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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Escaping Into a Good Book

Ahh, it is so wonderful when a serious newspaper validates the importance of leisure reading.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal's Cynthia Crossen, otherwise known as, Booklover, wrote this wonderful essay on the importance of "escapist fiction."

I love how she argues that any book can be an escape, even something that most people would deem "serious literature."  It simply matters if you are using it as an escape.

She also argues that reading for escape is important for everyone.  Read what you want for whatever reason you want.

In my work providing RA service to patrons and training librarians to better their RA service, I am constantly arguing that reading, anything, for any reason, has intrinsic value.  We cannot judge anyone's tastes as higher or better than another person's.  It simply does not matter.

I just want you to read a book you will enjoy.  That is the mission behind my entire professional career.

Everyone should feel free to read whatever book they want from genre fiction to 1,000 page histories without having to explain why they are reading it.  No one but you should care why you are reading the book you are reading.

If you come to me, or any well trained RA librarian, you should expect to get help matching your reading tastes with the huge mass of books currently sitting on the shelves at your local public library.  I will not tell you what you should read because I honestly believe what you should read is based on what you are currently in the mood for.  It is that simple.  Really.

So thanks Booklover.  Thanks for making my case in the mainstream press.  Thanks for all of your wonderful columns (click here to access).  And thanks to my husband for passing the article on.

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