I thought I would change things up a bit with my Friday Five. Instead of telling you about five great things that happened to me this week, I thought I would share five minutes of a conversation that lingered with me. I visited my friend at work, I’ll call her . . . Friend and she introduced me to her co-worker, whom I will call . . . Woman. I will be known as Self during this re-enactment. (I know. My creativity is like a mind grenade . . . blows your mind.)
Woman: Friend is the first person I know who did not like The Help (by Kathryn Stockett). I guess it is because you two are young, you wouldn’t get it.
Self: (Double blinks and stomach flips. Debates whether to take offense to comment or feel sorry for Woman.)
Friend: I liked it. And Self hasn’t read it.
Self: It’s on my TBR list. A lot of people I know have read it and really like it. (Implying people my age can appreciate such a book.)
Woman: (Looks at the book cradled in my arm. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.) Oh, that’s a book for young people.
Friend: (Rolls eyes)
Self: I happen to like a broader range of books than Friend.
Friend: Yes, I am closed minded so I limit what I read.
Self: (Glares at Friend. Rolls eyes.) That's not what I said. And you know that's not true. You know what you like to read. Many people only read certain genres. I just happen to like any thing with words. I love words. (Looks at Woman) It may be an addiction.
Woman: (Laughs. Sizes me up.) Have you read anything by Atwood?
Self: Nope, but I’ve heard she is good. I have a book or two from her on my list. I seriously love to read a good story. I don’t care where it is in the bookstore. (Ha!)
Woman: (Eyebrow raises).
Friend: It’s true she reads everything. (Sighs with annoyance.) Stuff I would never read.
Self: (I suspect Friend is thinking about my LOVE for The Book Thief and Will Grayson Will Grayson) Yes. Guilty. (Turn to Woman) Have you read Pillars of the Earth by Follett?
Self: (And you say you like “adult” books?) Oh, it is epic historical fiction. (I pause. Move closer to her.) Now the size can be a bit daunting. It’s 1000 pages.
Woman: (Gasps) Oh no. I can’t do that.
Self: You are missing out. It’s a great story. It’s about the building of a Cathedral, and the politics of between the monarchy and churches, and love. Oh, the love story is great. Really all of it is great. Well researched.
Woman: I love reading about old churches.
Friend: I’m going to read it.
Self: I finally convinced her to give it a go. I think you would enjoy it.
Woman: I will track it down.
Okay, here is why this conversation lingered with me this week. I take offense to the idea that certain books are for certain age groups. I take offense to the idea that if I read certain books I am immature or simple-minded. I read because