A good friend of mine has a great name for some of her books. She calls them “veg books” (short for vegetable books) because your brain doesn’t have to work hard to understand them. These books are the ones you read just for relaxation and entertainment, at the end of a day or over a weekend.
I read Jane Austen’s Persuasion this week, and it’s not what I would call a veg book. I love the story of Anne Elliott and Frederick Wentworth, but Jane Austen’s writing style requires constant concentration on my part to figure out its meaning. As an editor reading this book, I long to whip out my red pen and cut down on the commas and semi-colons in this book and break down what seems to be major run-on sentences. But I don’t blame Jane. That’s just her writing style.
I also like this book because it shows what’s going on in Frederick’s mind. Most of the story is told from Anne’s viewpoint and the same applies to most of the movie versions of Persuasion. The 2007 version with Rupert Penry-Jones has some scenes where Frederick explains more about how he feels. One day, I hope someone makes a version that shows the original breakup between Anne and Frederick. It would make an interesting scene.
So what would be a veg book, you ask? There are different kinds. Some veg books can be those big picture books with short descriptions next to them, usually about a place I’d like to see such as Hawaii, Alaska, New Zealand or Australia. Other veg books are simple fiction: a couple meets, they misunderstand each other, both characters mess up and they get back together.
I love veg books because they are such a wonderful way to relax. All I need is a comfortable chair or sofa, a good view out the window whenever possible so I can monitor the weather, and my ice tea. Ah, bliss. It’s a simple and so effective way to relax.
Blog readers: What are your favorite veg books and your favorite places to read them?