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# 5 – Auntie Mame

Why: I learned adults can read just for the fun of it.

Books are like food: there are many types and what we eat depends on our needs and situations. We should eat foot that is good for us but sometimes the occasion or or desires call for less than proper entrees. No thank you to the wholesome poached salmon with roasted vegetables I want the fish and chips special with extra tartar sauce please.

As a boy I had no troubles with the concept of reading as ‘fun’. There were things I had to read for school but I regularly went to the local library* to find fun things to read. I didn’t check out books to impress my friends or parents but for the joy of reading. 

I think I was in junior high school when reading became an assignment. Somewhere along the line I became vain what I was reading that it had to be ‘good’ for me.** Even if I wanted to read for fun I had no time to do so given what I had to read. There didn’t seem to be any time anymore for fun reading. 

I don’t remember when I first read “Auntie Mame” by Patrick Dennis. I must have done so after seeing “Mame” and I wanted to see how went the book. Run, don’t walk, to get yourself a copy of this marvelous book. There isn’t anything profound or lofty about Mr. Dennis’ novel, it is jolly good fun. It is a delicious dish not found in any gourmet cookbook or is served at formal dinner parties. When had I last read something without having to impress friends or oblige teachers and – more important- not caring tuppence if someone said to me aghast ‘You’re reading THAT?”.   Not since childhood anyway. 

The irony is the main theme of “Auntie Mame” is to throw off the yoke of custom and convention and stick your tongue out at the Upsons and the Babcocks and live, live, LIVE! This includes ‘fun reading’.

I still read profound and erudite books. I am presently reading ‘Anna Karenina’ *** but I am also reading book #5 in the ‘The Discworld series.  The first is a meal but the latter is a box of Tim-bits all chocolate.  

 

*A trip to the library had all the excitement of going to an amusement park. I was wild with excitement as to what I might find there. Did anyone else feel this way? 

**I loved schlocky sci-fi but I kept this a secret, reading at night so one one would know.  I felt like a vegetarian on a commune sneaking off from time to time to get me a Big Mac oh so delicious but oh the shame.  

***It ends badly. 

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