September 28, 2009

Is "easy" a bad word when it comes to books?

I'm well aware of every time I call a book an "easy read" on this blog. I'm a little sensitive about it, wondering if it says something about my intelligence that I only read "easy" books. It's not as if I'm reading Sweet Valley High, I just don't want reading to be a chore. I want to look forward to it, not sigh as I pick up a book to slog through another few pages because it's an intellectual must.

That's why I was relieved today to hear Tom Howell from CBC Radio's The Next Chapter refer to a book as both avant-garde and an easy read. It's a show about books, he liked the book, and he said it wasn't difficult to read, so it can't be a bad thing, right? But then sometimes I have discussions with people who are disdainful about certain populist books (i.e. anything by Dan Brown), and I don't know what to think.

What do you think? Do you only read Milton and Joyce, or are you happy with Shopaholic Takes Manhattan?

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