Friday, November 21, 2014

Learning to Love Literary Fiction



Weekends are different now. They begin on Sunday and end Monday night. I am forever telling people to have a great weekend on what usually signals the end of one.

Ah well...

Serendipitously, Jon and I have the same days off. This past weekend (aka Monday) we discovered a used book and record store a couple of miles from our house. As soon as we walked in it felt like home. The shelves were packed three rows deep. The prices were good. They had a mythology section. Oddly enough, it smelled like the old bookstore I used to work in. It was quiet and lovely and musty and we were the only customers there.

There's something about being left to your own devices in a bookstore. It happened the other day at Barnes and Nobel. While I am certainly a champion for the Indie Bookshop and the local used book store, the only place I can find British periodicals is B&N and so I go. Also, it's a great place in which to wander through the Fiction/Literature section. I'm usually the only one there.

This is where I've found myself lately. Not Middle Grade fiction (which I adore), not Fantasy or Arts and Crafts or Cozy Mysteries. No. Fiction. Unspecified. Literary. Classic. In college I would get so angry and THOSE people, the ones who ONLY read or wrote Literary  Fiction. It was said with down turned nose as if people who read genre fiction were of a lower class than they. I wanted to point out that Literary Fiction IS a genre, but I didn't. Who wants to get into an argument with a band of bitter, angry existentialists?

Ok, ok, now I'm generalizing but that's what I assumed. As payback, I'm now wandering through the stacks looking at, you guessed it, literary fiction. And, yes, I still refer to it as a genre :)

And in this genre I am delighted. Positively delighted. There are classics tucked next to pure, literary fiction, stacked next to magical realism and wedged between experimental fiction. I find humorous titles next to "Ulysses" and gorgeous, re-imagined covers of "Metamorphosis". These aisles are packing my phone with images. Most of my pictures these days are book covers whose titles I want to remember so I can eventually read them. Whether I find them at a big, national retailer or hidden in the stacks of a lovely, dusty used book shop, I fully intend to indulge in this new addiction and I'll share it with you, dear Reader, in my TBR Tuesday posts.

And I certainly hope you share with me your bookstore adventures. May your TBR piles grow ten times over!

Happy weekend - whatever that means for you!

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Thank you for taking the time out of your busy, fantastic life to pay a visit! I appreciate every, single comment and I'll continue the conversation here :) It makes this big blog-verse of ours feel a little more like home.

Cheers! ~J