My name is Kami… “hi, Kami.”
I.. am… a book snob… “Amen sister, tell it.”
It’s true. I’ve been inhaling books since before I could crawl, at least I’m pretty sure of it. Every memory in my life seems to have one thing in common. There is a book involved somehow.
Here’s what clued me in to my “problem:”
My hairstylist, (yup, you Jill) asked me for a book recommendation.
Easy! I’m thinking. Then she adds a few restrictions.
Nothing I have to think about once I’m done
Something light, entertaining,
Like a sitcom.
That puts a bit of a challenge on the request.
I left an hour later having given her nothing but some cash for the lovely hairstyle.
I had failed at giving a book recommendation! How could I live with myself?
The closest I came to her requirements was a Young Adult book called “Faith and the Electric Dogs.” But it had been a long time since I’d read it. It was probably too much of something.
Oh, the shame!
Dang it! Why hadn’t I suggested “Hunger Games?”
I had resisted reading those when EVERYBODY was drooling all over themselves reading them. I was not going follow along blindly like those hoards of crazed lunatics reading “Twilight Books,” no matter how much my most respected bibliophiles recommended it.
About two years after the rush ended I gave in and read the first one. Then I was like a kid three days after Halloween who’d vowed to make the candy last until at least Christmas. You got it; I devoured all three of those books. Barely ripped the wrappers off for the speed I was trying to take them in.
Afterwards I felt like a book glutton. I had binged on the literary equivalent of fries, burgers and shakes. It was time for crunchy veggies and clear filtered water and home-baked wheat bread. I needed some classics; Hardy or Tolstoy or Steinbeck or even Dostoevsky to set the world back on balance.
Here’s the thing
I worked for a writer as a typist. (Back in the day, yes, in the dark ages before personal computers were in every pocket and on every flat surface.) This writer was a professor at the university I attended, but wrote under a pen name so as not to put the job at risk. How would writing put a professor’s job at risk? Well, the novel was a Harlequin or Silhouette romance novel. I use the word novel very, very loosely.
After submission the manuscript came back to the professor with a rejection form-letter, which included the basic equations for creating a book for their company. The heroine must be x,y,z but not d,e,f. The hero must have a,b,c but not j,k,l. The plot must….the story can’t….the characters need to…. It was so exacting that we considered trying to write a computer program that would write the novels. They probably do use a computer program now. Why waste real man hours on that kind of formulaic book?
I probably just offended everyone in the known world. May as well keep going…
But before you all judge me harshly hear me out. I’ve read westerns, in fact, I love me a good Louis L’amour or Zane Grey once in a while. I’ve read Michener and liked it. A mystery occasionally is good for variety. I dig into memoire from time to time. I peruse non-fiction with some regularity. And, I count historical fiction as part of my ongoing educational pursuit. I even check out a NY Times bestseller from the library on occasion. I even imbibe in Science Fiction if it’s well done.
I don’t always confess to reading them on my Goodreads account though.
Would a chocolatier confess to eating Hershey’s when his palate has the Swiss and Dutch equivalents of nirvana to compare? Would an affineur, a cheese expert, admit to imbibing in processed cheese on a burger? Would a vintner chug a box of ten-dollar wine and then brag about it?
Not likely, but it’s possible.
When the words of language masters have danced through your head, played on the fields of your mind and painted landscapes across your memory, nothing else fills the need anymore. Once you’ve had the good stuff, the literary caviar, then flat characters and simple plots with predictable endings or gratuitous anything just doesn’t cut it anymore.
I need the straight lines, the pure stuff, the real talent.
Yes, I am a book snob. I admit it.
And I don’t care if I ever get over it.