Aug 23, 2012

by English Muse

We’ve chatted about heartbreakers, soul-soother, and those unforgettable childhood books.  We’ve smiled over to-read stacks of monstrous proportions.   We’ve had a hushed discussion of our reading indulgences that we don’t often revealed.  I’ve enjoyed sharing my bookish loves and indulgences and hearing about yours so far, but they’ve mostly been related to the sorts of books I read most.  Today, I want to look at something a little different, something I don’t often read but can never put down when I do: humor.

My mother introduced me to the hilarity of Erma Bombeck when I was young.  I laughed my whole way through If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?, even though I was maybe thirteen and had few connections to the stories she told.  When I was even younger, perhaps eight, I used to devour each of the humor sections in Reader’s Digest the minute the magazine was in our mailbox.  I liked humor.  I still like humor.

And yet I feel I am committing some sort of intellectual compromise when I pick up a humor book, as if reading something that doesn’t make me ponder or cry or both is not worth my time.  This is thoroughly unreasonable, of course, because humor books frequently look life in the face, realize how ridiculous it can be, and belly-laugh any way.  That, I believe, is exactly the sort of attitude I try to have about life: it’s amazing, it’s crazy, and sometimes it’s awful, so we may as well laugh a great belly laugh.

I’m curious–do you feel a twinge of guilt when you pick up something for laughs?  Do you read anyway?  And what humor books do you read?  Do share, please!


Until next Thursday,


(unwritten, untitled)


[Three great attitudes about books and living: image 1: L.M. Montgomery Quote Literature Art Print by Wandering Reader on Etsy/image 2: The More You Read… canvas sign by Epiphany’s Corner on Etsy/image 3: We Shall Dance in the Rain fine art print by Freya Art & Design on Etsy]


This entry was posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 at 8:05 am. It is filed under Decor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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3 Responses to “Belly-Laughers”

  1. Natalie says:

    Belly Laughter can be played anywhere whether it be in your living room or at a park. Chances are, everyone will have fun. All the game requires is at least four people to play.

  2. Sumire says:

    I definitely feel like I’m not reading “literature” when I read a humor book but they sure are fun. Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs makes me laugh every time I pick it up. My husband credits A.J. Jacobs’ The Know-It-All with helping him through his depression after he lost his job. I’ve also trawled Reader’s Digest for the funny stuff and my mom gave me a boxed set of Bombeck’s work. If literature helps us see life more truly, humor helps us deal with the duality of seeing the truth and living the craziness.

  3. I’m mystified at the question. Why should anyone ever feel guilty about laughing or reading anything humorous? Can one laugh too much?

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