Thursday, July 31, 2008

This will cost me a few dozen street-cred points

Why does checking out three Nicholas Sparks books from the library make me feel about as uncool as a teenager shopping at the mall with her parents?

Nicholas Sparks' Message in a Bottle was my 24th book of the year. And I liked it. I haven't read any Nicholas Sparks since the summer before my sophomore year of college. Sparks' romance stories set in small coastal towns in North Carolina make for perfect summer reads. I almost forgot how easily I get sucked into his sappy tales.

But I'm confused. When did Sparks' writing get so steamy? My cheeks flushed on the bus the other afternoon as I felt the man next to me peeking over my shoulder to see what I was reading. The pages might as well been stolen from a Fabio-esque bodice-ripper. There was the kissing of breasts. There was the tangling of lovers in sheets. There were multiple orgasms. (Sigh, I already regret the inclusion of these keywords on my innocent little blog.)

Up until this point, the books I've read this year have been respectable--at least in my humble opinion. A nice mix of classic lit, contemporary nonfiction, poetry, and a few plays have brought me nearly half-way to my goal of reading 50 books by the end of 2008. Authors including Vladimir Nabokov, Bebe Moore Campbell, Tennessee Williams, Charles Bukowski, and Hunter S. Thompson, stand along side David Sedaris, Jeannette Walls, and Stephen Chbosky. Do I really want to blemish the list with a smattering of Nicholas Sparks? Yes! I read for my enjoyment and no one else's. Dammit!

Recalling my fondness for A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, The Wedding, and a few other Sparks novels I've read in the past, I headed to the library to return Message in a Bottle. After depositing the book in the return slot, I headed to the S-section of fiction. Not always a master of the alphabet, it took me a moment to find "Sparks." Like a beacon, an entire shelf devoted to the man who make women around the country cry into their cafe mochas sang out to me. Without wasting a second, I grabbed three titles I haven't yet read and made a beeline to the check-out desk. Afraid that the librarian would secretly judge me for not picking more intellectual reads, I hesitantly made eye-contact and slid her my library card.

"Here you go. Enjoy." she said as she stacked the books together and handed them to me.

"Thanks," I mumbled as I hid the books into my canvas tote bag--away from the prying eyes of literary snobs.

What are you enjoying right now that makes you feel unhip?


Ben said...

I am trying VERY hard not to watch Big Brother.

Anonymous said...

I listen to music that's considered to be less than stellar. A lot of my fellow rockers would laugh in my face if they knew how much I loved My Chemical Romance. *sigh*

Andrew said...

Does living with you count? ;)

Mermanda said...

Ben, I never watched that... but I have a hard time turning off a reality show once I tune in. May the Lord take pity on your soul.

SleepyJane, I know what you mean. I still pop in some *Nsync when I'm in the mood for some hot boyband lovin.

Andrew, go to hell. Pew! Pew!

Jess B-Dubs said...

i continue to be your friend in real life AND the interweb. i need to sort myself out.

Rae // theNotice said...

*steals comment prompt as a blog prompt* (to be posted: sometime around "eventually")