Some people suffer from road rage, I suffer from book rage. It's the curious buzzing that occurs when someone slams a genre or style of writing. I certainly have my own preferences but after working at a library for eight years I've learned that there's no such thing as "frivolous reading" as one of my colleagues suggested. Her stance is that romance is trash(red haze descended that day), that the only fiction worth reading is mystery or suspense.
In the eyes of many people romance is mindless reading or unrealistic. Because so many of us have been stalked by a serial killer and so few have ever fallen in love. Okay, I'll cut the heavy sarcasm.
Reading, whether it's a gossip magazine, scripture or anything else with words between the pages, is never frivolous. It's not mindless either. Because the very act of eyes moving across the page and brain processing those letters is far more than some people are capable of doing. Imagine what it would be like to be illiterate. Imagine no words, just symbols. Worlds of knowledge would be closed to you. Reading is a privilege.
It's also great exercise. Your brain is engaged in a myriad of ways. You learn with every single word that is revealed. It might not be earth-shattering or life-altering but it's still important. Geography, cuisine, fashion, family dynamics, astronomy, classical music, artificial intelliegence, theology, zoology; they're all subjects I've learned about from mass market fiction. Little tidbits of information are stored for future use. Because I read about a heroine who had to walk ten miles in high heels shoes during a blizzard, when traveling I've always made sure to wear footwear appropriate to the weather. That actually paid off when my car wouldn't start and I had to walk across town. Before that book I would have worn the shoes I wanted to, not the ones that were practical. Silly example but that's my point. You never know what sticks with you.
Tomorrow is Family Literacy Day in Canada. Read with a friend, even if it's not up to your usual standards. You might learn something interesting. Or not. But you'll exercise your brain regardless.