Battle against 'dumbing down' at library sale

Christine Granados

I've been hearing a lot lately about the relationship between people losing interest in reading and losing their intelligence.

I'm starting to believe it's true, and I'll go a step further and blame it on the movie industry because I have proof. The more movies a person watches the stupider a person becomes, myself being the case in point.

I recently had a ridiculous conversation about movies and movie stars with the Master Gardener in the house. The conversation went something like this:

"You know that movie I like that's set in a museum?" I yelled over a television commercial we were watching.

The Master Gardener, muted the TV, but kept his eye on the woman in a bikini, said, "Ah, The Da Vinci Code."

I said, "No, no, the other one, it's funny."

"Ghostbusters II," he said.

"I didn't like that movie. The one I'm talking about has that guy, the funny one, who in real life is married to Marsha Brady."

The Master Gardener looked over at me, "Greg Brady?"

"No, Greg Brady didn't marry Marsha they just dated. I'm not talking about the real Marsha Brady anyway. The one who was in the movie version of The Brady Bunch.

"Oh, yeah, Christine. Christine Taylor," he said.

"Yeah, yeah, her. Who is she married too?"

He said, "Michael J. Fox?"

"No that's Tracy Pollen but they do kinda look alike. This guy has a funny dad, who is in movies too. I think his mom is a comedian too."

"Oh, Ben Stiller. A Night at the Museum."

"Yes, that's the one."

If you were able to follow that conversation then you may be a case in point, too, and might consider picking up a book this summer.

It may just be me but I think I'd feel better about myself if I had a conversation like the one above about literature. A benign conversation like the one above seems so sophisticated when literature is involved.

"I love what's-her-name's poetry," I'd say, looking up from a book I was reading.

"Emily Dickinson," the Master Gardener would mute the stereo playing Vivaldi.

"No, no, the poet who committed suicide," I'd retort.

"Virginia Woolf?" he'd say.

"Woolf was an essayist and a novelist, not a poet, but she did kill herself."

"Anne Sexton?"

"The poet who married that guy who wrote the Iron Giant."

"The kids' movie? Oh, yeah that was Ted Hughes?"

"He wrote the book Iron Giant."

"Yeah, yeah, they made a great cartoon movie out of it, too. Disney I think."

Guess the American film industry creeps its way into every conversation and I'm doomed to stupidity. There is no stopping it but maybe we can slow it down.

Here in Rockdale we're doing our part to help stem the tide with the Friends of the Library annual book sale 9-2 p.m., June 6.

If you come out you'll be smarter for it, and we can have smart conversations about authors and characters in books rather than inane ones about movies.

If you've done some Spring cleaning feel free to drop any extra books you have off at the library before June 6. Then remember to come by the sale and buy more books for $1 and 50 cents a pop, hardbacks and paperbacks respectively.

Make an entire day of it and visit all the businesses open for Rockdale's monthly Market Day. See you Saturday.

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2009-05-28 digital edition

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