Like TV, but It’s a Book!

I'm tired. There's too much to do, and not enough time to do it. There's groceries to shop for, and angry clients to appease, and things to write and edit. And then there are presents to buy, too, so there's that. (And thank you to all of you who suggested seafaring adventures for Chestnut—I am taking the list to the store soon. Soon, I promise! In time for the eighth night, OK?)

And so, after my happy run of library books, there I was last night, returning home from book group with nothing to read.

It's not OK to have to be stressed out all day with angst and strife and then to try to go to bed without a book. It's not, as they say, do-able. So I picked up what was on the coffee table. This is what was on the coffee table:


I'd heard about RL Stine. I thought it was mostly 15 year ago, but apparently they're big in the 7th grade here. And I'm not anti-horror. Or spookiness. Or anything. So I read it.

Well. Once I got past the "none of this makes a bit of sense," well, once I did that it was over, and I'd finished it and there I was. And I thought, It wasn't a good book. But. At the same time. It had a certain…appeal. Quick nonsensical story. Gripping nondescript action. Blood! Girls! Prettiness! Teens! And then I saw: it was like watching TV, except that it was a book. And I can see the appeal of that, I truly can. As I say, I am tired. And sometimes TV seems like just the thing when you're tired.

But really even more what it was like is a horror story, back when there used to be magazines kids would read with fiction in them. That used to happen, right? It's not just me? There was something so perfectly slight about it, it would have been much better at 20 pages. And now I know what (at least some of) the kids are reading these days. And it's not so bad, it truly isn't. But it makes me all the more tired.

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