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Is anyone else reading less demanding books?

(59 Posts)
Deedaa Mon 22-Oct-12 22:32:16

Am I alone in rarely reading the sort of intellectually demanding "literature" that I ploughed through in my youth? Huxley, Kafka, Camus, Dostoevsky and reams of feminist writing from most of the Virago collection to deeply depressing collections of poetry published in very small editions. I suspect that as we get older we find that life throws enough awful stuff at us without reading about other peoples' troubles. Most of the time I would just rather be entertained.

glassortwo Mon 22-Oct-12 22:37:09

Dee I read some right trash at times, its light entertainment when I need to escape.

ninathenana Mon 22-Oct-12 22:39:38

most of what I read is "chick lit" I like the fact that it doesn't take much brain power grin

I get my mental stimulation elsewhere

Mishap Mon 22-Oct-12 22:39:55

Our book club has just read Ragnarok by A S Byatt and not one of us got through it. Perfectly impossible - has brilliant reviews from the posh newspapers, but for all of us (with a combined impressive list of professional and other educational qualifications) it proved completely inaccessible. Indeed we all felt that it was a waste of life to continue with it. Maybe that is the key - we are all retired or close thereto and there is a sense that there is no point wasting time reading stuff that does not speak to us in any way.

Touch of the emporer's new clothes for my money - and also it is based on norse myths which do nothing for me anyway.

Grannyeggs Mon 22-Oct-12 22:50:43

Dee, I'm with you there,I have just ploughed my way through Anna Karenina for my book group and have vowed from now on just to read stuff that makes me laugh or entertains me. I have down loaded a whole lot of murder mysteries on to my Kindle, none of which cost more than 1.99, and I am really looking forward to reading them.I am fed up with the depressing stuff and 900pages is 700 too many in my opinion. smile

vampirequeen Mon 22-Oct-12 22:55:22

I downloaded the Complete Sherlock Holmes. Very light reading but most enjoyable.

crimson Mon 22-Oct-12 22:59:27

Deeda, that seemed to happen to me when I had the children and stopped reading Tolstoy, Orwell, Dickens etc and switched to H E Bates. It's been downhill all the way since then, except when I [very rarely] find a book that grips me [Captain Corelli; The Kite Runner; The Lovely Bones; The Time Travellers Wife]. I spent most of my youth reading in every spare moment. I'm hoping that, when I retire, it will come back to me. I've tried some chick lit but haven't been able to get into it. The Help was the last new book that I enjoyed, and re reading Seabiscuit [or reading it properly]. I miss disappearing into 'that other world'. Maybe the internet is to blame, because I disappear into that world instead?

whenim64 Mon 22-Oct-12 23:03:50

I spent my working life reading impenetrable research documents and policies, and would even take the things to bed, or on holiday, as they needed reading several times. My leisure reading material was always heavy, too. Now, I read for entertainment and I will follow recommendations or go to the genres I prefer like psychological thrillers. There are classics I have enjoyed, and I occasionally return to Dickens or Dostoevsky, but give me Jeffrey Deaver, Mark Gimenez or Mark Billingham for rattling good yarns with lots of twists. I don't want to work too hard to be entertained now, and will no longer persist when I find a book uninteresting.

Grannylin Mon 22-Oct-12 23:11:28

Joanna Trollope isn't intellectually challenging but always enjoyable IMO.

crimson Mon 22-Oct-12 23:17:09

I do like Rosamunde Pilcher and Miss Read books.

Hunt Mon 22-Oct-12 23:33:26

anyone read Carolla Dunne's books featuring the Hon. Daisy Dalrymple, amateur sleuth. They are like getting a letter from a rather scatty friend.Very amusing and not in the least taxing to the brain.

kittylester Tue 23-Oct-12 07:05:10

Another chicklit reader here. I only read in bed and need stuff that is easily absorbed. I usually enjoy Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde etc.

Jodi Tue 23-Oct-12 07:30:42

Exactly when

Marelli Tue 23-Oct-12 08:48:34

Crimson, I've bought quite a few Miss Read books from Amazon. I really like the slow paced, often quite humorous stories of ordinary village life, which aren't the 'aga saga' type of thing! Also very fond of Joanna Trollope's books. Have read all of the Nicci French thrillers - I can't do 'gory' though....number knows that......I'm a bit of wimp about that sort of thing! I think I might have a look for Carolla Dunne's books, Hunt - I'll see what the library has when I'm there again ...I'll have to jot the name down or it will go right out of my mind!

Barrow Tue 23-Oct-12 10:55:43

When I was working I would read mostly classics, then when I first retired I went for things like James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, but lately find myself downloading humour books - anything short and funny. I think my brain cells are dying!

Mishap Tue 23-Oct-12 11:00:49

I have found the Miss Read books veryt therapeutic and restful when unwell - I have them all and regularly lend them out as convalescent theraoy for friends.

gracesmum Tue 23-Oct-12 11:18:03

I would say different books - I have no shame in reading chick lit (although some of the cheapies from Amazon which I have downloaded to the Kindle were truly awful, so quickly abandoned) and if I don't like a book, I will abandon it (Parade's End - got nowhere) but there are so many good books which fall somewhere in between and it can also depend on mood. So an Ian Rankin last week, Bring Up The Bodies this - so many books, so little time!

FlicketyB Tue 23-Oct-12 11:27:03

Well, I have read Georgette Heyer since I was a teenager, relaxing escapist literature when ill, tired or just feeling self indulgent, think log fires, rugs and chocs.

I confess to not reading much fiction but I am currently reading the Palliser novels of Anthony Trollope and all Jane Austen's novels are well thumbed. (and well read). Apart from that I am reading a biography of Disraeli, quite apposite considering he coined the phrase 'One Nation'. I wonder if Milliband knows the source of the phrase and that it was coined by a Tory?

kittylester Tue 23-Oct-12 11:31:58

Flickety I have all Georgette Heyer's books and might start them again now you have planted the seed. I also read the Pallisers and really enjoyed the Poldark series. Whoever cast the BBC series got Ross Poldark just right!

Sook Tue 23-Oct-12 11:55:51

Why worry as long as we enjoy what we read? I particularly enjoy Phillipa Gregory am currently reading The Wise Woman. I also enjoy Lesley Pearce, Diana Gabaldon, Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Ann Baker whose stories are based in the Wirral and Liverpool and mention all the places that are dear to me.

I do enjoy biographys and have Marc Almonds and Richard Madeleys currently waiting both charity shop finds.

JessM Tue 23-Oct-12 12:32:28

Terry Pratchett - easy read if you have a tolerance for fantasy worlds. And full of with an wisdom.
On holiday I read all the Sam Vimes ones, a fascinating character study in the difficulties of being an honest policeman of humble origins. And managing a diverse workforce.
Any of the ones with witches in are brilliant.

baNANA Tue 23-Oct-12 17:32:01

If I want an enjoyable, but less demanding read I find both Lisa Jewell and Maeve Binchy, the latter sadly much missed, both very good.

Ariadne Tue 23-Oct-12 17:51:29

Yes, yes, yes! Such a relief, isn't it?

annodomini Tue 23-Oct-12 18:13:49

Marianne Keyes - quality chick lit!

baNANA Tue 23-Oct-12 18:26:17

I've always meant to try a Marianne Keyes, what one should I start with anyone?