Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grocery shopping for your brain....little-miss-sunshine flexes her mighty Library card!

Hello, Bloglanders!

I've missed you. I'd like to think that you've missed me. Due to the unavoidable nuisance of time-wasting and not so valuable classes, I wasn't able to blog last night. Ok, truthfully, I could have, but due to the exponentially shitty nature of my day and relative exhaustion, I just didn't feel like it.

Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinned.

That being said, I think that it's safe to move along. Ok, so I've begun to realize something.

There are some people out there who think that they are smarter than they really are. There are also some people out there, who could be smarter than they are, and are not really living up to their potential.

I think that everyone falls into both of those categories at one time or another, to be sure.

Today, I think that I fall into the latter, and it makes me a little sad.

Here's why: roaming around my favorite, yet not so local library branch, I've realized that I do not read as much as I should. Yes, I know. Let us all weep in the sadness of my revelation: there are some people that can't get enough to eat, but I'm sad over the fact that I can't get enough to read.

I know that it sounds silly. Sitting here writing it, I know how silly I truly sound. I really do.

But think about it: knowlege really is power. But what do you do when that power sucks? What is a self-confessed vociferous reader like me to do when I know that a book really isn't worth turning the pages?

Would you continue to purchase a brand of power tool if you knew that it didn't perform as well as it should and generally left you feeling dissatisfied, and maybe, well...empty? Probably not. Your local Canadian Tire's hoping the opposite is true, I'm sure.

And what if that waste of page turning applies to a whole freaking genre?

For self-confessed (or maybe not confessed) lovers of Canadian Literature, beware...

I generally make concerted, strenuous effort to avoid all literature that could generally be construed as Canadian. If the Slovenian author has a Canadian great-grand cousin, I feel as though it should be avoided.

Yes, I hear you over there, weeping in shock and awe. Why, you ask? Well, Comparatively, Canadian literature generally meets the same standard as that of an afternoon soap opera. Virtually all Canadian fiction literature follows the same formula.

I know that eventually every soap hero killed off will be reincarnated....I also know that there are certain things that make Can-lit...welll...never mind.

Just ask Margaret Atwood. She wrote a whole freaking book about it (called 'Survival'. It's apt, too, because you really do have to survive this book. Check it out. about $19. Heads up to you, Ms. Atwood: people find your books boring. Reading an Atwood is like getting a filling - just hurry up and get it over with, already.)

Each 'chapter' (ha - chapter. More like 'mini manual') talks about a feature that any good Canadian novel 'must' have (like, for example, in each and every Canadian novel, someone drowns. They do. Really. They have to. It's not Canadian otherwise. What is this? A shout out to the Great Lakes Water Systems?)

Now, before you go getting your panties all in a knot, I submit that there are some writers who rise above the mediocrity. There are some who rise above the wet newspaper soppiness that is Canadian literati.

Consider, The Incident Reports by Martha Baillie. Torontonian writer who based her protagonist/heroine/librarian extraordinaire in a fictitious branch of the Toronto Public Library. So good. Weird, yet fantastic literature. No one drowns. And there's even a little sex. Nice. It's not polite, politically correct or overly verbose.

Throw in a little Rigoletto and some cabbie-boyfriend-murder mystery, and you've got yourself quite the subway read. Good on you, Ms. Baillie!

Maybe she's not Canadian-born...but we are nothing if not creatures of habit, routine and the ubiquitous comfort of monotony. Perhaps the predictability and routine of Can-lit exists to cater to our innermost desires - so deeply embedded that we have no clue they're there.

If that's not targeted marketing, I'm not sure what is.

Until next time, blogging friends. Latest library booty in hand, I'm off for a good snuggle, and a good read...