Urtė Navalinskaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2013-04-04

In brief: Decent people do not boast that they have read some popular literature. If they reveal it, they can defend themselves that they took the book from the library or from some dubious friends. Still, why do crowds of people read simple love novels or detective stories much more often than some deep and spiritual considerations about the place of a human-being in this world?

Because popular literature has another name – entertaining literature. You may be overloaded with texts of the highest quality all the time but the body and head needs to relax sometimes. And it is better that a man takes a horror thriller or one more Cinderella story to his/her hands than wastes his/her time on some fifteenth non-professional TV dance competition. Also, some people cannot read serious, complicated and demanding books. Others could be repelled from classics and modern masterpieces at school.

Therefore, the entertaining literature is the chain that can bring the young reader from children and teenagers’ literature to the high literature. Of course, even this “transitional” literature should be of high quality too. Good entertaining literature should be written in rich and interesting language, the story should grip the attention and keep it till the last page. Entertaining works cannot be compared to high literature as their aim is to feed the short-term need for entertainment and reading rather than to search for the truths of life.

Entertaining literature prevails in top tens of bought books during several latter years. Sadly, such books are often written by foreign writers. Still, one may rejoice that popular literature starts reviving or getting its second breath in Lithuania too. We had some of entertaining literature earlier already: novels of Ugnė Barauskaitė, Zita Čepaitė, Andrė Eivaitė and several other authors. However, not many readers of “cheap” literature, except for professionals of literature, have heard about them. One really known author in this category is Jurga Ivanauskaitė. The question is whether her works are read because they are interesting, tasty, valuable or because of the interesting personality of the author.

During the latter several years several Lithuanian authors’ books of entertaining literature were published. No miracle: entertaining literature was published for many years already but it was done silently without any advertisement, preserving the spirituality (except for books of J. Ivanauskaitė and Kristina Sabaliauskaitė perhaps).

Advertisement, in the opinion of high literature readers, is not suitable for books. A good book speaking about meaningful and deep problems should find the reader itself. However, the problem is that such books are found only by professionals and people who received their recommendations, while the biggest number of readers do not find out about such masterpieces at all.

The world understood long ago that a book was a commodity, a service, like many others. The times have passed when writers lived on water, bread and their spirituality only. Today everything is a commodity, and if it is not advertised, it remains on the shelf or in the writer’s drawer. We should not fear that the market of Lithuanian books will be overloaded with entertaining or amateur literature. There are always some masterpieces and food for the crowd.

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