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Sun Dec 6th, 2015

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07:49 pm - A certain sense of futility
Finish the last Cooper and Fry- the last I'm going to read, at least- and at once start an Inspector Banks. Possibly if Banks weren't such a horndog, I might not be asking myself what the point of this is. Reading mysteries, I mean. Comfort reading, possibly, as in easy and not challenging; or just 'have something to read' reading- "I wasn't especially enjoying it but I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to read."

In a way it strikes me as odd that what a substantial portion of the population relaxes with is stories of violence and mayhem and suffering: except in my case it's sanitized violence and mayhem. Not quite cozy Agatha Christies, but at any rate relatively civilized British murders with relatively civilized Inspectors doing their jobs. All well and good: but when asked what I did with the last five years of my life, will I have to say 'I read a lot of cozy mysteries'?

I think it's because after a certain point nothing is mind-blowing. One looks for difference, for amazing things: and gets, in literature, the real or imagined problems of ordinary and generally unlikable people; in fantasy, tired tropes and dystopias; and so, well- one returns to comfort reading.

(4 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2015 02:10 am (UTC)
Could one argue that it's unnecessarily self-mortifying to demand that one should be constantly facing the cruel reality of life? If comfort reading makes us happy and gives us the strength to keep going, well... one might say as much of bread and potatoes and pasta in the daily diet.

(Yes, I comfort read too.)
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2015 03:57 am (UTC)
It's the sneaking suspicion I have that this isn't comfort reading rather than lazy reading. 'Want to be reading, don't want to have to work at it.' The end result- like eating nothing but crisps, say- is lack of satisfaction and a bloated unhappy feeling. No different from watching television or surfing the net.

I think the solution might be non-fiction: but I need my non-fic to be for a purpose, and presently I have none. Actually I want my other reading to be for a purpose too, something more than 'I have finished a book,'
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2015 04:27 am (UTC)
At least your comfort reading is an entire genre. My comfort reading is reading the same book over and over and over again.
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC)
Have been there and done that. There are books I have memorized. Also, in times of brain fatigue, stuff that need't be processed is a godsend.

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