I know that some might find this hard to believe, but I have not always been such a "serious" reader. Yes, I used to read trash, lots of trash, and I enjoyed it. :-)
This morning on the way to work, I heard that the author Sidney Sheldon had died. The NPR story highlighted his writing for I Dream of Jeannie. However, when I hear his name I think about all the excellent trash that he wrote and that I gorged myself on in the 80s and early 90s. His books were page-turners, full of love, lust, sex, intrigue--soap operas in print. As a teenager and a twenty-something, I loved his novels like Bloodline, The Other Side of Midnight, Rage of Angels, and If Tomorrow Comes. His trash took place on a grand scale, all over the world--a world that a girl from a small East Texas town couldn't possible know except through books. His books were a great vehicle when I needed an escape from the mundanity of my life. And any miniseries made from his books were just as tasty and even less intellectually nutritious. What fun!
While I don't read this kind of novel anymore, I do sometimes long to escape into formulaic, mind candy, but my brain just won't let me enjoy it anymore. The closest I can come is to read some kind of mystery or suspense novel, and those have to be better than the formulaic ones produced by most of the writers whose works can be found on grocery store and Walmart shelves and even on today's bestseller lists.
On a poignant note not related to Sheldon's novels, the newspaper article that I read to remind myself of the titles of some of his novels included a mention of The Patty Duke show that he produced and wrote. I'm too young to have watched the show when it aired originally, but I do have some fond memories of watching it on Nick at Night with my dad. He really liked to watch those old sitcoms. In the show, Patty called her dad Pops, and I used to call my dad Pops too. My dad was a great Pops! :-)