Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gentle Reads

English country scene
English Country Scene - John S. Goodall, illustrator of books of a gentle persuasion
As I get older, my bedtime reading has become far mellower than in my youth. These days, I can no longer read Stephen King or Dean Koontz, or other more intense authors just before bed. I now wade in the more soothing waters of Miss Read, Alexander McCall Smith, or Bill Bryson. The genre of Gentle Reads is known for comfortable environments, predictable routines, and calm endeavors. Also, regular meals, eccentric but kindly neighbors, pleasant little villages where problems are resolved amicably - perfect for a peaceful retirement! These locales almost seem hermetically sealed off from the real world, but they are more aspirational than fantastic. Everyone has a precious place in their heart where they dream of living someday, where people are civilized and caring. That's what Gentle Reads are about.  For those wishing to learn more, GoodReads has a nice compilation of authors and titles in this genre. A Google search on gentle reads produces hits on library readers advisory sites with lists of their recommendations. Gentle Reads are almost exclusively within the purview of public libraries, as many readers visit them for their extensive collections. Gentle Reads for Gentle Readers!

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