When I shared how our family uses the library, I implied that one reason I don't scan the shelves is to avoid twaddle-- poor quality, silly, or fluffy books.
But...confession... I'm not totally offended by twaddle!
I obviously steer away from books that are too mature for my readers (or listeners) and I discuss with my older kids the wisdom of setting a standard for content in the books they choose. I sometimes push my younger boys to read books a little longer or complicated than they are comfortable choosing on their own, but I do not forbid them from easy, maybe even trivial, reading.
Here's why: first of all, I know for myself that I often look to reading as an escape. I have opportunities all throughout theday to stretch my brain, but reading is my way to relax. I don't want to look up words or think deeply. After Macie was born in January, one of my goals for the year was to read for pleasure. I declared that it was "not the year to tackle heavy classics or challenge myself intellectually."
Also, much of our family culture has been shaped by "twaddle-y" books. Conversations are sparked by what we read. No one would consider the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books classic literature, but we love them. My kids say I am a twin of the "Mom" character in the books. We both dance (and embarrass our kids) when we hear music and apparently "Mom" always gets her ideas from the magazine she subscribes to called Family Frolic. I get ideas from podcasts. They know because I often listen out loud in the car while I am driving them to and fro... and then they see me implement the ideas at home. I've been caught! Maddie says that The Mom Hour is my Family Frolic.
We enjoy other characters, too, and many quotes from the books are recited around the dinner table and are inserted into our real-life situations. My boys particularly love how older brother, Roderick, watched the movie instead of read the book for his high school English assignment. Unfortunately, he watched wrestling movie, Lords of the Ring, instead of the correct Lord of the Rings.
I'm not saying that these types of books should replace classic or other thought-provoking literature, but I am saying there are pleasure benefits and relational benefits to fluffy books, too.
What are your thoughts? Do you read twaddle? Do you allow your kids to read it?