Issue date: 10/29/07 Section:Life
Lately, there has been a noticeable inclination in the minds of fresh young college students when concerning literature: they are sticking to what’s familiar.
It seems that most students can fit into one of three categories: there are those who read only religious compositions, those who read so-called “intellectual” or classical literature, and those who stick to Sweet Valley High romance novels or sci-fi.
On one hand, it is great that millennials are reading; developing a mind for literature in any form is very important. However, adding some variety, the personal library can make for a more cultured and universal thought process in everyday decisions.
True, reading Poe isn’t going to help twenty-somethings deal with their “maybe, someday I’ll have a girlfriend” problem. It won’t help them get through a salacious romantic scandal (although flipping through a couple of Gossip Girl books, by Cecily Von Ziegesar, may give you a few ideas).
On the other hand, spending a couple afternoons with Whitman may actually help students to walk down a path that holds the answers to life, the universe and maybe even love.
If “variety is the very spice of life,” as the author of some first-rate poetry William Cowper said, adding some of that variety into an average student’s lettered life can improve not only their repertoire of books but other aspects of their existence as well.
So, Keats enthusiasts are double-dog dared to head to the library and check out a couple books with bright pink covers and titles incorporating the words shop, love, gossip and/or boy-trouble. The same goes for those who read bodice-ripping chapters-check out some Yunque or Dickinson, and be ready for a pleasant surprise.