An Essay by Allison Raskin
I’m a reading addict. I read in the mornings. I read in the evenings. I read while I wait for a doctor’s appointment. I read while I wait for my boyfriend to pay attention to me. I’ve been spotted walking down the street reading. I’ve ruined countless books (and Archie comics) by reading them in the bath. I’ve ruined even more books by reading them in the shower. (Why don’t they make waterproof books?! Why isn’t science working on this?) Simply put, I can’t get enough of the stuff!
And yet, for years, I felt great shame about my reading habits. Not the quantity, which is pretty awesome, but the quality. I’ve never read Virginia Woolf or Leo Tolstoy. My experience with literary classics is all tied to school assignments. If a book was written over fifty years ago, I don’t really have any interest in cracking it open or downloading it on my tablet. I prefer a very specific writing style: simple and to the point. Flowery language turns me off and I can’t stand a paragraph of pure description. I like plot, dialogue and characters. So despite my many hours spent, I still felt relatively unread and uneducated.
But then, a few years ago, I realized “screw it.” Who cares if I prefer murder mysteries and modern fiction? These books bring me joy and it’s hard to find that in 2019 America. It’s a waste of time to judge myself for my reading preferences. So what I couldn’t get through Kurt Vonnegut and half the books my mom reads for her literary book club would make me want to pull my hair out? I read because I love reading, not so I can brag about my conquests. So I’ll continue to download the latest female psychological thriller and immediately purchase anything Nick Hornby writes. I read for myself and no one else. And you’ll have to pry my tablet from my cold dead hands.
Meet Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn in a Book Launch celebration of Please Send Help, the sequel to their New York Times-Bestselling novel, I Hate Everyone But You. This is a ticketed event on July 16 at Books Inc. in Opera Plaza! Tickets are available at www.booksinc.net and include a copy of Please Send Help.