Lessons Forgotten

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

He was a judge, a councilman,
my grandfather.
He taught me how much
the written word
mattered,
that good books read
helped one’s spirit grow,
excellent books devoured
only strengthened what
the soul already knows.
But when he tore that
Harlequin romance paperback
in two,
he told me that among great books,
there would be trash, too,
that none of them would enhance
a brain that continued
to always grow,
so read only the best, he said,
that’s all you need to know.

But if grandfather
were still alive today
would he like what he’d see?
What would he say
of the Kindles and the iPads
with their trashy books within?
Would he gnash his teeth
knowing I’ve gone past
Harlequin –
when he’d find out that among
the hundreds of books in my e-readers –
even the best,
there’s a trashy tale hidden here
and there, tucked in
with all the rest,
of whips and chains
and sex and gore
He’s probably rolling in his grave
right now –
for there’s even more.

Daily Prompt

5 thoughts on “Lessons Forgotten

  1. I don’t begrudge anyone trashy novels, hell I like adventure books, but I do get pissed off when something as egregiously bad as Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey is given the amount of marketing weight that the publishers threw into them. And I have found almost every new novel I read these days contain a typos or a misspelling or poor punctuation. I even saw a writer have the wrong definition of a word, something they could have looked up on Google. Publishers aren’t even proofreading anymore, let alone actually editing. I don’t think that makes me a book snob so much as someone shocked that publishers stopped doing their job and became printing and marketing agencies that retain, or are trying to retain in the face of e-publishing, their unjustified stranglehold on the art-form. I value the art of the finely written word, I would give significant portion of my anatomy to have the utter mastery Joyce achieved, but reading is supposed to be fun or no one would do it.

    Other than that, I have cheap store brand coffee in my freezer, absolutely no fine palette for anything consumable, I know nothing of art and music except if I like it or not, my pets are rescued mutts. Even with comic books, I collect superhero comics. Not exactly considered high art. So I don’t *think* I’m snobby about things. Things at least. I think that is channeled into high expectations for my behavior, and perhaps too high expectations for others.

    1. The world of publishing has certainly changed and is still changing. There is no longer a select few determining what the majority “should” read, especially with self-publishing and e-readers almost leveling the playing field. I’m grateful for my grandfather having instilled in me the love for the classics, for it gave me the foundation I needed as a reader and as a writer.

      But I love reading trashy novels myself – even if it’s just a few chapters and never the whole book.

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