I Need More Shallow Friends

In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you that I am completely and remorselessly vapid when it comes to my taste in entertainment.

I prefer genre novels over literary fiction. I will choose a RomCom over a thought-provoking award-winning move any day. I love reading blogs about Christmas card outtakes and what my cat did today and isn’t Doctor Who just the cleverest thing.

Because I like switching off. I like being able to lose myself in something trashy or whose intellectual benefit is short lived (not Hallmark, not Mills and Boon – a girl’s got to have standards even down here in the shallow end of the pool) because I spend so much of my actual life thinking, rethinking and overthinking every single detail that I don’t want to have to guess who killed Johnny (is it Johnny? is there ever a Johnny?).

I don’t want to get emotionally invested in characters  whose lives turn out to be, frankly, shitty. Because even though my life is mostly okay, there are shitty parts too. And the whole point of fiction is that I get to choose. And I choose Happily Ever After. Every single time.

I feel compelled to defend myself to the internet by adding that yes, my highly gifted and clever mind loves a good literary novel just as much as the next writerly person, loves a true-to-life, poignantly inspiring artistic delivery of the human character. But I won’t.

This is me owning up to my shallowness as a soon-to-be university graduate. As a feminist. As a highly gifted and clever individual. And it is okay.


This rant post happened because a lot of the bloggers I follow use their space to talk about serious and important issues. Which is great. We need a lot of dialogue on serious and important issues. But I sometimes feel too frivolous to fly with their crowd and I needed to reassure myself that “Frivolous things matter, goddamit” even if the only reason they matter is because I like them. And that is reason enough.

3 thoughts on “I Need More Shallow Friends

  1. I don’t like literary fiction, either… I try, but I can’t get into it… I’m trying to read a novel titled The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, and I’ve barely been able to make it though the first chapter. The stream of consciousness is killing me!

    But now I understand why you could read The Host and enjoy it. ;) (Teasing!)

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling that your stuff is less important than. It’s good to see your claiming your you-ness and avoiding that trap! :D


    1. Ugh, stream of consciousness is a big no-no for me. There are literary novels that I like, usually of the Khaled Hosseini/Sue Monk Kidd variety. Anything that doesn’t experiment too much with the traditional style of writing.


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