As a writer of fiction, I often I end up in conversations with people about what they read. I find that most of the time, people fall into one of two camps: Those who read for pleasure and those who read to be educated/enlightened.
Before we go any further, I want to say that I could care less WHY someone reads – I love the fact that they do. Studies abound on how healthy reading is for the brain and how much reading enhances lives. Whether it’s a book or an encyclopedia, a magazine or a comic book, time spent with words and thoughts and language is time well-spent.
But the reason I bring up the two groups is more to make a broader point about entertainment. I’m tickled by how often a conversation about fiction can evolve into a broader conversation about entertainment. And how often do we hear people make excuses for their entertainment choices.
From favorite TV shows to the latest thriller that has its intrepid hero on yet another death-defying adventure to an evening spent listening to pop music, too often we seem to feel we need to apologize for it.
I bring this up because I’ve recently been thinking about entertainment well beyond books and as a broader thought. I went to a Barry Manilow concert a few weeks ago. Aside from the fact that I’ve been a life-long Barry fan, the show meant something to me on a deeper level. The friend who organized the evening has been on an 18-month stretch of personal hell with the loss of both her parents. While I know time may eventually heal, I’ve also watched my fun, vibrant, warm friend live through more pain in a concentrated time than anyone should have to.
Yet as we sat there in the arena, screaming our heads off and singing to every song we knew, I saw smiles and happiness and for two hours, freedom from her pain.
In those two hours, I saw a small measure of joy return to someone who’s had far too little of it for far too long.
Barry gave that to her. His talent and his songs he’s likely sung hundreds of thousands of times and his ability to entertain a crowd for a few hours. His gift of creating entertaining moments meant something to my friend, to me and to every person sitting in that arena.
So let’s not be too hasty in thinking our time spent with entertainment is meaningless. Or frivolous. Or wasted. Of course we need to be productive in our productive hours of the day, but in the hours that are our own? I saw take those and enjoy them however makes you happy.
So what about you? Where do you fall on the entertainment spectrum? And how do you relax at the end of a hard day or when the weekend rolls around.
Despite early ambitions of being a diver, a drummer or a doctor, Addison Fox happily discovered she was more suited to life as a writer. She lives in Dallas and - thankfully - doesn't have to operate on anyone. You can find her at her home on the web at www.addisonfox.com. Her latest book, THE PARIS ASSIGNMENT, is out now from Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
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