Fried Literature

Literature is not all of the same quality. The true worth of a work can be determined by the impact it leaves upon the reader and the bearing it has on the reader’s life patterns. Sir Francis Bacon in his essay “Of Studies” once stated that “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” This statement can be applied widely and holds true in the face of almost any literary work. Books can indeed be divided into those that should be “tasted,” those that should be “swallowed,” and those that should be “chewed and digested.” Though by no means objective, Bacon’s classification system is a means by which works can be divided by the seriousness and thought that should be applied when reading them.
Works that should merely be “tasted” should not be taken very seriously. Such works are generally light-hearted, simple to read, unrealistic, and even superficial. In these “tasted” books the main and primary message that is expressed is really the only one that should remain with the reader. There is general meaning, but for the most part these works are intended for entertainment purposes and do not influence one’s life skills. One enjoys such a work as he or she reads it, but eventually discards it for something else without so much as another thought of the work.
One form of publication that should just be “tasted” is the comic books. The Family Circus series is an example. These comics possess basic plots, which describe a family with four young children and how they interact with one another. While it may try to convey a basic message, Family Circus does not truly attempt to instruct the reader. It has very little, if any, deeper meaning. This series of works is meant primarily for enjoyment and leisure, and should not be taken as anything more than that. It leaves no mark upon the reader once the reader has read it. The reader reads it, laughs at it, disposes of it, forgets it, and looks immediately...