Poolside Reads for the Over-Worked

I didn’t want to admit it, but I guess I will. The books that the HBO show True Blood is based off of are actually not bad.

Well, “not bad” in a trashy, 4th-grade reading level, mindless summer-fun book kind of way.

They are not good. They have no literary merit. But as a form of entertainment as a reprieve from my 100-page thesis on 13 of Shakespeare’s plays, they are fantastic. I don’t know if I’ll keep reading the series once the summer is over, because it’s really not the kind of series that you get sucked into and MUST know what happens (i.e. Harry Potter) but it’s fun.

So far I’m only about three-quarters of the way through the first book, Dead Until Dark. The series follows the life of a waitress/bartender in small-town Louisiana who befriends a vampire after he is almost killed/hurt by people trying to drain his blood and sell it as medicine. Apparently, vampires are a common thing in Louisiana in the book, everyone knows about them and it’s no big secret. What I can’t figure out is why? Maybe I missed something, or maybe it will come into play in a later book.

Maybe I’m just too rational to believe that vampires could be regular occurrences in bars in the United States. Maybe I’m taking this book too seriously. I probably am. I take everything too seriously 99% of the time.

To enjoy these books you have to put yourself in the mind-set of a 5th grader and let yourself believe in things all over again. You can’t analyze, you just have to read. After hours of reading scholarly journal articles on the historical allegories in Richard II and The Winter’s Tale, I sometimes find it hard to turn my brain off, but these lackluster books definitely help.

Is it bad/sad that part of my summer relaxation comes in the form of a mass-market paperback that I’ll probably forget as soon as I finish the last page?

Probably, but whatever.

There are worse things I could be reading…like those romance novels with Fabio look-a-likes on the cover who can’t believe it’s not butter.


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