Saturday, 16 June 2012

"See if you can get the new

Peter Corris," the Senior Cat tells me as I prepare to pedal off to the library.
      "You'll be lucky. I'll put your name on the list if they have it," I tell him.
      "Well, something light."
      "Yes dear."
I have to find him some bedtime reading at the library. I know the sort of thing he wants. He wants something that is easy to read, has a plot he can follow at bedtime and is not too filled with dark passages, doom, gloom or the unnecessary use of bad language. Peter Corris and Dick Francis suit him just fine.  He saves the heavier reading - philosophy, religion, serious gardening, woodwork techniques and a more literary novel for earlier in the evenings.
Peter Corris is a Sydney based writer. He writes, among other things, a series about "Cliff Hardy". Cliff Hardy is a private detective with the usual sort of private detective issues and problems. He is marked out by the location - Sydney and New South Wales - rather than his personality. I think the Senior Cat likes the location rather than the character. It is Australian and that appeals to him.
He has tried other Australian based detective novels too. Kerry Greenwood does not appeal. Gary Disher's "peninsula" series are a bit too introspective. Kathryn Fox is too grim. Bedtime reading needs to be as light as an old Agatha Christie but a little more up to date in language and plot - and (dare I say it) better written.
In the library I put his name on the list for the new Peter Corris. It will take a while. It is not the sort of book he actually buys - something he feels guilty about because he knows authors need the income, but not so guilty that he is going to buy it over other things he feels he needs.
I prowl the shelves and find an Athelstan mystery by Paul Doherty that I know he has not read. He likes those, the descriptions of London at the time fascinate him.
I borrow other books as well. He can choose from several but I know the Doherty will be his choice. It is.
          "They should," he tells me, "have shelves labelled 'bedtime reading'. Bedtime reading is different from other reading."
I think he might be right.


the fly in the web said...

I agree. My bedtime reading has to be interesting enough to keep me awake for a while, but not demanding enough to make me really concentrate.

Ian Rankin is fine for that.

Anonymous said...

We definitely could use a few special categories in libraries and bookshops ... and bedtime reading is one of those specials. It has to be interesting enough to keep us awake, but not too difficult to follow. It also has to be light enough to hold in bed ... many novels, biographies and autobiographies are so big if you went to sleep and dropped them on your nose they would wake you up suddenly!

catdownunder said...

Ah, people who understand purr-fectly!