“A book, being a physical object, engenders a certain respect that zipping electrons cannot. Because you cannot turn a book off, because you have to hold it in your hands, because a book sits there, waiting for you, whether you think you want it or not, because of all these things, a book is a friend. It’s not just the content, but the physical being of a book that is there for you always and unconditionally.”
~ Mo Willems
This morning in my online perusings, I stumbled upon something in the Guardian about 'The Year of Reading Woman Authors'. Curious as to what that meant I read the article and then made the mistake of scanning through the comments. Vitriol!
As a young child, I had no idea who the authors were, I just loved the books: Madeline, Curious George, Babar. When I read on my own I gravitated towards women authors because they wrote about my interests: Carol Ryrie Brink, Louisa May Alcott, Catherine Woolley, Lenora Mattingly Weber. It never crossed my mind to think I should be broadening my horizons by reading male authors.
When I look at what I read now though, my reading does lean more heavily toward male authors, not by any conscious design. I admire the spare writing of E. B. White, Wendell Berry, and Verlyn Klinkenborg. I just discovered the exquisite writing of Melville Davisson Post. It doesn't matter who is writing the book: what matters is good writing.
Josephine Tey, Dorothy Sayers, and Agatha Christie write male main characters very convincingly. Wendell Berry wrote Hannah Coulter beautifully.The arguments quickly segued into bitterness about this being a man's world. How comforting that as a Christian I can see it as all part of the Creator's design, accept the way things are, and go curl up with a good book.