Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Healthy Literary Diet

My good writing friend, Becca Wilhite, posted a note today about healthy reading habits. Here's her analog:
Healthy literacy is like a healthy diet. To eat well, you need a blend of this and that. Lots of variety. Lots of color. Would it hurt you to have a cupcake once in a while? Of course not. Go for it. As long as you’re eating real food, too. If all you eat is cupcakes, you’re going to get a tummy ache.

And here's her point:
I asked the kids, “Is there anything you should NEVER eat?” – and there was a short silence and then some funny response. But my point was this: You should never, never eat rat poison. It is only made to kill. Likewise, there is “literature” out there that is like rat poison. You shouldn’t read it. It will poison your mind and kill your soul.

"Ah," you say, "but how do I know what's the rat poison?"

Becca has a good answer. You should read her entire post.

For my part, her analogy resonates strongly enough that I wanted to call it to your attention.