Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Good Read

Yesterday there was an article in Dagens Nyheter (well, a column really) about the phrase "a good read". Naturally I can't find the piece online, so I had to go root out the paper manually so to speak *sigh* - always a hassle. Anyway, it's Bokkrönikan by Jonas Thente, for those of you who care. Thente writes that it's hard for Swedish critics, since we still haven't found a Swedish equivalent/translation for/of that essentially feel-good-ish phrase. You can't call a novel about incest and genocide "a good read", he comments (and also touches upon the other two mandatory critic expressions: a must-read and page-turner, both untranslatable so far. Those can be used for books on difficult topics). His final conclusion is that he's glad we lack the expression, because in the end, of all the books labeled "good reads" that he has read, he remembers none of them. You finish the good reads, put the book away, and go off for a good walk, he writes. The end.

I cringed a bit there. I think I use the phrase "a good read" a little too often. Just a tad. Of course, there are (dare I say it?) psychological reasons to why I am so partial to "good reads". Fluffy they may be, but they are restful to the brain. At the same time, I would call Jane Austen a good read too, and she is anything but forgettable, isn't she?

But I do hate it when words become meaningless cotton-wool type padding. I have to think about what I write more. Considering how little I can think at all before I write a blog post that will prove itself to be quite a challenge, ha ha ha.

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