“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

Ernest Hemingway

I feel this requires some explanation.

Actually, why does it require any explanation? Why do I feel apologetic for writing about Twilight? The world has decided that Twilight is rubbish and that no-one who takes themselves seriously should ever write about it, or even read it. So there’s a whole load of people out there who have never ever read a word of Twilight and still feel entitled to look down upon it.

Admittedly, Twilight is a bit rubbish. Bella and Edward are, on reflection, quite possibly the most annoying couple in literary history. Bella whines constantly about everything other than Edward (“my being happy in Forks is an impossibility”. Oh get over yourself, Bella, you are not the most important thing in existence) and obsesses unhealthily over Edward himself. And Edward laughs condescendingly every five lines and goes on and on about how dangerous he is without ever doing anything about it. I couldn’t even find a decent quote (in five hundred pages, remember) to use for this post.

But I don’t think that means I should have to apologise for reading it. I remember watching something that might have been an episode of The Twilight Zone which was set in a nightmarish future in which books are banned. (No, it definitely wasn’t Fahrenheit 451, before you ask.) Anyway, some thought-police-type people visited a man with a library to confiscate it, and got killed in horrible ways dreamed up by Edgar Allen Poe, the point being that if the thought-police-type people had read Poe they would have known what was going to happen to them. “You burned books without even reading them.”

That was a very long-winded way of saying that literary snobbery annoys me more than anything else. Reading widely and sceptically is, I think, more important than reading only “acceptable” books. It gives perspective. It makes you think about the other guy’s point of view. And, let’s face it, Twilight has been enormously successful, so Meyer must have done something right.


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