I have a specific problem with books.I don't actually believe I'm morally obliged to read the entirety of a book if I'm not enjoying it. But, if I have a book sitting unread and I don't feel I've tried hard enough, I find it very difficult to start a new one. In her favour, Grace Dent rescued me from Margaret Campbell Barnes.
I was going to describe Margaret Campbell Barnes as a Philippa Gregory wannabe, but it turns out that she was born in the 19th century and died before I was born. Amo on Amazon succinctly summarises my feelings. But attempting to read it put me off books for a while.
I read about two thirds of Grace Dent on a Bournemouth Beach, but then suffered a different form of Boring Book Syndrome. Unfairly, because it's not really that boring. Its style is fast-paced, eminently readable, easy to concentrate on. Difficult to put down, but, to be honest, quite difficult to pick up again.
I don't imagine that she - an author of ephemeral TV columns and Teen Fiction - intended this to be a sociological commentary or to offer any insights into life. Nothing in it caused me to examine my behaviour on Twitter and certainly not my life.
I read a caustic comment that it cast an ugly light on the lifestyle of the almost-famous, but I can't even claim it does that. I do feel that Grace thinks Twitter is solely for her almost-famous clique (her word) to chat amongst themselves under observation from the adoring masses. Perhaps her perception is well-founded. But I follow all sorts of different users for different purposes, and no longer follow most of the Grace Dent clique because they are of little use to me. In general, they seem too conscious that their evey proclamation is done under the spotlight of a watching world. And they often lack the broad experience and insights of non-media people. I occasionally wanted to say 'but, but...' as I read, only, I couldn't really be bothered.
At least it finally got me back into the book-reading habit.