I found this quote via a link on Mary Beard’s Blog – A Don’s Life.
“The BBC claim to have discovered a new type, the ‘middlebrow’. It consists of people who are hoping that some day they will get used to the stuff they ought to like.” Punch, 23 December 1925
Having just been weeding my bookshelves at home I am well acquainted with ‘the stuff I ought to like’ – it is the stuff I have been convincing myself to get rid of!!
I am well aware that the fiction I really am likely to re read is found in the mountains of cosy whodunnits that litter my shelves….
It’s not that I don’t read my fair share of other things. There are plenty of classics and a good sprinkle of literary fiction on my bookshelves and I can’t resist a good journal, book about theatre, art book or textile book. . However, ‘Chick lit’ mostly irritates me – the characters behave so unbelievably and have no sense of humour. (The major exception to this being Katie Fforde who I love!) So when I want comfort reading an old fashioned detective novel is my first choice…
I also got rid of a fair number of self help books – there was a period when I bought quite a few. But I suddenly realised looking at some of the ‘unblock yourself creatively’ type books that I don’t really need them. I’m actually quite good at squeezing creative things into the gaps in my life and don’t need someone else to tell me how to do it.
At the beginning of February I am due to meet up with some people I was at school with who I haven’t seen for almost thirty years. The Scotsman asked me what I would say about my life and I said, ‘That I have led a varied and creative life. That I am unmarried and without children both through choice, and that I live in very happy and supportive partnership with someone I love.’ Well I didn’t say it quite like that but formulating it more clearly it was what I meant….
And life is too full to waste time with ‘stuff I ought to like…’!