now qualify for the senior discount at any restaurant in the USA. I'm the mother of three and grandmother of two. You'd think that I'm all grown up, wouldn't you.
Except I don't want to grow up. I'm reminded of Warning, a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961. It begins, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.”
What I like about it is the list of small misbehaviors that she plans to commit: “spend my pension on brandy”, “sit down on the pavement when I'm tired”, “learn to spit”. and even “run my stick along the public railings”. That appeals to the rebellious spirit in me.
So, I try to be responsible and act like a grown-up—but not go overboard with it. I go to work and I pay my bills. But I'm perfectly happy to spend most of a Saturday curled up in the water bed with a couple of good books. And I'm talking about a very subjective interpretation of good which probably doesn't match any definition of “good literature”. I'm talking about silly chick-lit and paranormal romances, and military science fiction, and cozy mysteries. Popular books that I can gobble up in no time at all.
I've read 57 books this year. I keep a list on my laptop and post it at my reading blog. I also keep statistics about the books that I read. That's how I know that I've read 7 electronic books on my Kindle and Blackberry, 2 audio books, and 48 paper books—47 of which were paperbacks. By genre, I've read 22 PUF (paranormal and urban fiction), 15 mysteries, 8 historical novels, 4 science fiction, 4 fantasy, 3 romance novels, and 1 chick-lit.
I have other ways I play—like Spider Solitaire and Sudoku—but by and large my main hobby is reading. I plan to read one or two books which fall into the “good literature” category, but I plan to read lots and lots of books which are the literary equivalent of junk food. After all, Jenny Joseph plans to “eat three pounds of sausages at a go, Or only bread and pickle for a week.”