I have a theory that I formulated my sophomore year in college and ever since it has proven accurate time and time again. It all started with the ice breakers used on the first day of classes each semester. In one of my lit classes we went around the room saying our name, where we were from, where we lived on campus and our favorite book. I noticed I was judging people based on their favorite book answers; this all led to my theory: If you say that the DaVinci Code is your favorite book it is the only book you have read since Hop on Pop in first grade.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the DaVinci code and it was riveting. It is a real page turner and I have to say, honestly, that I enjoyed it from cover to cover, but as an English major I can recognize that it isn’t the best book out of all the books. People who love that novel will argue with me that I’m being too hard on it and it’s a very well done book, but this is about me knowing that literature can not possibly have peaked with Dan Brown. It is along the same lines as someone saying that Danielle Steele is their favorite author… this means she is all you are reading (no judgement, it’s just a fact).
It’s fine with me, I swear. If these writers are getting people to open up a book for something other than the glossy pictures in the middle, I say great. Again, there is nothing wrong with The DaVinci code being your favorite book, just admit that you aren’t a reader and we can all sleep easy. What I can not accept is someone telling me that they have read any of the classics and Dan Brown was better, he’s a good story teller, but he’s not going down in history with Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot and even more recently, J.K. Rowling (don’t make me explain that random selection of writers, it’s late and I’m tired).
Maybe I can compare this to someone eating at a five star restaurant and then saying that TGI Fridays is their favorite. There is a time for Fridays, but it is never trying to be the best, it’s satisfying and easy, and while the Balsamic Chicken with Angel Hair is awesome, it’s no Chateaubriand.