- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed about my book choice as I slide it across the circulation desk at the public library.
I wonder if those nice folks at the desk notice that I only check out simple, thin mysteries? Or that I get one book and its takes 10 days or so for me to finish it and exchange it for another?
I tell myself that every once in awhile that I should be furthering my knowledge and exercising my brain with books about history or psychology or business or something important like that.
Once when I was feeling a little like a slug, I even bought the “Dictionary of Cultural Literacy,” to help make up for all of my educational shortcomings during high school and college. It is sort of a “Clifts Notes” of everything I should have learned. After about 40 pages though, I concluded I didn’t really need to be culturally literate after all.
This is all doubly embarrassing because of what our high school senior, Joe, is reading. So far this school year he’s read “Dante’s Inferno,” “Oedipus Rex” and a bunch of other things that make me tired just to think about.
Of course, these are books his Advanced Placement English teacher assigned, but the contrast between his reading list and mine is striking.
The fact is I’m an easy-to-please, simple mystery kind of guy. And I like those nice slow-to-develop British mysteries without a lot of foul language, gory details or nightmare-causing plots.
A couple of years ago, I was reading a series about a female medical examiner that was kind of hip, but eventually the killers gave me the creeps.
You, see I only read a book about 20 or 30 minutes each night. I prop my head up on the pillow in bed and read until I get sleepy. Then, I quit, even if it’s in the middle of a paragraph, and hope it doesn’t show up in my dreams.
Lately my reading time has been cut even shorter because I have been trying to make my way through “No Ordinary Time,” which is about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II. No, I didn’t check it out of the library; it was a Christmas gift a year ago. Snooze.
It’s not that I don’t like to read or that I don’t read a lot. I read newspapers and magazines (we get about a dozen) every day and throw them on the floor in front of my favorite chair. To me it’s a nice place to build up a pile until I get around to scooping them into a bag for recycling. To Jenny, it’s another one of my annoying little traits she hasn’t been able to fix—yet.
Jenny pokes fun at some of my book choices. For instance, she laughs about the tales of a middle-age amateur detective named Agatha Raisin, a series I have been reading for quite awhile. She really can’t get past the detective’s name.
And she chides me for not reading a series in order. I just grab whichever one is on the shelf that I haven’t read. That explains why in a recent book Agatha is hoping to get a date with James Lacey, who in other books in the series I have read she has married and then divorced.
Oh, well, this way I don’t have to worry about the suspense killing me.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.