Chestnut is a particular kind of reader. But she's not narrow-minded about it. She likes a story about a good girl, preferably set some time in the past. The girls are earnest and true and smart and resourceful. The bad guys are bad.
She'll venture beyond this, though. For instance, she's been reading Beauty Queens, proving that her love for an old-fashioned story can coexist with her appreciation for a feminist post-modern satire.
But the satire can be a little…much, for a person like Chestnut. So what's a girl to do? Judicious balancing. Here's what I found on the couch.
See, apparently what you do is just have to have both of them right near you, and when Beauty Queens gets too intense, well then you just dip into your old friend Meg: The Secret of the Witch's Stairway, and you're good to go. I think it helps that this is far from the first time reading Meg.
And I don't know about you, but even looking at Meg has a powerful pull for me. Here's what it looks like inside:
Though the cat is a little menacing for my taste.
You know exactly what the pages smell like, don't you? That old library paper.
There's no denying the screaming pleasure Diana got out of the wicked gleeful satire of Beauty Queens. But the pleasures of a big chair and an old hardcover version of Meg: The Secret of the Witch's Stairway? Sublime.
This is why, I suppose, there are all different kinds of books in the world. And some people just have a sense of how they might balance each other out.
Does anyone else do this?