The doctor who was looking after my son noticed the book I was reading and said, it was good to see a mother who read something other than Mills and Boon.
I took it as a compliment but could see why women in hospital with a sick child might choose to read such books – they’re light, you can keep track of what’s happening if your reading is interrupted and you’re guaranteed a happy ending.
They’re also entertaining and reading them is a bit like eating chocolate, without the calories. The same applies to chick-lit which is often seen as being only a step of so above Mills and Boon.
But why the snobbery? Can’t a good book be a good book regardless of its genre if it’s well written and what’s wrong with reading about relationships and for entertainment?
In the only problem with chick-lit is the name, Jenny Geras asks:
Why do I so often hear intelligent, educated women admitting that they read commercial women’s fiction, but only as a “guilty pleasure”? Are there millions of clever men out there feeling guilty about reading John Grisham? Why are Jane Eyre, Kate Reddy and Becky Bloomwood even being discussed together in the same paragraph? They have nothing at all in common apart from being female characters created by female authors.
She also has the answer:
. . . let everyone read what they enjoy reading and stop sneering about others’ literary choices.
To which I say, hear, hear, pass the chick lit but don’t worry about the chocolates.
Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog