Fifty Shades of .....fad reading
Welcome to Part Two of my summer reading blog. Following last month's appeal for suggestions for my second holiday read, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who left comments and I'm pleased to report that I've selected The Poisonwood Bible in addition to The Submission. The two books are already tucked into the inside pocket of my red suitcase in preparation for the Family Getaway.
From experience (well, a fleeting straw poll), I reckon about 30 to 40 per cent of people read on holidays. I don't mean flicking through OK or Now magazines on the airplane, I'm referring solely to sitting down and getting through a book. Several years ago when Dan Brown was the Next Big Thing, I remember being on holiday and gazing at a row of people, men and women, lined along one side of the pool, reading The Da Vinci Code. Not one Da Vinci Code - there were multiple copies. There were even several copies, abandoned on sunloungers, sprinkled with sand. I'm curious as to whether the reading group compared views, swapped ideas or discussed the book at length in a beach style book club.
"Hello, I see you're reading The Da Vinci Code. So am I!' says Mavis, thrusting the book in a young male sunbather's face.
She hovers over him, blocking the sun's rays, threatening to spill out of her swimsuit.
'Hi there. Yes, I'm Kevin and I'm on page eighty.'
He removes his Ray Bans and smiles at Mavis.
'What do you think of it so far?' he asks.
'Well to be honest, darling, I'm only on the second page, but it looks like a lot of fun. I normally read a good Mills and Boon on holiday, but this year, I couldn't resist Dan Brown. After all everyone's reading this book."
This year with all the hype over the Fifty Shades series, I'm wondering if I'll be faced with a line of sunburnt sardines stagnating beside the pool or lined along the beach reading the novels. Now I haven't read the books, I have no desire to, and I don't want to know how the stories ends, but all I can see in front of me right now are hundreds and hundreds of book covers, obscuring faces and shielding large bosoms from the sun.
And EL James is laughing all the way to the bank.