Thursday, May 19, 2011

Embrace the Awesome - Don't Be A Lit Bitch

Confession time - I'm kinda a lit bitch.

You know the type - the ones that like to carry around obscure authors in trade paperback and read them in really public places.  Yeah... that's kinda me.  Or at least, it used to be.  I had a breakthrough session with my sister a few years ago, when I was a post college grad with two shiny degrees in English Literature and Religion, reading Euripides in the backroom at Hallmark on my lunch break. (Sidenote: yes BBC worked at a Hallmark.  No, we're not going to talk about it). Meanwhile, big sis is clocking in as the chair of the English department at a rural school, and rollicking around in the YA market that is about to explode.

BBC'S Sister: You really should read this Harry Potter book sometime.  It's pretty good.
BBC: Yeah, that's what I hear.
BBC'S Sister: No really.  It's good.
BBC: Right, okay.
BBC's Sister: Stop blowing me off.  You might actually like it.
BBC: Sorry, I've got some big person books to read.
BBC's Sister: You're just being pissy because it's super popular and you don't want to look like you've bought in to it.
BBC: You're just being pissy because I like to read books with words like "transubstantiation" and you don't know what that means.

Well, if any of you have sisters then you know that the conversation totally degenerated from there.  For the record, I did not wizen to the awesome until ORDER OF THE PHOENIX was released, at which time I sullenly asked to borrow the series from big sis.  We made a summer deal - she gave the smoldery hot and intelligent OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabaldon a shot, and I gave JK Rowling the time of day.

Uh, yeah.  We spent the summer sprawled on beach towels untangling tiny plot details and discussing these amazingly talented authors whose backstory weaving is remarkable.  We also both ate a lot of crow, but that's besides the point.

My next lesson.  Lit Bitch status aside, the OUTLANDER series has had my heart since word one.  Whenever anyone (adult) asks me for a book recommendation the conversation goes like this:

BBC: Alright, I'm going to talk to you about an awesome series, but you have to get past the first phrase out of my mouth without losing interest or mocking me.
Friend: Okay.
BBC: It's a time travel romance -
Friend: *eyes glaze over, nods politely* Okay
BBC: No seriously.  Here, just take it.  You have to promise me to read past page fifty before giving up.
Friend: Yeah sure.  I'll give it a try. *gives it dubious glance, tucks it away into purse*

TWO DAYS LATER -

Friend: Hey, I'm bringing this back to you.
BBC: C'mon now - did you read past page fifty like you promised?
Friend: Er... uh.... I'm done.  *blushes* Can I get the sequel?

It's also true that the magic isn't always there for everyone.  I haven't found a vampire attractive since Gary Oldman played one, but I'm old school like that. The point is - don't be a snotty snot face when it comes to your reading material, like I did.  You might miss out on some awesome.

12 comments:

Jenny Phresh said...

Too true, sistah!

Stephen L. Duncan said...

I was living in England when OoP came out. At the time, I didn't know much about HP, other than it was very popular. But I remember being on the way to Pitch & Piano in a black cab and driving past the Waterstones Bookstore in Picadilly. The LINE WAS HUGE. Yep, release day. My friend bought it later (incidentally, the British covers are much more adult) and I read a few pages. Hooked. Though, I didn't ever read one until Half-Blood Prince. Still...

Yvonne Osborne said...

You nailed me. I admit that's me, the lit bitch. There I said it. I feel like I just went to an AA meeting :) Like I wouldn't stoop to read Harry Potter though my husband proudly bought every one, and don't even go into the Twilight zone. That's probably why I'll never get a Kindle. I tend to judge people by what they read. Sorry, can't help it. Course I'd never tell what's on my nightstand under The New Yorker.

Bethany C. said...

Bitches suck.

Jemi Fraser said...

The first I heard of HP was when another teacher brought it to me and said I HAD to read it right then. He was right! :)

Mindy McGinnis said...

SLD - totally jealous of the living in London bit there. I spend 11 days there in winter of '05 and BBC liked.

Ladies - yeah, bitches suck, and we all are one in the right circumstances :) It's like the old argument that anyone can commit murder if you threaten the right things... we're all bitches, somewhere inside.

But fun, smart bitches.

Anita said...

Awesome post! I still need to read the Gabeldon series. Started a while back (checked it out from the library) but had to quit because someone had reserved it. GRRR. I think I was only on page 35 or something. But I already liked it.

I love to read the classics and heavy literary works (anyone who really knows me knows that Jane Eyre is my all time favorite book; and I ate Thirteenth Tale with a spoon--such incredible writing and story telling) but I don't have any prob w/reading what's hot, too. ;) I'm proud of you for crossing over, girl!

Matthew MacNish said...

There are only two kinds of books: good ones, and bad ones. I like good ones.

And I'm a new follower here, so it's nice to meet you, BBC!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Anita - put the OUTLANDER series on your bucket list. Pros: you are destined to fall in love with a fictional character. Cons: he doesn't exist.

Matthew - YES! A male follower!! SCORE!! :) It's nice to meet you too!

Robin Weeks said...

I resisted HP for a couple books, then picked up my little brother's copy with a "let's see what all the fuss is about" air. You're SOOO lucky you waited and could read 5 whole books at once!

I stalled out in the Gabaldon series when it turned into an historical travelogue. Loved it up to that point, though! :)

Mindy McGinnis said...

Robin - YES! Not only did I not have to wait for the HP magic (well, until books six and seven) I didn't start reading GAME OF THRONES until the fourth book had come out.

But now, oh.... the wait for the fifth. I has truly been excruciating.

Cat Woods said...

Well, I am sad to admit that I'm not a lit bitch. At least not a picky one. I'll read nearly anything with words.

Cereal boxes, shampoo ingredients, golf magazines--and I don't golf, nor do I like magazines. If it's there, I'll read it.

I never used to read romance or literary fiction until two of my crit partners did both of those well. So I guess the only thing I still don't read is anything celebrity connected.

Because, that's where my inner and outer bitches rear their ugly heads. : )